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View Full Version : Let's talk stallion prospects....



Antero Equestrian
Oct. 21, 2009, 11:36 PM
I am hoping to get some advice on the raising of a young stallion prospect.

For those of you that don't know my history, in 2006 I bought a young 2.5 y.o. Rheinlander stallion named Fideracci. This was post-approvals, pre-testing in Germany. I left him with a great trainer in Germany, got him through his 70-day test at Muenster-Handorf, imported him, got him through quarantine, marketed him, booked him, etc. He died in a tragic breeding accident very early in his first breeding season here, and we were unable to get mares in foal before his death. I can't discuss the details much because there is litigation pending, but let me just say that it was the most horrific day of my life (he died right in front of my eyes).

So, fast forward 2 years. I have an amazing SPS mare that was imported from Germany in 2005. She is 9 years old and showing 4th and schooling PSG. In Germany before her import she and her dam and full-sister won the elite family award at the Louis Weigles Mare show in 2003, plus champion 3 y.o. filly at the same show, plus lots of other awards at other shows. In the USA she was the USDF Grand Champion Mare for Region V in 2006 and 2007. During her MPT and inspection in Germany she was awarded an overall 9 with a 9 for rideability and a perfect 10 for elasticity and swing, and no gait under 8. She is truly a remarkable mare.

I bred her to Don Frederico using ET and she gave us a lovely colt. This guy is close to perfect. I would post photos except that he is a yearling and at a really awkward stage, so I will just ask you guys to take my word for it. Great conformation, dark bay, amazing gaits, etc. I think this guy has a very good chance of getting licensed and approved.

I am contemplating keeping this guy in tact as a stallion candidate. This time around I plan to bubble wrap my stallion and send him off to a professional repro facility (like Hilltop) for stallion training and testing. Hilltop takes the boys in the spring of their 2 y.o. year and preps them for approvals and testing. I know this doesn't guarantee that something horrible won't happen, but it will make me feel much better knowing that he would be in the best hands possible.

So, have any of you used Hilltop (or another barn) to prep your stallion candidates? How did it go? Do you have any insight? Do you have any other suggestions?

Oh, and then there is my rational husband, who points out that this colt would make an amazing gelding... :) He saw me put my heart and soul into Fideracci (AKA "Muffin") and then saw me crushed by his death, and I think he is worried about something bad happening again.

Thanks!

Gina

f4leggin
Oct. 22, 2009, 12:40 AM
I have a yearling colt I was debating keep as a stallion - I decided to market him, if someone wanted him as a stallion - that would have been ideal. I sold him, during the PPE, it was discovered that he is a "high flanker". Not a crpyt - but one testicle is high enough that he is no longer a stallion prospect in my book. Luckily, the buyer wants a gelding...

My point? Have him evaluated physically (xrays, etc..) as part of deciding what to do.

Jill

FMulder
Oct. 22, 2009, 02:43 AM
I read in Sport Horse Breeding news that there are six mares to every stallion. You don't have to be a genius to work the rest out.

Listen to your husband.

acottongim
Oct. 22, 2009, 07:50 AM
I'm so sorry for the loss of your boy - that is so sad and horrible. I have to admit that when my boy started learning to breed I couldn't watch - too scary. Luckily (for me LOL) he is a quick learner and caught on quickly.

I did not send my colt off to anyone (except at the very end to learn how to free jump) but raised him at home. I have heard only good things about Hilltop and wouldn't hesitate to send a horse to them.

Tate is the second prospect I've raised. I learned from my first one what not to do with Tate (the first was not approved and is now a nice gelding).

I just wanted to warn you - tell you?? That you do need to let him be a horse. I know it is scary for you and that you see the most horrible things happening, but it doesn't always work that way. He does need to grow up and know how to be a horse. so don't bubble wrap him as hard as that is for you. Heck, when Tate was around a year old he started getting a touch big for his britches and I turned him out with a preg mare for a while... to this day he is a very respectful, very sweet boy. The mare didn't kill him but did teach him a valuable lesson.

Have him evaluated before you make the final call on gelding or not - have the registery look at him and evaluate him, get the xrays, etc all before you start down a long and expensive path and then find out that he is not elig because of something (OCD, cryptoid, etc).

And what they say is true - every great stallion makes an even better gelding. LOL

DownYonder
Oct. 22, 2009, 08:06 AM
Gina, I normally tell folks to geld, but you are in a bit of a different situation than the average breeder. You are an FEI rider. You have stallion experience. You understand the hard road ahead of getting a colt licensed and performance tested. You also understand the thrill - and the heartache - that can come with stallion ownership. You probably also know that your chances are basically slim and none that your stallion will "pay for himself" with breeding fees.

However, if this colt is everything you think he is, and your registry inspectors agree with you, then why not see how it plays out? You have the experience, he has (apparently) the conformation, the movement, the pedigree. Although there is already a lot of Donnerhall blood here, there are some who believe we could probably use another good Donnerhall line stallion, especially one with a damline that offers impressive credentials of its own.

As for places to prep stallion colts - Hilltop is undoubtedly the best known, and the most experienced of the large operations. And they are very, very good at it. I believe that Willy Arts also does it - and is very good at it. I am sure there are other folks around the country that do it, but those are the ones that first come to mind.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

Sunnydays
Oct. 22, 2009, 08:14 AM
Well Gina, most do not have the facility or ability to raise a prospect themselves - but Hilltop has that, and successful experience to boot. Their young charges do get time to be horses too, I understand.
I think it is a good suggestion (as per f4leggin) to have a physical done first.
If it is your dream, follow it. You certainly know the risks as well as the highs.
Regardless of your decision, he sounds like a wonderful youngster, and I wish you much joy and adventure with him.

Bravestrom
Oct. 22, 2009, 08:17 AM
I wish you the best of luck on your journey. I believe hilltop will be a great choice for you - I have dealt with them from the other end - we had difficulty getting a mare in foal with a particular stallion until the stallion went to hilltop - and they were great to deal with, so from my perspective it was a great experience.

It aggrevates me to no end when people say he would make a better gelding. Totally do what you want to do. Take the advice of professionals and evaluate it, but if you want go with your heart.

I have a stallion - 2 1/2 yr old that I am having a ball with and wouldn't geld him based on what others say - it is my call and no one elses. I have taught him to live cover and every aspect of his care and management is up to me - but that is the way I am and it is a blast. I agree with the above poster though - let him be a horse.

spanishhorse
Oct. 22, 2009, 08:30 AM
It is your call, if you think that he is a stallion prospect, present him to your registry and if he passes keep him intact. I understand the fear and breeding is a very dangerous business...accidents can happen regardless of how careful we are and sometimes mares or stallions can get hurt (even with AI). And for some reason horses seem to be able to find ways to hurt themselves no matter what the environment.

I have stallions and they stay stallions because they have exceptional and rare bloodlines, pass their inspections, they have correct conformation and movement AND, one of the most important to me, they have work ethic/character/trainability. Each person has their basic requirements for keeping a colt intact, so if this guy meets your requirements, I would keep him a colt.

siegi b.
Oct. 22, 2009, 08:42 AM
If you're on the West Coast then I would definitely send the horse to Willy Arts of DG Bar Ranch. He is one of the very best horse trainers and has managed to get lots of stallion candidates approved.

YankeeLawyer
Oct. 22, 2009, 09:05 AM
Ditto Siegi. If you were closer to the East Coast I would say Hilltop; they are really excellent but it is very, very tough to get a training spot there due to demand, so if you are interested in Hilltop I would call *today.*

Oldenburg Mom
Oct. 22, 2009, 09:44 AM
I have stallions and they stay stallions because they have exceptional and rare bloodlines, pass their inspections, they have correct conformation and movement AND, one of the most important to me, they have work ethic/character/trainability. Each person has their basic requirements for keeping a colt intact, so if this guy meets your requirements, I would keep him a colt.

spanishhorse, I hope you are young...just so I can use the phrase, "You are wise beyond you years." :lol: (kidding, obviously)

IMHO, I think this is correct. I knew our stallion when he was a leetle boy, and the agreement we (my partner) and I always had was if he doesn't behave like a gelding most of the time, he'll become a gelding. I guess that was our attitude as he was growing up.

He was one of the sweetest horses I've ever known (which isn't many) and I learned so much from him. If the opportunity ever arose to own a stallion again, I would probably decline the offer,... BUT, there are a few things I don't think I'd change, in retrospect.

The first is having him trained at SBS (Select Breeders Services) which is at Hilltop, for his breeding duties. Yes, it's expensive, but definitely worth it. When we needed to collect him, we only went to one place...which was a huge benefit. He knew when we pulled into the clinic what he was there for. If we pulled into a show, well, he knew he wasn't going to breed, and behaved accordingly.

Personally, I would approach Bob Orton—if he would take him (not sure he does anymore.) I like him and Sherra a lot, and I believe they have an impeccable reputation. I like the way he handles stallions ...

Just a thought ...

P.S. You might want to take a look at this thread (http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=122695).

Rubs Not Pats
Oct. 22, 2009, 11:31 AM
Willy is Awesome!

Crosiadore Farm
Oct. 22, 2009, 11:57 AM
Some of the first criteria I would use when deciding to keep a colt entire, besides the obvious of excellence in bloodlines, conformation, gaits and temperament:

1. Is this is a colt I would be excited to breed my best mares to?
2. Does this colt have attributes that make him as good or better than his sire?
3. Do I think this colt is as good or better than what I can get with frozen semen?
4. Do I have the staff and facility to ride/handle stallions?
5. Am I realistic that I will not make money with the colt, but will have a great time enjoying the process?

I think if you can answer yes to all those questions, it is worth a go! Good luck!

Antero Equestrian
Oct. 22, 2009, 12:21 PM
Thanks for all the information. Does anyone have the contact information for Willy Arts? I am in the Santa Fe NM area, so the west coast is easier for us.

I am definitely planning to have him fully vetted before sending him anywhere. When I said I wanted to bubble wrap him, I was (mostly) kidding. He is with a small herd right now and in some light ground training 3x per week for manners, trailering, clipping, etc. Lots of time to be a rough and rowdy teenagers. He goes out every other day with either his buddies, or the older geldings (for manners). It seems to be working well. The trainer won't put up with anything from him and he is well behaved, very smart, willing to learn, and inquisitive.

DownYonder- Just to clarify, I have FEI-level horses, and a great FEI-level trainer, but I myself am not an FEI-level rider. In fact, I had a baby last year and hadn't ridden for about a year, and when I got on my mare and rode a bit (the dam of this colt) - who is a total prima donna - at one time she stopped and turned her head and gave me this incredulous look like "what exactly are you doing up there?" :D I guess I was a little out of shape. But, yes, I have experienced the thrills of owning a stallion, and I know all the hard work and the heartache it can involve.

This colt is a Don Frederico / Bergkristall (Bolero) / Pik Senior / Alderfluegal, so I think he has interesting bloodlines that there aren't a ton of in the USA.

Cresiodore Farms - I used almost that exact set of criterion when I bought Fideracci. There was no (at the time) Fidermark blood in the USA, he was a perfect match for my best mares, etc. With this colt is more difficult because he is young, but right now I *really* like what I see. I have also seen this colt's 3/4 sister in Germany who just got started under saddle and she is phenomenal. I am actually thinking of buying her too...

Gina

Dressage_Diva333
Oct. 22, 2009, 12:41 PM
Some of the first criteria I would use when deciding to keep a colt entire, besides the obvious of excellence in bloodlines, conformation, gaits and temperament:

1. Is this is a colt I would be excited to breed my best mares to?
2. Does this colt have attributes that make him as good or better than his sire?
3. Do I think this colt is as good or better than what I can get with frozen semen?
4. Do I have the staff and facility to ride/handle stallions?
5. Am I realistic that I will not make money with the colt, but will have a great time enjoying the process?

I think if you can answer yes to all those questions, it is worth a go! Good luck!


I think that is the best advice. I did the whole stallion prospect thing a couple years ago, then started adding up the costs, and got him cut. Getting a young Warmblood stallion out there is VERY expensive. I don't think one can really make a proper judgement until they are around 2, 2 1/2, because they change so much. My friends board a 2 1/2yo Don Frederico/ Rohdiamant/ Akzent II colt at my place. Inspectors said he is "well worth keeping a stallion" (as a 2yo), so we shall see what happens with him... :yes: On the other hand, my personal prospect was a gorgeous foal, gorgeous yearling (yes, he didn't get yak-ish), French Inspectors said they wanted to see him again as a 3yo, etc... He just didn't turn into that drop dead gorgeous horse I thought he would. Combine that with the costs, and now he's a lovely gelding :)

Don Frederico freezes well, and there is at least one other licensed son of his in the United States, and I think a couple more in Canada? Bergkristall is interesting... there is another stallion in the US with Bergkristall as the damsire, a nice Rubinstein I son, Rubino Bellissimo.

Without seeing pictures of the colt, it's hard to really judge... but if you think he's worth it, and have the resources to get him out there.. why not leave him a colt at least until he is 2, then have some Inspectors evaluate him?

Antero Equestrian
Oct. 22, 2009, 01:08 PM
Who is the Don Frederico stallion in the USA? I don't see one listed on the AHS approved pages. I do, however, see 2 Donnerhall sons, 3 De Niros, and 2 Davignons. (He could be Old or Canadian - I don't breed in those registries so I am not familiar with their stallions).

Gina

Dressage_Diva333
Oct. 22, 2009, 01:14 PM
His name is Delacroix, he's AHS approved, and I think ISR/OLD as well? He's out of a Matcho/ Argentan mare.

http://www.wingfieldfarms.com/delacroix.html

Dressage_Diva333
Oct. 22, 2009, 01:17 PM
Hmm, I don't see him on the AHS list either. I was at his licensing, so I know he was approved. Weird. He was in training with a very good FEI trainer in this area for a while too.

Antero Equestrian
Oct. 22, 2009, 03:28 PM
According to this:

http://www.breeding-stallions.com/stallion779.html

He is RPSI and Old but hasn't completed his Hanoverian requirements yet. The Hanoverians say that he is eligible to do the 70-day test this fall but no listing as to if he is in it. Wingfield Farm's website seems to be down so I couldn't find any other information on him.

Interesting!

Gina

Equine Reproduction
Oct. 22, 2009, 04:00 PM
According to this:

http://www.breeding-stallions.com/stallion779.html

He is RPSI and Old but hasn't completed his Hanoverian requirements yet. The Hanoverians say that he is eligible to do the 70-day test this fall but no listing as to if he is in it. Wingfield Farm's website seems to be down so I couldn't find any other information on him.

Interesting!

Gina

He (Delacroix) is, I believe you will find, currently at the 70 Day stallion Testing at Silver Creek.