PRE­SERV­ING THOR­OUGH­BRED BLOOD­LINES INTO THE FU­TURE

EQUUS - - Conformati­on Insights -

Hap­pily, there are still plenty of Thor­ough­bred stal­lions and mares who de­scend from Matchem, Herod and non-Phalaris Eclipse blood­lines: They are to be found pri­mar­ily among cham­pion steeplecha­sers, point-to-point and hunt-cup horses, as well as on the hunter-jumper and sporthorse cir­cuits. Names such as Marco, My Prince, Bat­tle­ship, Fu­rioso, Mel­bourne, Gran Kan, Sloopy, Am­biorix, King Tom, Prince­qui­llo, The Te­trarch, Ben Brush, Cottage Son, King­dom, Blen­heim, Lex­ing­ton, Voltigeur and Or­ange Peel should be given great weight when they ap­pear in a pedi­gree, be­cause they are proven sources of stamina and sound­ness.

Breed ob­server Ellen Parker sug­gests that breed­ers can keep their speedy, highly in­bred stal­lions if they would try harder to find strong fe­male part­ners with pedi­grees “sat­u­rated with sound­ness.” Pedi­gree ex­pert Anne Peters echoes this when she ad­vises breed­ers to “keep up the qual­ity of the brood­mare band and breed to the best stal­lions avail­able. This also re­quires culling of un­sat­is­fac­tory stock, an­i­mals with ma­jor un­de­sir­able faults, proven fail­ures, and in­di­vid­u­als that fall short of the av­er­age al­ready ex­ist­ing in the herd. Never go back­ward by us­ing poor in­di­vid­u­als merely be­cause they have work­ing re­pro­duc­tive sys­tems!”

Speak­ing from the per­spec­tive of a bi­ol­o­gist, I would add that we also need to re­think the “se­lec­tive con­di­tions” for rac­ing, par­tic­u­larly the prac­tice of rac­ing horses---at any dis­tance---as 2-yearolds. Many a Phalaris-line horse who

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