PDA

View Full Version : Why live cover?



mooonie
Aug. 8, 2011, 11:15 PM
Why live cover? It just seems that it would be safer for all parties involved if AI were allowed. Logistics: Is it really safer for a mare to travel from CA to bred to a stallion from KY? Much Much easier to just send a frozen ampule by FedEx. Why not just do DNA testing on the stallions to prevent mix-ups? What would it take to get the rules changed? Thanks.

Seal Harbor
Aug. 8, 2011, 11:51 PM
The stallions could then breed more mares in a season and their value would be diluted. Live cover limits the book. People are not always honest, the Jockey Club already does DNA testing, but people who are not honest will find a way around things. Live cover pretty much eliminates "mix ups".

The Jockey Club will probably never change the rules.

lolalola
Aug. 9, 2011, 12:17 AM
Follow the money. The big breeders run the JC and they'd lose boarding fees, etc, if AI were used. The STBs allow AI - don't think the people in that industry are more or less dishonest than the TB breeders.

Drvmb1ggl3
Aug. 9, 2011, 12:28 AM
This topic has been covered 634,589,521 times in the past.
The official reason is to preserve genetic diversity, an argument not without foundation as can be seen from the Standardbred example (https://www.harnesslink.com/www/Article.cgi?ID=2584) (that study resulted in the USTA introducing book limits on their stallions, which btw something which will not stand up in court as seen for the AQHA lawsuit, were someone to decide to challenge it).

It's not a "JC" rule, it is an ISBC (http://www.weatherbys.net/isbc/) rule, of which the JC is the North American representative member.

sk_pacer
Aug. 9, 2011, 12:50 AM
The official reason is to preserve genetic diversity, an argument not without foundation as can be seen from the Standardbred example (https://www.harnesslink.com/www/Article.cgi?ID=2584) (that study resulted in the USTA introducing book limits on their stallions, which btw something which will not stand up in court as seen for the AQHA lawsuit, were someone to decide to challenge it).
.

Standardbred breeders have been self limiting for much longer than 2003 - they started imposing limits shortly after the huge books to Meadow Skipper, Bret Hanover, etc and the resultant reg numbers of over 300 per sire; it was an experiment gone wrong, and they knew it after the second year but had to fulfill booking commitments. Some are 'double dipping' in a sense because they ARE allowed to ship 100ish breedings overseas but most prefer, at least in the case of Australia and NZ, to ship the horse rather than semen. We also wish to protect genetic diversity and seem to be doing it despite AI or maybe perhaps because of it.

Drvmb1ggl3
Aug. 9, 2011, 01:58 AM
We also wish to protect genetic diversity and seem to be doing it despite AI or maybe perhaps because of it.

The very fact that the USTA got freaked out enough to introduce limits, as a result of Dr Cothran's studies, suggest otherwise. There has been a reduction in genetic diversity in SB s since the intro of AI.

Not just happening in North America either, here's a report on an Australian study... http://www.inglis.com.au/news/item/standardbred-study-dispells-alleged-ai-benefits

A couple of excerpts.


It is also evident, as seen by the comparative study of the top 20 most popular stallions in the Standardbred code, in both the pre-A.I. and current era, that stallion numbers in the Standardbred industry have been reduced by more than half with the most popular stallions serving vastly more mares. Disturbingly, the top 5 Standardbred sires averaged 341 mares served per season (incl. chilled semen services in NZ) and the top 20 sires covered 42 per cent of the total broodmares bred not just in Australia but in Australia and NZ combined. This compares with 15.8 per cent of mares bred being covered by the top 20 stallions in the pre-A.I. Standardbred era. It would therefore be very difficult to argue that a similar pattern would not develop if A.I. were introduced in Thoroughbreds.

“In fact, if the Australian Thoroughbred industry was overlaid with the Standardbred model, we could see the top 20 Thoroughbred stallions ‘covering’ over 550 mares annually on average” said Peter Jenkins.

“This reduction of stallion numbers and the enlarged books served by the most popular sires (as evident in the Standardbred industry) would logically result in a significant genetic narrowing which, using sirelines as a marker, is confirmed by our research” added Jenkins.

witherbee
Aug. 9, 2011, 01:55 PM
I would think it would signal the end to a lot of the regional sires. Complicated issue - not as simple as DNA and travel...

summerhorse
Aug. 14, 2011, 11:59 PM
Mostly it is protectionism to keep the big money and the big horses and all those mares in KY. But of course there are many other issues raised as well. Since some pony mills have been breeding huge books for years I don't think AI would have any real effect on that in the TB industry. I mean even Giant's Causeway will only sell so many breedings.

AND amazingly some of the farms who used to ship horses to the southern hemisphere for the same huge books as here have discovered that not all horses fit in all places and having 400 foals a year on the ground is not always a GOOD thing come sales time.

I do think that the market would even out but it wouldn't hurt to institute some sort of ground rules from the start. A minimum breeding coefficient for example. A liberal but limited amount of mares to be bred and any breeder wishing to use AI would have to agree to these rules. They already DNA test so "purity" is simply not an issue.

A.I. works in EVERY OTHER BREED OF ANIMAL. Yes there are pros and cons to EVERYTHING but how odd is it that the TB world is the only bunch of doofuses that can't handle it? Yeah I don't believe that one EITHER...

witherbee
Aug. 15, 2011, 11:13 AM
Great, come on the racing forum and call us "doofuses" lol. I don't see what is so wrong with live cover... There are more important things that I'd like to see changed.

tradewind
Aug. 15, 2011, 12:03 PM
I think the word doofuses is insulting. TB's have enough issues with a more limited genetic diversity than is ideal and adding AI to the mix would likely make the situation worse not better. While it seems not to make sense to sporthorse breeders, it does not make the TB breeders doofuses. And yes there is big money, beyond most peoples comprehension of big money, involved, but there are also legitimate reasons beyond that to stick with live cover. Not the least of which is regional stallions and markets.

summerhorse
Aug. 15, 2011, 11:08 PM
Their position that the world will end because AI will corrupt the breed while every other breed of livestock manages makes them sound like doofuses. Everyone else can manage it but the TB world cannot? Why? Because they are what IQ challenged? Note that I said I do not believe that at all. I think they could manage it just fine and they're not at all stupid. There are many breeds much more inbred than TBs. That is why a minimum inbreeding coefficient would be helpful.

red mares
Aug. 16, 2011, 08:28 AM
A.I. works in EVERY OTHER BREED OF ANIMAL. Yes there are pros and cons to EVERYTHING but how odd is it that the TB world is the only bunch of doofuses that can't handle it? Yeah I don't believe that one EITHER...

I wouldn't say that it has helped Saddlebreds any. The gene pool seems to have gotten quite a bit smaller. I would love to see them ban AI and embryo transfers in this breed. However the big money here is behind AI. Lots of smaller breeders would benefit if live cover were required.

SmartAlex
Aug. 16, 2011, 08:57 AM
I wouldn't say that it has helped Saddlebreds any. The gene pool seems to have gotten quite a bit smaller. I would love to see them ban AI and embryo transfers in this breed. However the big money here is behind AI. Lots of smaller breeders would benefit if live cover were required.

I agree with you, about the gene pool and the embryo transfers, but from the small mare owner perspective, it sure is nice to be able to breed a mare from the boonies of the east coast to a nice stallion from as far away as the west coast for the price of a collection instead of shipping your mare.

Back in the 70s, when we did ship mares (to AQHA studs), you never knew what shape your mare would return in... if at all. At least with AI, the biggest hassle you have is finding a competant clinic. I'd rather ship a mare 2 hours to a clinic than 8 hours to a baby mill, or worse, a small breeder with poor facilities.

ETA: Also, the ASB gene pool was narrowing way before AI. Just look at all the horses that trace to Wing Commander, Will Shriver and Supreme Sultan because of the size and success of their owners operations. Or Stonewall King. His owner would breed any mare that could get there.

ASB Stars
Aug. 16, 2011, 10:35 PM
ETA: Also, the ASB gene pool was narrowing way before AI. Just look at all the horses that trace to Wing Commander, Will Shriver and Supreme Sultan because of the size and success of their owners operations. Or Stonewall King. His owner would breed any mare that could get there.

Stonewall King still sired fewer than 700 foals in his lifetime- and thank God for him. His best son, IMHO, Stonewall Supreme, sired only 100, although he lived to be 30. Just think where the breed would be without these two greats. It would be a horrible, awful loss.

And Will Shriver? A fabulous- yet closed to the public- breeding program. Sired 454 head. And thank God for that blood, as well.

Carry on.

witherbee
Aug. 17, 2011, 11:41 AM
Their position that the world will end because AI will corrupt the breed while every other breed of livestock manages makes them sound like doofuses. Everyone else can manage it but the TB world cannot? Why? Because they are what IQ challenged? Note that I said I do not believe that at all. I think they could manage it just fine and they're not at all stupid. There are many breeds much more inbred than TBs. That is why a minimum inbreeding coefficient would be helpful.

Whose position? Many of us are happy with Live Cover and do not think that AI could not be managed properly - it could be, but WOULD it be? In a perfect world, yes, but again, there is big money involved here. Personally, I like to see the farms that bring income in here in the various states. There is an economy attached to having the mare stay locally that is also beneficial to the states. If you think farmland is disappearing now, get rid of the need for mares to board in state...

Anyway, I am not rabidly against AI, but I have to say that I think Live Cover is not a bad thing.

Nice attitude - gee thanks for coming to the Racing forum and calling us doofuses.

Alagirl
Aug. 17, 2011, 12:40 PM
Their position that the world will end because AI will corrupt the breed while every other breed of livestock manages makes them sound like doofuses. Everyone else can manage it but the TB world cannot? Why? Because they are what IQ challenged? Note that I said I do not believe that at all. I think they could manage it just fine and they're not at all stupid. There are many breeds much more inbred than TBs. That is why a minimum inbreeding coefficient would be helpful.


Life stock is not horses.
You want cows to be similar to the next cow, sheep to be like that other one, etc.
But they, too have, as far as I know, to deal with narrowing gene base.



(but the idea that mare care is the driving force behind LC...:lol: I expect that any given year the out going/in coming mare numbers are about equal for most farms)

SmartAlex
Aug. 17, 2011, 12:41 PM
Stonewall King still sired fewer than 700 foals in his lifetime- and thank God for him. His best son, IMHO, Stonewall Supreme, sired only 100, although he lived to be 30. Just think where the breed would be without these two greats. It would be a horrible, awful loss.

And Will Shriver? A fabulous- yet closed to the public- breeding program. Sired 454 head. And thank God for that blood, as well.

Carry on.

Well, first off, you know I'm not arguing with you because I disagree that the breed is better because Wing, Will and Stonewall King were so prolific. I was merely illustrating that successful blood, with a marketing scheme behind it will narrow the bloodlines even if they do not even stand to the public, as Will Shriver did not.

Of course, you get into modern times, and Supreme Heir puts them all to shame with almost 700 get. Talk about narrowing.

ASB Stars
Aug. 18, 2011, 11:07 AM
Well, with Designed, Sir William Robert, and another Caramac son, Nutcracker, siring all the show foals now that aren't from Callaway, it is going to get a whole lot worse, IMHO.

LaurieB
Aug. 19, 2011, 11:35 AM
Whose position? Many of us are happy with Live Cover and do not think that AI could not be managed properly - it could be, but WOULD it be? In a perfect world, yes, but again, there is big money involved here. Personally, I like to see the farms that bring income in here in the various states. There is an economy attached to having the mare stay locally that is also beneficial to the states. If you think farmland is disappearing now, get rid of the need for mares to board in state...

Anyway, I am not rabidly against AI, but I have to say that I think Live Cover is not a bad thing.

Nice attitude - gee thanks for coming to the Racing forum and calling us doofuses.


^^ This. Totally.

halo
Aug. 19, 2011, 07:06 PM
With the breeding industry sinking fast, especially in KY (other than the top 20 or so stallions), I would think they would offer AI, to try and encourage breeders from out of state to use stallions that arent the top unavailable-to-most. I was offered some incredible deals to stallion in KY, if Id ship my mare there from FL, but I didnt want to spend shipping and board on top of that. However, had they offered shipped semen, Id be all over that like a kid in a candy shop. A Kentucky stallion would have another paid season, Kentucky would have some tax revenue, and I wouldnt be paying more for shipping and board than the stallion season cost.

As far as it hurting regional stallions, I dont see that happening at all. Most all racing states with a breeder program require breed back to a stallion standing in the state, so theres has to be stallions there if theres a breeding program there. Plus a lot of states have Stallion Stakes for sires standing in those states, and breeder awards for stallions, which is great incentive to have good stallions in regional states.

I dont think stallion books will get any bigger. Theres very few stallions that have closed books in this day and age. If you call late in the season, most any of them will let you in. Besides, with yearling sales as difficult as they are now, no one wants to be 1 of 200 yearlings, and people are far more careful of their stud fee budgets now.

As far as narrowing the gene pool...well, that is the funniest argument of all. How much more narrow can it get???? If anything, it might open it up, allowing people to breed to horses that truly suit their mares, an outcross stallion that might be too far away to ship to. I have a mare by a Mr. P son out of a Northern Dancer mare, and she is practically impossible to breed without some inbreeding somewhere. I have found some interesting crosses with her, but again, too far away.

Its a very different time than it was 5, 10, or 20 years ago. Many changes need to be made if racing is going to survive, and keeping the breeding business in the dark ages can't be good for the industry as a whole. I don't expect to see any changes in my lifetime, but by the same token, I truly dont know what the racing and breeding industry will be like in another 10 years. With so many fewer mares being bred, the gene pool may shrink to the point of no return on its own.

WhiteCamry
Aug. 24, 2011, 03:19 PM
I don't expect to see any changes in my lifetime, but by the same token, I truly dont know what the racing and breeding industry will be like in another 10 years. With so many fewer mares being bred, the gene pool may shrink to the point of no return on its own.
Then racing will just have to start from scratch again, finding which horses - crossbreds, if need be - can run which distances.

summerhorse
Aug. 24, 2011, 08:38 PM
With the breeding industry sinking fast, especially in KY (other than the top 20 or so stallions), I would think they would offer AI, to try and encourage breeders from out of state to use stallions that arent the top unavailable-to-most. I was offered some incredible deals to stallion in KY, if Id ship my mare there from FL, but I didnt want to spend shipping and board on top of that. However, had they offered shipped semen, Id be all over that like a kid in a candy shop. A Kentucky stallion would have another paid season, Kentucky would have some tax revenue, and I wouldnt be paying more for shipping and board than the stallion season cost.

As far as it hurting regional stallions, I dont see that happening at all. Most all racing states with a breeder program require breed back to a stallion standing in the state, so theres has to be stallions there if theres a breeding program there. Plus a lot of states have Stallion Stakes for sires standing in those states, and breeder awards for stallions, which is great incentive to have good stallions in regional states.

I dont think stallion books will get any bigger. Theres very few stallions that have closed books in this day and age. If you call late in the season, most any of them will let you in. Besides, with yearling sales as difficult as they are now, no one wants to be 1 of 200 yearlings, and people are far more careful of their stud fee budgets now.

As far as narrowing the gene pool...well, that is the funniest argument of all. How much more narrow can it get???? If anything, it might open it up, allowing people to breed to horses that truly suit their mares, an outcross stallion that might be too far away to ship to. I have a mare by a Mr. P son out of a Northern Dancer mare, and she is practically impossible to breed without some inbreeding somewhere. I have found some interesting crosses with her, but again, too far away.

Its a very different time than it was 5, 10, or 20 years ago. Many changes need to be made if racing is going to survive, and keeping the breeding business in the dark ages can't be good for the industry as a whole. I don't expect to see any changes in my lifetime, but by the same token, I truly dont know what the racing and breeding industry will be like in another 10 years. With so many fewer mares being bred, the gene pool may shrink to the point of no return on its own.

Great post!

***************

Allowing AI does not REQUIRE AI (or ET), there is nothing keeping people from still using live cover. However allowing ET so top mares could contribute more than one foal a year might help the gene pool (you might be lucky to get 3-5 from one mare). Good mares often have outcross lines that could contribute more to the gene pool. Not to mention risking losing the mare totally from foaling complications before she has ANY foals. Like Banshee Breeze.

I didn't "come over" to the racing forum, I've been here for years!