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Characterisation in equestrian endurance events
Performance indices for endurance have been available since 2006 and help summarise a horse's career. Genetic indices have been available since 2012.
Summary table of performance and genetic indices
In blue : satisfactory index and/or coefficient
* Low CD so index inaccurate
Indices last updated on : 2018
Genetic indices (BRE) of a sire or mare are the estimation of its hereditary potential. It concerns the horse's ability to perform in equestrian competitions based on available information. It should always be used with its coefficient of determination (CD). The higher the CD, the more accurately this genetic index reflects the sire's genetic potential which could be transmitted to his progeny.
- CD<0.20 - Too low: Genetic index not provided: Too inaccurate as not enough information is available.
- 0.20<CD<0.30 - Low: Genetic index obtained solely based on the competition performance of ancestors (parents, grand-parents) and indirect lineage (brothers, cousins, etc.): Expressed by a global index of the foal's pedigree.
- 0.30<CD<0.50 - Intermediate: Genetic indices obtained through the horse's own performances, the performance of its ancestors (parents, grandparents) and indirect lineage (brothers, cousins, etc.): Moderate accuracy but sufficient to select sires and broodmares based on their first season of competition.
- 0.50<CD<0.70 - Good: Genetic index including the performances of the first foals: Fairly accurate.
- CD>0.70 - High: Genetic indices obtained by combining the performances of ancestors, own performances, and the performances of a number of its progeny: Very accurate which can only be obtained for sires already commonly used for breeding allowing them to be used with certainty.
It is important to understand indices to be able to interpret and use them correctly.
All indices published are based on a horse's entire career. Each of the three criteria (speed, placing, and distance) results in a basic index. Each index is associated with a coefficient of accuracy which includes the number of performances and the repeatability of the criteria.
An overall index or career index is calculated based on these basic indices taking any correlations between them into consideration and applying weighting to each one. Various simulations were carried out and proposed by the INRA to the ACA working group. The working group selected weightings which best reflected the feelings of breeders. These are now 35% for speed, 30% for being "placed or not", and 35% for distance.
The introduction of correlations between criteria has significantly increased the coefficient of determination and therefore the accuracy of the indices. This resulted in sometimes major changes in the values of these less accurate indices.
It is therefore not surprising that the 2002-2011 index for some horses is significantly different to that of 2002-2010, even if the horse did not compete in 2011, and that the coefficient of determination (CD) increased.
IRE performance indices (endurance) are calculated every year. They take the horse's entire career into consideration each time. This is why it is sometimes called a Career Index. The overall career index (IRE) summarises the horse's qualities by taking all of its performances for the three criteria into consideration.
Every year, four performance indices are calculated for each performer but only the overall career index (IRE) is published.