View Full Version : Learning about 'what to look for' in OTTB pedigree...

Apr. 26, 2010, 06:38 PM
I've heard lots of names floating around in the various TB threads and have googled them all to try to familiarize myself. I event and work with a lot of OTTBs - I just love their mind and athleticism. There is going to come a time when I will be off to the track to buy a young horse, and I'd like to be more knowledgable about the 'good' names to see in an event prospect's pedigree.
This is my current OTTB's pedigree - there are the very big names in there that I recognize, and some that I believe are good things to see - I've heard that Bold Ruler is good to have.
Is that right? What else do you see in there that's good or bad?
If you were to construct your ideal TB, what lineage would it have? Enlighten me! :)

Apr. 26, 2010, 07:55 PM
IMO, it's hard to say from which racing lines produce the best event horses who were former race horses. The problem with the current racing TB industry is a sense of breeding, almost like water trickling down, to get speed and more speed rather than good, strong builds/conformation/hooves that will last some of these horses past their racing days.

For instance, Big Brown has become a big-name colt after winning parts of the Triple Crown, however his feet are made of glue, and I would be less inclined to purchase a horse with his lines. At the same time, I think that colt has Northern Dancer on both sides... and that's another horse seen a lot in pedigrees.

My former OTTB is a Native Regent x Little Bit Crafty gelding and several of my friends with OTTBs have Seattle Slew in their lines. I don't think it's bad, or overbred, but he's usually always there.

I tend to gravitate to the USEF's leading event sires lists, and see which TBs made it on there. I mean, that obviously doesn't guarantee a "made" event prospect, but it might be somewhere to start! You can see, for instance, which TBs they crossed with other breeds to form sport horses, and use them for reference of good horses to cross with, or have in your lines.

Apr. 27, 2010, 02:13 PM
I'll definitely check out the leading sires list! I've had good experiences with Storm Cat babies and Babamist babies - although the Storm Cats are opinionated, to say the least. Also like Aye's Turn. What do you more knowledgable folks think of those lines?

Apr. 27, 2010, 03:36 PM
I'll definitely check out the leading sires list! I've had good experiences with Storm Cat babies and Babamist babies - although the Storm Cats are opinionated, to say the least. Also like Aye's Turn. What do you more knowledgable folks think of those lines?

And Babamist babies are not opinionated!!!!! ;)

I like My Babu, Herbager, Tourbillon, Grey Flight (mare), Mahmoud, Turn To and Tom Rolfe in pedigrees for my event horses. These are older lines and are harder and harder to find up close. (note...Babamist had Mahmoud up close on his dam side)

Hoist the Flag and Buckpasser are also good.

But you have to find what are your sort of horses. Those above lines have all been up close and strong in some of my favorite horses....ones that I enjoyed riding and had the talent that I want. But other lines may be more suited for a different rider.

Apr. 27, 2010, 08:32 PM
I had never heard of Mahmoud (told you I was uneducated - haha!) but my guy has him in the fourth generation, and after doing some research I noticed that some other horses I like have that line too. I'll do some research on the other names you mentioned - I think bloodlines are really interesting!
Your comment about Babamist made me laugh - all the Babamists I've known have been mares, and they have definitely known exactly what they want! I tend to enjoy that spunk in a horse though - in my experience, it comes with a proclivity towards a solid 'fifth leg.'

Apr. 27, 2010, 08:47 PM
Yeah...most of the babamist that I've know were very opinionated....didn't care much for dressage but could really jump.

I'm still learning about pedigrees. I do have a lot of names that I like to see.

In Reality has been in a few of my horses pedigrees...usually in the 2nd generation. My understanding is that they are usually good jumpers.

I have a mare with What a Pleasure on top (second generation). That gets her Grey Flight (What a Pleasure's dam)...and Tourbillon on the first page. I've found out that this line is known to be very good movers....and that is true of my mare as well and several others that I now know have him in the same place on their pedigrees.

There are a bunch of books out there that you can read on the topic. Of course in the end, you don't ride the pedigree.....so you always have to look at the individual horse.

Almost Heaven
Apr. 27, 2010, 09:11 PM
Pay attention to conformation and mind. TB pedigrees do not predict success outside racing.

Apr. 27, 2010, 09:13 PM
I totally agree with that - I've spent years learning about the fine points of conformation, and learning what to look for when looking at race-fit Thoroughbreds. But it is quite interesting to see what tendencies certain lines may contribute.

Apr. 27, 2010, 09:30 PM
TB pedigrees do not predict success outside racing. Or inside racing, or so it appears.... The number of horses that are consistent in their races and winnings are pitifully slim considering the amount of TBs that are registered and actually race....

I would want to see a mix of lineage that are considered hunters and jumpers and those that excel in dressage, along with those horses that are considered "stayers" (those horses with stamina).

Some of the names that have been bandied about in jumping are: Eight-Thirty, Blue Larkspur, Ben Brush, Tourbillon, Native Dancer, Nasrullah, Precipitation, Princequillo, Turn To, Tom Fool, Bold Ruler and several others I cannot think of at the moment.

As far as stamina I would look for Ribot (he shows up in a lot of eventing pedigrees), On And On, Dr. Fager, Northern Dancer, In Reality and his ilk.... War Relic is by Man O'War and shows up in a lot of eventing pedigrees too.

I'd never turn down a horse that had Nearco in its pedigree! ;)

You know, a pedigree will only get you so far--the horse in question has to have decent conformation and a will to do what you want it to do. If it hates jumping it doesn't matter how many "jumpers" are in its pedigree, it just won't excel....

Apr. 27, 2010, 09:45 PM
I'd never turn down a horse that had Nearco in its pedigree! ;)

LOL...you might like my mare then....Nearco was the sire of Nasrullah. She has that bugger enough that I'm very careful who I bred her too!


(She's 16.3...killer gallop, top mover and a very good jumper. Did Prelim with me but could easily go further. Hoping she is about to pop out a future Rolex winner...day 348 and still wating!)