Falabella Breed Standard
Falabella Breeding Targets as issued by the Falabella Studbook Europe in Association with the ACCF
Continuation of 100% purebred Falabellas, in addition to promotion of breeding efforts concerning Falabella stock of a healthy constitution: a miniature horse with a correct, functional, and harmonic makeup, emanating health and vitality, and a friendly nature.
The breeding targets consist of a number of characteristics.
By its origins, the Falabella is a small and gentle horse, particularly good-natured and with a healthy and strong constitution.
Harmonious, balanced, and well proportioned. Delicate bone structure and slim belly and flanks.
Shoulder height of three-year-old Falabella mares and stallions ranges between 70 and 86 cm. In order to preserve their small size, this characteristic will be marked as an important breeding target (measured unshod).
The head has a delicate and noble build, with large expressive eyes. A straight forehead, or slightly curved below eye-level. The muzzle should be appropriately slender.
Well placed and small ears, positioned attentively with the tips slightly pointed towards each other.
All colours are possible and permitted.
The neck and nape of the neck are long and slender, well-carried, flexible, appropriately muscular, and not overly deep into the chest.
The shoulder is long and slanted, with well-developed withers.
Good square conformation, well developed joints without flaws, without overly extended pasterns, with good feet.
Back / haunches:
Well-muscled, good transitions, not too long, and not ribbed too roundly.
Croup / tail:
Long, slightly slanted with a well-set tail in a flowing line from the croup, carried straight.
Correctly active foreleg from the shoulder. Using hind leg well placed underneath the body with a great deal of power and suppleness.
The target of the breeding process is based on making long-term progress. Preserving genetic variation within the population is an important point. Limitation of inbreeding is crucial, on closed Falabella stock farms in particular. Inbreeding is among the causes of hereditary defects, reduced fertility, and shortened life expectancy.
The breeding programme consists of several components.
Stock characteristics are to be assessed during inspections.
Foals From January 2011: Foals are entered into the studbook register after DNA reports have been completed. A provisional certificate is issued by the studbook, characterised by different colour and printing. Final certification may occur three years later, after the foal has become eligible for external and veterinary inspections.
External and Veterinary Inspections:
Upon registration of a mare and stallion aged three years and up, the Falabella concerned is required to be subjected to a linear score and subsequent veterinary inspection, for purposes of health and other aspects of the Falabella. The inspection regulations will provide all the directives and regulations concerned.
Prior to entry of mares, stallions, or foals in the studbook register, DNA research will be conducted to verify parenthood of both parents and the Falabella DNA profile.
In the interest of mare well-being, mares are not allowed to be covered prior to the third year of their lives. The same applies to stallions. They are not allowed to be employed as studs prior to the third year of their lives.
Inbreeding: FSE advise breeders to prevent narrow inbreeding in their breeding programmes.
As of March 1, 2011, FSE will issue a new supplementary software package, enabling calculation of an inbreeding coefficient. Calculation of an inbreeding coefficient requires lineage information; reliability of outcomes will increase as further generations are included in the process. Breeders will be provided with the results as soon as the process has been completed.
Hereditary defects: Any potential hereditary deficits will be carefully recorded. FSE intend to increase their insight into genetics by collecting DNA data in the future.
Falabellas are special, honest, sweet, and intelligent by nature. These are among the main characteristics of this race. Every individual Falabella in the breeding programme has great breeding value for the Falabella studbook. This is due to the rare and pure stock of this miniature breed of horses, free from external influences, cross breeding, and manipulation. In addition, in 1995, FSE assigned Wim van Haeringen to conduct a special investigation directed at recording the unique DNA data of European Falabellas, as well as a selection of male and female Falabellas from Argentina. These efforts resulted in a Falabella DNA ProfileTest, used to verify whether Falabellas are of pure stock, carrying the same 'blueprint' as their Argentine ancestors. The FBPT is reserved exclusively to FSE. If FBPT results indicate that a specific Falabella does not match this 'blueprint', it will not be registered in the studbook. The additional information, such as the Linear Assessment and the Veterinary Inspection are the perfect answer to this standard, providing better means to manage the options of genetic selection of our breed.
Animal Welfare: Owners are required to act in the interests of well-being for their Falabella(s), in accordance with the 2009-2012 Falabella Studbook welfare policy.