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Caption: Thaddeus was one of the first licensed Hanoverian stallions to be imported. 

Q: What is the purpose of the SAWHS (South African Warmblood Horse Society)?

A: The sole purpose of the SAWHS is to keep records of the Warmbloods being bred in South Africa, and to record and inspect them with the purpose of improving the breed. At the outset of the SAWHS, members were very lucky to have iconic horsemen such as David Stubbs, Theo Laros, Gerrie du Toit and Ernie Davenport travelling around South Africa, visiting farms and advising breeders.

Inspection of stallions

A ‘first acceptance’ inspection is a presentation much like the general inspection, but with free jumping added. It is for young stallions not yet backed or just started. The purpose here is to assist the owner or breeder in deciding if the horse has the required talent and qualities to be kept and produced further down the line for a full stallion licence. The pass mark is a little lower than for the full licence, and the horse may keep the title of first acceptance for four years, whereupon he loses it and returns to general inspection status if he is not presented for full licence.

Full stallion licence

This is the presentation of a backed and going stallion either as a jumping stallion or as a dressage stallion. This is a very important section of our inspections. A stallion who passes has to represent the breed at its highest standard. He has to be correctly built, of good temperament and talented. Only in time will we be able to assess if he passes on these abilities, so the pedigree of the horse and the history we can assess from the horses in his background form a big part in assuming his future as a breeding stallion.

Answered by Frances Cheboub


The first distinction to consider is the difference between ‘recorded’ and ‘registered’:

  • Recorded: When a foal is born you have a year in which to get him birth-notified, and this is when the horse is recorded. When a horse has been bought or imported, you can have him put on the database by applying for him to be recorded.
  • Registered: In order for a horse to be registered, after being recorded, he needs to be presented for inspection. This is normally done from the age of three years old and upwards, as the horse needs to grow to the point of evenness in his conformation, so that he is not croup-high or narrow-chested, for example.

There are two registers:

  1. Full Warmblood register – F4: This means that the horse’s breeding has been approved on both the dam and sire’s sides of the pedigree in order to be fully inspected as a Warmblood.
  2. Secondary register – F1, F2, F3: This category is for horses of whom some of the parent lines have not been inspected or recorded, or they have TB or Anglo-Arab blood (the only two outside breeds that the SAWHS accepts into their breeding programmes).

The purpose of an inspection is to educate the owner or breeder about the type of horse he wishes to breed from or can expect to breed. For the society, inspections are necessary to capture this information to ensure the continued improvement of the breed, and to assist the breeder where necessary with moving towards a good Warmblood standard.