The Hanoverian Horse has become well known all over the world for its dominance in the equestrian sport of dressage. Show jumping, however, has been somewhat more difficult to succeed in, with several of the Hanoverian lines producing extraordinary dressage horses that do not jump well. This has started to change in the last several years, thanks to the efforts of the Programm Hannoveraner Springpferdezucht, or the Jumping Hanoverian Breeding Program in the horse's native Germany, which has led to the creation of a similar program in North America.
In 1993, the Hanoverian Verband, the main organization of the breed in Germany, created the PHS in order to recognize and promote the Hanoverian Show Jumpers. Since that time, 1300 mares have been selected for the program. These mares were chosen not only for their pedigree, but also based on their jumping talent as shown in either competition or the Mare Performance Test, in which all mares must participate in order to be eligible for registration. They are then encouraged to breed with stallions that have also been chosen for the jumping program. The Hanoverian Verband then promotes the jumping horses in a variety of ways, including a PHS foal show in the spring and a yearly free jumping competitions for three and four year olds.
Based on the success of the PHS in Germany, breeders in the United States wished to develop a similar program in North America. Together with two regional Hanoverian breeding clubs in Canada, the Board of Directors of the American Hanoverian Society approved the concept at its annual meeting in 2005 and created the Jumper Breeding Committee. As the program is still in its early days, the selection process is still considered to be a work in progress but significant progress has already been made.
One of the most important criteria for inclusion in the Jumping Breeding Program is having what is considered to be an appropriate jumping pedigree, although these guidelines are more strictly carried out for stallions than for mares. In the best case scenario, both the sire of the dam and the sire of the grand dam would be jumpers, and even one of the two being jumpers would be considered appropriate. However, if the stallion has always been considered to be a dressage horse or both the sire of the dam and the sire of the grand dam were considered dressage, this horse would not be considered to have an appropriate jumping pedigree.
Both stallions and mares must prove their worth in jumping in addition to having the correct type of pedigree. Stallions should have a jumping score of at least 8.5 in the stallion performance test, a score of at least 125 points in the jumping index of the stallion performance test, a successful competition history, offspring with successful competition histories, and/or a breeding value of jumping of at least 120 points. Mares should have a jumping score of at least 8.0 in the performance test; relatives will successful competition histories, her own successful history in jumping or eventing, offspring with successful competition histories, and/or a breeding value of jumping of at least 125 points. Being successful in hunting competitions will not be considered for either stallions or mares.