PRESERVING THOROUGHBRED BLOODLINES INTO THE FUTURE
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