The Preferential status applies to both stallions and mares, and is determined by the quality of their offspring. This designation may be awarded to living mares and stallions or posthumously, though the qualifications for Preferential Mare and Preferential Stallion differ.To become preferent, the mare must be in the Studbook or Auxiliary Studbook and must have produced at least four quality offspring. These offspring must have been either, a star or model mare, a star gelding, a studbook stallion with approved breeding privileges, or a stallion that has reached the second level of a recognized stallion inspection. (This would mean the stallion has been qualified for consideration in the Central Stallion Proving, or if in the Netherlands, been judged on the Saturday of the annual Stallion judging. For more see: Approval)

Preferential status is awarded to Studbook Stallions who have shown consistency and quality in passing on their genetic qualities to their offspring. In order to become Preferent, the stallion’s oldest offspring must be at least ten years old and there must be sufficient numbers to judge sport performance and growth of older offspring. The stallion should have one or more of his sons approved on offspring. The stallion’s percentage of Star, Model, Approved Stallion, Preferential and not approved offspring will be compared against the overall averages of all the other stallions during the general time period. His offspring will be considered for their performance, as shown in various sport associations, IBOP, ABFP, performance tests of stallions and national and regional competitions. His fertility must be a 50% average over the entire breeding period. Hereditary defects and growth of his offspring that may not have come into effect until after his full Approval to the Studbook shall be considered. Also the color and markings of his offspring will be considered in regard to the average, as well as the average sizes, taking into consideration the size of the dams; and offspring character.