Westfalen NA Inspection

Sharpie’s inspection was going to be today, July 28, 2017, but due to likely all-day thunderstorms, it was moved to yesterday. This meant I was already at work, working, when I received the notice that Sharpie was going to be inspected, and did I want to come watch. I did, but I had a meeting at work that prevented me from immediately leaving and enjoying a day of foal inspections. Instead, I got there late enough that I saw 5 foals go, including mine and D’Arcy’s. 

Side note: I decided I don’t like the name “Sharpie” anymore, and am testing out a new name, “Stu.” This is Stu. Stu is awesome. Everyone likes Stu. From now on, he will be referred to as Stu, unless I decide I don’t like Stu anymore, in which case, stay tuned for the next name. 

All the inspections follow a basic format. First, the foals are brought in and examined at a standstill. There were two inspectors, which included longtime RPSI inspector of North America and German, Otto. He will be traveling nonstop until October to see all the horses on the North American tour. 

This colt got the comment, “Very muscular.” Not a surprise since he looks like a weight lifter!

After being inspected at the halt, the mother is lead around the arena and the foal follows. This one was very energetic…he decided the best action was to attack his mother while being led. 

“MAAAHMMM, play with me!”

Then he ran around like a barrel horse.

Serpentine Babou!

It was fun to watch the foals come out, and speculate on what their futures may be. One foal, Oh Henry, seems destined for the hunter ring. I was a little envious of his clear hunter ability, and also of the other fabulously talented foals, but I really only need the one. And need is a strong word anyway…I really only want the one. Even if I want every one of them. 

Olivet and Stu were the last to go. Olivet is having a weird growth stage right now, and has earned the nickname, “Carpet Mule.”

We are pretty sure her father was a horse…but maybe a DNA test to be sure?

They clipped off her baby hair, but she’s looking very splotchy right now. Poor thing, it stinks she had to go through inspection at this awkward stage. Otto did acknowledge that she’s clearly going through a growth phase right now in his remarks. 

Carpet Mule canters placidly. 

Stu was the final horse to go. He came in very casually with his surrogate mom, and quietly hung out. His mom is definitely a calming influence in his life. 


As he trotted with his mother, he suddenly had a burst of energy and raced down the long side!

westfalen inspection

It only lasted a moment though, and then he was back to trotting docilely along. 

foal trot

Otto’s comments, which were luckily recorded for posterity:

Long legs, showed good movement, good stride at canter, nice balance, easy flying changes. Good trot, with nice swing, and good rhythm. A promising prospect here, interesting cross with long legs.  

Possibly vague, but sounds good enough. He did not get premium, which if I’m honest with myself, I am disappointed, but they look for dressage quality when they decide on those features. I assumed he wasn’t going to move out well due to his placid mother, but I’m also not looking for a dressage prospect. I saw two premiums inspected before Stu, and now that I’ve seen both premium and not, the premiums truly are a sight to behold. They have a little bit extra something going on, but I’m not educated enough to put it into words. I’m considering going to Germany for the Westfalen event in November to both see all the horses, and examine more closely what they look for in a foal. But we will see, I’m not made of money here!

After the inspection, the foals get hair plucked, microchiped, and branded. Some of them took it better than others – I wasn’t able to get photos, but one of them reared straight up. Most of them twist around for a moment at the least. None of them notice what’s going on until the deed is already done. Stu shuffled around for a moment but didn’t react otherwise. 

Westfalen North American tour
Olivet being branded.
westfalen brand
Stu’s new brand.

After branding, we hung around for a few minutes to take pictures and pet our oversized pets. Stu posed for me for several minutes and while this isn’t a quality they look for in foal inspections, this is a quality I greatly appreciate!

We are really into deep, meaningful staring.

Stu was very interested in the decorations. 

“hmm, what is this? I better paw it to check.”
“It’s attacking! Run for your lives!”

Right before we left, they announced the site champions. The filly champion, which may not be a surprise to any readers who liked her before, was the black beauty look-alike, who is now named Delta. I sadly missed her inspection, but D’Arcy said she was spectacular. I’m very sad I missed it. She currently has a three people waiting list, so if you’re interested, better get in line!

site champion
Despite being sunbleached, her expression says she still knows that she is the best.

After everything was done, I talked to Otto for a bit about the foals, and the inspection. He’s a very interesting man. I asked him if he could elaborate on Stu’s potential for hunters. They don’t have hunters in Germany, it’s a very American sport, but he did offer some great perspective. He said they don’t judge the foals on their suitability for hunters (due to the previous sentence) but he personally thought Stu would be great for hunters. He thought Stu was great at being elastic in his movement, and he emphasized how important that is. 

This is very much making me want to go to Germany for the November stallion inspections, but we’ll see how the pieces fall. Overall, it was a very cool experience to see the foals inspected!

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  1. Okay if that braided baby mane is not the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. What a cool experience and now I’m really curious about how it all goes down – thanks for sharing!

    1. It is so cute! I don’t get the logistics of how to braid a foal, I feel like they’d be too squirmy. Maybe they are pinned down? hah

  2. Joey has a lot of hair and I still can’t imagine getting it to look that good! He’s growing up and getting even more attractive, though I have to admit, I liked the name Sharpie!

    1. Luckily I wasn’t the unlikely person to do that, I probably would have made his hair look terrible. And I do like it, but it is just sooo hard to say. After saying it multiple times it doesn’t even feel like a word anymore.

    1. Well, it depends. There’s full papers with the full brand, and then there’s half papers/altered brand for horses that don’t have the right parentage. Mares or stallions that aren’t already in the books due to their breeding can be submitted for approval into the books, and those can be denied if they aren’t up to the standard of the registry.

      I’m pretty sure that if a foal has the right parentage it cannot be denied. The ones that don’t have the right parentage aren’t eligible for inspection to begin with.

  3. what a cool day – i’d love to learn more about the whole process! also i liked the name Sharpie tho 🙁 i mean, Stu is nice too – but Sharpie has such a cute ring to it! lol

    1. I would like to take him to the in-hand classes for fun, but I’m not expecting to win. He’s going to be kept lean while growing and it might not make for a pretty picture in the show ring.

  4. Otto is really great, he’s seen so many horses here and knows our market and our mare base well. His opinions are very valid! He inspected my mare both as a 2yo and as a grown mare.

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