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Regalmeans
Jan. 10, 2007, 11:07 PM
I know this is a basic question for you all but I'm not a racing person so I'd love to be enlightened...

I'm have a debate with a colleague over what exactly "Live Cover" is by Jockey Club standards. Is it that the stallion has to actually mount the broodmare who is in fact going to carry the foal? Or can the stallion mount a dummy and then the semen be transferred or can it be done in some other way? I'm assuming it's the first based on this quote I found from the Jockey Club

“the physical mounting of a broodmare by a stallion with intromission of the penis and ejaculation of semen into the reproductive tract.”

The other person is insisting that there is a (legal) way besides the stallion mounting the actual mare, because the horses are so expensive and fragile that they wouldn't risk them by putting them in that situation.

Am I right or am I being to literal in my definition?

Thank you for humoring my question :)

summerhorse
Jan. 10, 2007, 11:16 PM
The definition is absolute, there are no exceptions. Collecting the um, leftover as the stallion dismounts and introducing that via AI is allowed (and probably how those big book stallions manage to get through a season!) but the act MUST be performed. If the JC finds out a horse was bred otherwise the papers will be yanked regardless of whether the owner knew about it or not.

Personally I think it is ridiculous but them's the rules.

Regalmeans
Jan. 10, 2007, 11:21 PM
The definition is absolute, there are no exceptions. Collecting the um, leftover as the stallion dismounts and introducing that via AI is allowed (and probably how those big book stallions manage to get through a season!) but the act MUST be performed. If the JC finds out a horse was bred otherwise the papers will be yanked regardless of whether the owner knew about it or not.

Personally I think it is ridiculous but them's the rules.

Thanks for the quick reply:)

So two follow ups... they can use AI as long as there is a live breeding first?

And so this means people who breed racehorses must either breed to studs close by, or else ship their mares? Do people regularly ship to breed or do most stay local?

Glimmerglass
Jan. 10, 2007, 11:28 PM
The other person is insisting that there is a (legal) way besides the stallion mounting the actual mare, because the horses are so expensive and fragile that they wouldn't risk them by putting them in that situation.

Even the immaculate conception would be rejected by the Jockey Club ;)

Jockey Club Rules (http://www.jockeyclub.com/registry.asp?section=3)


Breeding Practices Not Approved by The Jockey Club

Artificial Insemination: The process of depositing semen into the reproductive tract of a broodmare in order to get a broodmare in foal (pregnant) without the physical mounting by a stallion.

The JC's black and white rule is exceedingly clear that mounting is part of the deal. Period. I don't care how good the lawyer is, by their definition of what is AI, alone, it knocks out any claims of non-mounting as being legal for registration.

Example of an inquiry by the JC when they received suggestions of a breeder not following the rules:
Jockey Club Launches AI Inquiry, Sets Separate Hearing " (http://www.bloodhorse.com/articleindex/article.asp?id=4505)

Further rules:

D. To be eligible for registration, a foal must be the result of a stallion’s Breeding with a broodmare (which is the physical mounting of a broodmare by a stallion with intromission of the penis and ejaculation of semen into the reproductive tract). As an aid to the Breeding, a portion of the ejaculate produced by the stallion during such mating may immediately be placed in the uterus of the broodmare being bred. A natural gestation must take place in, and delivery must be from, the body of the same broodmare in which the foal was conceived. Without limiting the above, any foal resulting from or produced by the processes of Artificial Insemination, Embryo Transfer or Transplant, Cloning or any other form of genetic manipulation not herein specified, shall not be eligible for registration.

Drvmb1ggl3
Jan. 10, 2007, 11:38 PM
Thanks for the quick reply:)

So two follow ups... they can use AI as long as there is a live breeding first?

And so this means people who breed racehorses must either breed to studs close by, or else ship their mares? Do people regularly ship to breed or do most stay local?

There is no AI in the sense that goes on with other breeds. "Spillage", shall we say, from the mounting can be collected and placed in the mare, right away.

And yes, people ship all over the place, round the world, mares to stallions, as that's a lot more practical. Obviously if you don't have a lot of money to spend, you stay local.

Some TB stallions cover year round, spending half the year in the Northern hemisphere and from July on in the Southern hemispher.

Beezer
Jan. 11, 2007, 12:57 AM
And so this means people who breed racehorses must either breed to studs close by, or else ship their mares? Do people regularly ship to breed or do most stay local?

Yes, the mares are routinely shipped to the best stallions for them that the owner can afford. ;)

But many mares are also boarded year-round at large stallion farms and thus have ready access to a wide variety of studs (think Kentucky and other racing-heavy venues). It's pretty rare for a serious TB breeder to keep a top mare or two at home and foal her out, as is often the case with sporthorse breeders. (I'm not saying that it can't and doesn't happen, but the vast majority of top mares are boarded at the top farms.)

Pronzini
Jan. 11, 2007, 10:44 AM
The TB breeding industry revolves around the van instead of the Equitainer. It is very common for a regional breeder (California, Florida, New York) to ship a mare to Kentucky to be bred and bring the mare back to foal in state for foal awards and to make the foal eligible for restricted races down the road. That's how Distorted Humor sired the New York bred Funny Cide. On the stallion side, it is also common for stallions to shuttle from Northern to Southern hemispheres to take advantage of the different breeding seasons. And Beezer's right--it is not common for mares to stay at home unless the owner has a large farm. This is in part due to live cover restrictions.

The JC is deadly serious about live cover. If there is even a hint that the stallion didn't jump the mare, there will be an investigation and foal may end up unregistered.

LaurieB
Jan. 11, 2007, 11:25 AM
The process that's been referred to above is known as boosting and happens just after the stallion has mounted the mare and ejaculated inside her. After he dismounts, a handler catches the last of the ejaculate in a cup (how'd you like to have that job? amazing what these guys do with a straight face. :)) and it is inserted into the mare.

At some farms, like Hill n Dale, it's done routinely. At others, they boost the breeding only when they feel it's necessary, for example if the stallion has hopped off prematurely. Though it is a type of AI, for the purposes of JC registration, it's only done in conjunction with a live cover.

Simkie
Jan. 11, 2007, 09:08 PM
This is something I've always wondered about--are there also rules about the mare that is bred is the mare that must carry the embryo? Because "live cover" could happen before flushing the mare.

Laurierace
Jan. 11, 2007, 09:17 PM
Yes, the mare must carry her own foal. They do not allow embryo transfer regardless of how the embryo was conceived. I have mixed feelings about the whole thing, but at this point it doesn't really matter what I feel.

ASB Stars
Jan. 11, 2007, 09:57 PM
There was a VERY well bred stallion in my neck of the woods, years ago- he was by Northern Dancer, if memory serves, and the brilliant Vet Roy Bergman managed to get his book in foal to him every year. Word was, his semen was not so great. Back then, we called it "reinforcement", when the mare was..er...AI'd after the live cover.

He stood down in Unionville...just can't remember his name!

QHJockee
Jan. 12, 2007, 08:45 PM
I know of a TB farm that stood one QH stud so they could have the dummy there for AI purposes....strange enough the front gate was locked during breeding sessions!!!!!!!!!!

summerhorse
Jan. 12, 2007, 09:04 PM
I know of a TB farm that stood one QH stud so they could have the dummy there for AI purposes....strange enough the front gate was locked during breeding sessions!!!!!!!!!!


Just a coinkydink I'm SURE!!! =8-O

Slewdledo
Jan. 12, 2007, 09:28 PM
I know of a good stallion who was definitely impregnating his mares via AI. That's straight from the guys who worked with him.

It is just not possible for a stallion to cover five mares a day for the duration of the season.

HobbyHorseLabradors
Jan. 12, 2007, 09:39 PM
I honestly don't see why the JC insists on live cover. I mean what the heck is the difference how it was done as long as it gets done??
A simple DNA test confirms who the parents are anyway, so what's the big deal??
Think of all the stallions and mares who are aggressive, nevermind the ones to unsound to hold the weight of a live cover. Mares can kick even if they are tied. I watched a live cover at one of NY's larger TB race farms last year and the mare got out of the hobble during the teaser.
Now think of how much better off the industry would be if semen from the better stallions was easily accessible to any approved mare, from anywhere in the country?? Just imagine, limitless possibilities!
I think the JC is in the stone ages on this one. Flame me if you must, but nothing is going to change my opinion on this. Thankfully, it doesn't effect me one way or another because i don't breed race horses, I breed show dogs. I can't imagine not having access to chilled, shipped semen. We can breed much better show dogs now because of that availability! The gene pool is sooooo much better now! :)

summerhorse
Jan. 12, 2007, 10:20 PM
I honestly don't see why the JC insists on live cover. I mean what the heck is the difference how it was done as long as it gets done??
A simple DNA test confirms who the parents are anyway, so what's the big deal??
Think of all the stallions and mares who are aggressive, nevermind the ones to unsound to hold the weight of a live cover. Mares can kick even if they are tied. I watched a live cover at one of NY's larger TB race farms last year and the mare got out of the hobble during the teaser.
Now think of how much better off the industry would be if semen from the better stallions was easily accessible to any approved mare, from anywhere in the country?? Just imagine, limitless possibilities!
I think the JC is in the stone ages on this one. Flame me if you must, but nothing is going to change my opinion on this. Thankfully, it doesn't effect me one way or another because i don't breed race horses, I breed show dogs. I can't imagine not having access to chilled, shipped semen. We can breed much better show dogs now because of that availability! The gene pool is sooooo much better now! :)

So the big boys can keep iron control on the stallion market. Forget the free market. The small breeders would LOVE it, the big ones (most of which do it anyway to some degree) would hate it. Stallion fees would come down for sure but after a few crazy years everything would equalize. Course if they allowed AI they'd have to allow ET and HEAVEN FORBID a good mare contributes more than one foal a year (if that) to the gene pool while any old mediocre or unraced son of Storm Cat can impregnate as many as they can line up suckers for.

And heaven forbid too that mares like Toussaud don't have to give birth only to have their foals ripped away from them every year. I guess maybe she's used to it by now.

And of course why provide a job for some of those "unwanted" but fertile mares that get sent to slaughter every year? They could easily live on nice farms and foal out royally bred babies. You couldn't tell THEM that is not their baby...

Not to mention not having to ship your mare and new foal to a farm that may or may not take good care of them via a shipping company that may or may not transport them well (seems that NObody has 100% clean record) not to mention the expense if you don't live near a stallion "center".

LOL don't get me started...

HobbyHorseLabradors
Jan. 12, 2007, 10:36 PM
So the big boys can keep iron control on the stallion market. Forget the free market. The small breeders would LOVE it, the big ones (most of which do it anyway to some degree) would hate it. Stallion fees would come down for sure but after a few crazy years everything would equalize. Course if they allowed AI they'd have to allow ET and HEAVEN FORBID a good mare contributes more than one foal a year (if that) to the gene pool while any old mediocre or unraced son of Storm Cat can impregnate as many as they can line up suckers for.

And heaven forbid too that mares like Toussaud don't have to give birth only to have their foals ripped away from them every year. I guess maybe she's used to it by now.

And of course why provide a job for some of those "unwanted" but fertile mares that get sent to slaughter every year? They could easily live on nice farms and foal out royally bred babies. You couldn't tell THEM that is not their baby...

Not to mention not having to ship your mare and new foal to a farm that may or may not take good care of them via a shipping company that may or may not transport them well (seems that NObody has 100% clean record) not to mention the expense if you don't live near a stallion "center".

LOL don't get me started...


Very good points to add to my argument (especially the unwanted mares one) but then again, no one will listen anyway. ;)
Must be a bunch of cave men running the JC :lol:

Beezer
Jan. 12, 2007, 11:41 PM
That is unless the stallion is Rohn Jheremy :D

Sorry I just could resist and no you cannot google the name and find a stallion (or anything) by that name/spelling!

Bad, Glimmer. Bad bad bad. :lol: :winkgrin: :lol:

Casperthewonderpony
Jan. 13, 2007, 12:43 AM
I think the JC should allow AI and embryo transfer. I also think they should hold inspections and not let second rate non performing horses into the breeding shed.

sk_pacer
Jan. 13, 2007, 01:44 AM
Standardbred registries have been allowing AI for years, ever since that huge mess in Kentucky over equine STDs so long ago. One can have semen shipped from any farm that ships, no problems. We have also been doing DNA parent verification for ages and blood typing long before that. Embryo transfer is also allowed, but only one foal per mare per year, no multiple foals from embryo transfer mares. I think the JC is long overdue for an overhaul - stepping into the 1970's would be a huge step for them; expecting them to step into the 21st century might be expecting too much though - culture shock for the Old Boys Club.

In any case, DNA or no, one CAN get into parent verification problems with live cover as well: this scenario happened a few years ago - mare died when the foal was 3-4 months old and the breeder forgot to save some mane hairs and registering that USTA horse (DNA not required then) to SC was a real headache for the man. All that saved his bacon was he had a half sibling to that horse, and managed that way to prove who the mare was by marker eliminations.

tbtrailrider
Jan. 13, 2007, 08:09 AM
There are WAY TOO MANY thoroughbreds sitting in feed lots and killpens already. I can just imagine how many more there would be if the JC allowed AI. The rules are there for a very good reason.

VirginiaBred
Jan. 13, 2007, 08:34 AM
So the big boys can keep iron control on the stallion market. Forget the free market. The small breeders would LOVE it, the big ones (most of which do it anyway to some degree) would hate it. Stallion fees would come down for sure but after a few crazy years everything would equalize. Course if they allowed AI they'd have to allow ET and HEAVEN FORBID a good mare contributes more than one foal a year (if that) to the gene pool while any old mediocre or unraced son of Storm Cat can impregnate as many as they can line up suckers for.

And of course why provide a job for some of those "unwanted" but fertile mares that get sent to slaughter every year? ...

So, as always, it's seemingly about the money. Couldn't AI be controled in a different fashion?
I, too worry about the horses going to slaughter, so, is live cover the only way? I hardly think so, but how to change???

As TBtrailerrider said, "There are WAY TOO MANY thoroughbreds sitting in feed lots and killpens already. I can just imagine how many more there would be if the JC allowed AI. The rules are there for a very good reason."

How could this ever get changed? :confused:

CuriosoJorge
Jan. 13, 2007, 08:34 AM
If a horse is not sound to mount a mare, or a mare is too weak to support a stallion, I question the wisdom of passing along those genetics. Breeding 1200 pound animals is inherently dangerous no matter how it's performed; stallions and handlers get hurt when a dummy is used too. As for mares, better living through modern chemistry.

Rather than "limitless possibilities" the gene pool would be narrowed if AI were allowed in the TB. Much like in labradors, everyone would flock to the horse of the moment, and regional sires would be out of the market.

I'm not flaming you; it's your opinion, but IMO it's an uneducated one. There are many facets to TJC's argument against AI.

Pronzini
Jan. 13, 2007, 09:55 AM
I'm not flaming you; it's your opinion, but IMO it's an uneducated one. There are many facets to TJC's argument against AI.

FWIW, I'm a TB breeder (for the track) in California who this year sent a mare to Kentucky because of the live cover restrictions. If you are asking for my uneducated opinion, the number one reason for the AI restriction is tradition and the Kentucky economy. It would turn the state upside down economically if the stallion owners and syndicates could ship semen instead of requiring mares to be bred and boarded in a tri county area in central Kentucky (at a 25 % higher boarding rate than I pay in wine country California!)

The limiting the gene pool argument got invalidated with the advent of 200 mare books and shuttle sires IMO.

solargal
Jan. 13, 2007, 10:07 AM
I think with AI instead of 200 Storm Cat babies there would be 500. And the idea of embryo transfer is horrible in my opinion. I understand the purpose but we don't need 4 siblings the same age. Show or race your horse, then have a foal. The fees would go down with AI introduced and you would have a lot more foals. Shipping somewhat slows it down.

PS. I saw a piece on a quarter mare that was showing but through embryo transfer 5 foals were hitting the ground next year. Creepy.:lol: (If you do this please don't be offended.)

sk_pacer
Jan. 13, 2007, 10:15 AM
I think with AI instead of 200 Storm Cat babies there would be 500.

Both Standardbred Canada and USTA put limits on books when crops reached the 350 range; they were knocked back to 250, and now to 200. This does not include foreign registrations (Australian, NZ, Europe, etc.) IF the sire is doing double duty here and in Aus or NZ; not sure about the European rules, they tend to buy what they want for sires and have their own studbooks

NancyM
Jan. 13, 2007, 10:53 AM
I tend to think that there is too much inbreeding in TBs already, and allowing AI and shipping semen would substantially increase this and compound the problem faster than is already happening. Every time two TBs are bred, the number of the original ancestors is duplicated, and there are far too many copies of the same horses back there ten or twenty generations back. If AI would be allowed, then "horse racing" should be opened up to include horses of mixed breeds, much like "horse jumping" is, to open the possibilities of the genetic pool. Top "racehorses" would be mostly TB and sired by top TB stallions, buy may have an infusion of other race bred breeds also in there, arab, QH etc. Let open competition select those who make the grade. There would still be a large percentage of full TBs as racehorses, as they would be hard to beat, but the stud books would be opened up to genetic variation, and perhaps we would get away from the crappy TB feet, bleeding problems, immunity problems etc. I know, pie in the sky thoughts. But the JC did allow some arab mares into the stud book not too long ago, one of our local stakes horses has one in his female line still on the pedigree page.

ASB Stars
Jan. 13, 2007, 01:07 PM
The stallions name was Northern Fling, if anyone remembers him.

I think that the TB people have been very smart- they get the benefit of the revenues from mare care, which is not aninconsiderablel sum for most, and many farms have mares that are year round residents.

That simply doesn't happen with breeds that do AI (other than Standardbreds, perhaps)

Drvmb1ggl3
Jan. 13, 2007, 02:21 PM
Both Standardbred Canada and USTA put limits on books when crops reached the 350 range; they were knocked back to 250, and now to 200. This does not include foreign registrations (Australian, NZ, Europe, etc.) IF the sire is doing double duty here and in Aus or NZ; not sure about the European rules, they tend to buy what they want for sires and have their own studbooks

Was there not a lawsuit in the US, specifically brought against the AQHA, that limiting AI books was a restraint of trade? Otherwise I think the JC would have already gone that route, as their argument is against genetic diversity/shrinking of the gene pool.
I read a report online (can't find it at the mo, but will look for it) that showed that the genetic diversity in Standardbreds has shrunk noticably since the intro of AI with SBs back 30-40 years ago. So there is some credence to their argument, though I don't doubt that the entrenched interests of cetain gepgraphic TB breeding centres like Kentucky, Ocala, Kildare (Ire), Hunter Valley (Aus) etc, play their part.

I actually think that any assault on the the live cover of TBs will come from outside the US. If someone brings a lawsuit in another country (Australia seems the most likely) and the ban on AI in that country is absolised, then it will make for a real interesting scenario, given that the JC, Wetherby's, Aus Studbook, etc etc are all part of International Stud Book Committee.

camohn
Jan. 13, 2007, 03:53 PM
There are WAY TOO MANY thoroughbreds sitting in feed lots and killpens already. I can just imagine how many more there would be if the JC allowed AI. The rules are there for a very good reason.

And what IS that good reason specifically? I'm not sure how that relates to if the mare was covered by AI or not?
How does AI produce more foals in volume? Weather you ship the mare or ship the blue box you still have one foal. You still paid the same stud fee.
AI does not = "free foals". If a MO is breeding their mare it will be bred regardless of method. What it WOULD affect is what stud. The small breeder in Idaho might not be able to afford the extra 1200 each way to ship their mare to KY plus the high daily care fees (which is what a lot of the LC thing is really about...mare care fees). Either they will have to use a local stud (less to choose from) OR if they have that kind of money they could spend the extra dollars on a higher stud fee to a better quality stud. AI would also potentially decentralize breeding from KY....something I am sure the big farms in KY do not want. If you can stand your stud in Idaho and ship semen to anyone then you can pay a lot less for your farm! (Please...I have nothing against anyone in Idaho! I randomly picked it as not a big racing mecca state).

summerhorse
Jan. 13, 2007, 08:53 PM
AI has been shown to actually improve both quality and genetic diversity in virtually every breed/species it is used and most of those have FAR more inbreeding than the TB does.

The free market will limit the number of foals by any stallion. WHY would you pay X $ to pay to be one of 350 when you can pay less $ to be one of 150 for an equal stallion (i.e. SMART stallion managers will limit their books). there will be a few who try to go to the well too often but they will find gues what? an empty well.

It isn't so much that there are too many TBs, it is there are too many BAD TBs and too many DUMPED TBs (as in used up breeding stock or broken down racing or riding stock). Until slaughter is banned that will always happen. TBs only make up about 10% of the slaughter horses right now anyway. That could easily go to zero were the industry really to step behind eliminating slaughter as an acceptable way to get rid of TBs.

Storm Cat is only bred to about 125 mares a year. He stands for $500,000. Some of his sons and others have bred 200 mares a year or so. They stand for $20,000-75,000 or so. Most lower. Already their fees are coming down as those huge numbers of foals show their weaknesses as sires. But their owners don't care, they made back their ridiculous syndication prices. it is the owners of the foals will are taking a beating at the auctions (and that is actually true for every level of fee, they are all too high for even a tiny majority to make a profit at the sales).

AI or not Storm Cat will STILL only cover 125 mares or so a year. the difference is he can do so with much less effort and far greater safety.

It will also help get rid of mediocre and just plain bad stallions in all markets (THESE are generally the ones filling up the kill pens, not storm cat!) and enable people in any state to get to a huge variety of stallions without shipping their mares and foals thus INCREASING the genetic base in each state.

Glimmerglass
Jan. 13, 2007, 09:06 PM
AI would be the deathknell for TB horse racing, so be careful for what you wish for. The breeding charges would plumet as would the auction prices. The result would be a massive spike in TB horses born. Not one person could claim a logical arguement that it wouldn't. It would only be a matter of time before the big operations would make up for lost revenue per "unit" via an upturn in volume.

The shockwave becomes that there would be a flood of watered down horses of little market value hitting the track, racing for then even smaller purses and when it doesn't work out churned out to post-careers of few opportunities. The world does not need whatsoever any increase in TBs. AI might be fine for sport horses but not TB racing.

Someone said Storm Cat covers "only" 150 mares a year. I only wish the days of Man O'War with 25 (at most) a year was the selective norm. Too many folks in the breeding business motivated by money - specifically how quick and how much - who are ruining the sport with an output of fragile, weak, substandard bloodlines.

I'd fight to my last breath against AI. One can only hope the JC never gives in to the pressure of the "barbarians at the gates".

merrygoround
Jan. 13, 2007, 10:48 PM
AI would be the deathknell for TB horse racing, so be careful for what you wish for. The breeding charges would plumet as would the auction prices. The result would be a massive spike in TB horses born. Not one person could claim a logical arguement that it wouldn't. It would only be a matter of time before the big operations would make up for lost revenue per "unit" via an upturn in volume.

The shockwave becomes that there would be a flood of watered down horses of little market value hitting the track, racing for then even smaller purses and when it doesn't work out churned out to post-careers of few opportunities. The world does not need whatsoever any increase in TBs. AI might be fine for sport horses but not TB racing.

Someone said Storm Cat covers "only" 150 mares a year. I only wish the days of Man O'War with 25 (at most) a year was the selective norm. Too many folks in the breeding business motivated by money - specifically how quick and how much - who are ruining the sport with an output of fragile, weak, substandard bloodlines.

I'd fight to my last breath against AI. One can only hope the JC never gives in to the pressure of the "barbarians at the gates".

Amen!!!:)

Pronzini
Jan. 13, 2007, 10:51 PM
I'm baffled why people think AI will lead to an increase in horses bred. There is still only one uterus involved. The foal will still cost about $10,000 to raise through the yearling year no matter how it was conceived. The stud fee may go down some, but I wouldn't count on it being slashed wholesale. Twenty some odd years ago, people were aghast at Alydar covering 90 mares at a fee around $200,000. Now Storm Cat covers 125 at $500,000 and Giant's Causeways does both seasons. Have the stud fees gone down?

But I'll tell you what it means to small regional breeders. It means removing a mare from a farm that I trust implicitly, putting her on a van for days, exposing her to disease and accident, relying on periodic emails from a farm that came highly recommended but one I have never visited --and costs 25 % more because they are Kentucky rates--and hoping that it all works out when with any luck she comes home in foal sometime this year.

What I'd rather be doing is supporting my state's economy. However, I owe it to my mare and to myself to give her the best shot at producing the best foal and the stallion quality in Kentucky is so much deeper than anyplace else. It's also the most commercial move to make if I want to sell the baby someday to have a Kentucky bred "Calbred". But from a horse husbandry viewpoint, moving a mare instead of an Equitainer strikes me as silly.

HobbyHorseLabradors
Jan. 13, 2007, 11:28 PM
AI has been shown to actually improve both quality and genetic diversity in virtually every breed/species it is used and most of those have FAR more inbreeding than the TB does.

The free market will limit the number of foals by any stallion. WHY would you pay X $ to pay to be one of 350 when you can pay less $ to be one of 150 for an equal stallion (i.e. SMART stallion managers will limit their books). there will be a few who try to go to the well too often but they will find gues what? an empty well.

It isn't so much that there are too many TBs, it is there are too many BAD TBs and too many DUMPED TBs (as in used up breeding stock or broken down racing or riding stock). Until slaughter is banned that will always happen. TBs only make up about 10% of the slaughter horses right now anyway. That could easily go to zero were the industry really to step behind eliminating slaughter as an acceptable way to get rid of TBs.

Storm Cat is only bred to about 125 mares a year. He stands for $500,000. Some of his sons and others have bred 200 mares a year or so. They stand for $20,000-75,000 or so. Most lower. Already their fees are coming down as those huge numbers of foals show their weaknesses as sires. But their owners don't care, they made back their ridiculous syndication prices. it is the owners of the foals will are taking a beating at the auctions (and that is actually true for every level of fee, they are all too high for even a tiny majority to make a profit at the sales).

AI or not Storm Cat will STILL only cover 125 mares or so a year. the difference is he can do so with much less effort and far greater safety.

It will also help get rid of mediocre and just plain bad stallions in all markets (THESE are generally the ones filling up the kill pens, not storm cat!) and enable people in any state to get to a huge variety of stallions without shipping their mares and foals thus INCREASING the genetic base in each state.


I couldn't have said it better myself!
If JQ Public wants to breed their TB mare, they are going to breed their TB mare. There are soooo many BYB's that think they want to have a racehorse and they are going to do it no matter what anyone says, or what the LC restriction is or isn't. They are not going to ship her to KY, they are going to trailer her down the road to whatever stallion is close by because of the LC restriction. Was that stallion the best choice? No probably not. But, he was within driving distance for a LC.
In breeding animals, proximity should never be the decision maker in choosing a mate. Quality should. Quality doesn't usually live down the street.
Now if the JC really wanted to control the quality of the TBs being produced (since some people are arguing that LC is the way they can do this), they would limit their stud books and do inspections on both mares and stallions (like the WB registries). This would make it so the stud fees don't go down with the introduction of AI (limited number of foals allowed to be registered per stallion, per year) and also make it so that only good specimins are reproducing. Inspections would be a way for the long distance stallion owner to evaluate who gets semen shipped to them, and who doesn't when managing their stud books. It would require the JC to monitor what is going on in their breed.
This would do so much for the racing industry (better race horses because of more choices to breed to) and would cut way down on the thousands of poor specimins who are thoughtlessly bred and then discarded at the feed lot later.

Slewdledo
Jan. 13, 2007, 11:34 PM
Thank you, Glimmerglass.

Summerhorse: Giant's Causeway. By Storm Cat. Stud fee: $300,000 in 2006. Mares bred in 2006: 191.

Drvmb1ggl3
Jan. 14, 2007, 01:31 AM
AI or not Storm Cat will STILL only cover 125 mares or so a year. the difference is he can do so with much less effort and far greater safety.


No, he could concievably cover 1,250 mares at $50k a pop. Maybe even 2000 at $25k, and still make the same money.
The knock on effect would be the regional stallions standing in places like NM, OK, IL, for $2k to $5k would be completly squeezed out of the market.

I don't agree that there will be more mares bred, and ergo more TBs. What I see is the same number of mares being bred to a smaller number of stallions. That has to result in the shrinking of the gene pool.

Sure you could fly semen in from anywhere in the world are get access to bloodlines you don't have ready access to, but how many US breeders will breed to foreign horses? Very few I would imagine. A lot of studs overseas are US rejects that couldn't get mares stateside, or are bred for a different surface and distances.

HobbyHorseLabradors
Jan. 14, 2007, 01:51 AM
No, he could concievably cover 1,250 mares at $50k a pop. Maybe even 2000 at $25k, and still make the same money.
The knock on effect would be the regional stallions standing in places like NM, OK, IL, for $2k to $5k would be completly squeezed out of the market.

I don't agree that there will be more mares bred, and ergo more TBs. What I see is the same number of mares being bred to a smaller number of stallions. That has to result in the shrinking of the gene pool.

Sure you could fly semen in from anywhere in the world are get access to bloodlines you don't have ready access to, but how many US breeders will breed to foreign horses? Very few I would imagine. A lot of studs overseas are US rejects that couldn't get mares stateside, or are bred for a different surface and distances.


Hey, no one said anything about shipping semen overseas. That would have to be looked at very carefully as with the rest. I also would not condone IVF. I think that's taking it a bit too far...
The point here is, maybe stallions standing at $2G in NM or Ok should be squeezed out of the market??? If they were that good, their fees would be greater in the first place and even if not, people would still go to them just by their merrits alone.
I just feel that with proper regulation in all aspects, it could be a much safer option to allow AI.
Now I do not have or have any desire whatsoever to breed my own TB race horse. I have a barn full of OTTBs, most of which are rescued throwaways. Some had decent careers, some should never have been conceived in the first place, at least not with racing in mind. So I am well aware of the overpopulation of TBs, many poor quality as far as racing is concerned.
But if perhaps the JC allowed AI in conjuction with better supervision on whats being allowed in their stud books, the industry would be better for it?
As far as the gene pool narrowing, I doubt that. Not with limited registrations. Just because they allow AI, certainly does not mean all the new foal crops would be by Storm Cat! Be realistic!

On the Farm
Jan. 14, 2007, 04:59 AM
Be realistic!

The proponents of live cover are being just that.

Caiman
Jan. 14, 2007, 08:51 AM
AI would be the deathknell for TB horse racing, so be careful for what you wish for. The breeding charges would plumet as would the auction prices. The result would be a massive spike in TB horses born. Not one person could claim a logical arguement that it wouldn't. It would only be a matter of time before the big operations would make up for lost revenue per "unit" via an upturn in volume.

The shockwave becomes that there would be a flood of watered down horses of little market value hitting the track, racing for then even smaller purses and when it doesn't work out churned out to post-careers of few opportunities. The world does not need whatsoever any increase in TBs. AI might be fine for sport horses but not TB racing.

Someone said Storm Cat covers "only" 150 mares a year. I only wish the days of Man O'War with 25 (at most) a year was the selective norm. Too many folks in the breeding business motivated by money - specifically how quick and how much - who are ruining the sport with an output of fragile, weak, substandard bloodlines.

I'd fight to my last breath against AI. One can only hope the JC never gives in to the pressure of the "barbarians at the gates".

Well said, Glimmerglass and I'm right there with ya!

The only logical argument for using AI is so that mares on the west coast can be more easily bred to stallions in KY. Which flies in the face of the argument that AI won't limit the gene pool.

Shipping mares in to be bred really isn't much of a hardship. I ship mares (and foals) to and from both KY and FL and it really isn't a big deal. Franky, it is a lot easier that AI - IMO. I have used AI one time when mating a mare to a warmblood and found it to be a highly overrated procedure. I also find it interesting that the majority of the QH breeders in this area (at least that I know of) have tired of AI and are doing more and more live cover.

Sometimes, tradition really is a good thing. :)

2ndyrgal
Jan. 14, 2007, 05:30 PM
I doubt it would shrink the gene pool. Let's face it, if you have enough dosh to breed to Storm Cat or Giant's Causeway, you can afford to ship, breed and board your mare in our lovely Kentucky. I think the East coast v West coast thing, what with the advent of superhighways and planes is just not that big a deal. Besides, "you all" only live in California for the weather anyway.

Kinsella
Jan. 14, 2007, 06:23 PM
Ditto what Glimmerglass said. And I was one of the ones directly adversely affected by the LC rule. I was the owner that had papers yanked, even though I had no idea the horse I had bought had been conceived via AI. And I am STILL against AI in Tb's.

summerhorse
Jan. 14, 2007, 09:03 PM
Thank you, Glimmerglass.

Summerhorse: Giant's Causeway. By Storm Cat. Stud fee: $300,000 in 2006. Mares bred in 2006: 191.

Guess who is at a private fee for 2007? Does private mean $300,000? No, that means they can drop the fee and save face. Why? Because most of his foals are NOT bringing $300,000 in the sales ring. And his stats for $300,000 are pathetic. Yes he has good horses but he has far more bad horses. And he has failed miserably down under from all reports.

But as someone pointed out that shows that live cover is NOT limiting book sizes.

No Storm Cat will not breed more mares with AI. He might get a FEW more but not 200 or 400 or more than that. First of all there are only so many TB mares to go around. Very few warrant a $500,000 fee. Even with ET mares do not super ovulate so the most you could ever hope for from ETing your mare is 5 or 6 foals TOPS a year. ET is not cheap or easy or result in 100% success rate. And once there are twice as many Storm Cat babies on the ground they will no longer be worth $500,000 a pop. Unless he dies soon. then it would be a moot point because stallion semen does not freeze and store that well. You could get a few more years out of it and that would be it.

But at any rate the number of stallions in this country (or anywhere) that stand for over $100,000 is literally a handful. 17 in the USA in fact including Giant's Causeway (fee unknown but certainly $100,000 at least). How many breeders can afford that? Not many! And a lot of those stallions are old and also their seasons are mostly used up by syndicate members not the general public.

Yes fees will come down. They NEED to come down judging by the 2006 auction results. the fees are WAY out of line for what the breeders can hope to get back. Not a single stud fee range even hit 70% profit margin in 2006. So some breeders or pinhookers got lucky and most ended up in the red on individual horses. Hopefully they each had enough profitable ones to balance it out.

Breed to race don't have that problem but they still have the problem that IF they wanted to sell the odds are against them getting their money back on the stud fee much less their other expenses.

AI and ET would let ALL breeders play at all but the very top levels. Small breeders would no longer have to spend as much on shipping and boarding in order to get the best match for their mare and rarer bloodlines would be able to move around more. What if the perfect stallion for your mare if you are breeding by line breeding or inbreeding patterns happens to be in CA and you are in FL or NJ? Odds are pretty good you are going to NOT ship her out there but go to another stallion who may not be that perfect match but is closer. Or you have to settle for a lesser stud because you'd be spending $2,000 or $3,000 on shipping and board that might have gone to a $7,000 or $8,000 stallion instead of a lesser $5,000 one.

It just boggles the mind why EVERY other species and breed has managed to not only make AI and ET work but BENEFIT from it and for some reason the whole TB world would just fall apart!! Personally I think most TB breeders are far smarter than that.

WHY would you even breed to a stallion with no book limit? That should be the first question! Why pay to be one of 1,000 horses? Odds are PRETTY GOOD that you will be able to pick up one of those 1,000 horses at auction at far less than the stud fee while breeding your mare to a stallion with a book of 200 or less whose foals might stand a chance of HOLDING thier value because there are far fewer of them available. Making them much more valuable at the same fee.

It is ironic that the people that benefit from the ban (the big breeders with unlimited resources) have convinced so many of the regular people to support their monopoly!

The KY market will not collapse. That is still where the best (and most expensive) stock is and that will be where most of it STAYS because most of it is owned by people who either have farms there or board at farms there. At the highest level that won't change.

At the other levels there may be some shuffling but they will survive. And regional markets may prosper. And small breeders can live anywhere and still have access to good stallions rather than Joe Blow down the road who is a grandson of Storm Cat! He couldn't outrun a turtle but hey he's down the road! And he's a grandson of Storm Cat! Never mind those other 7 generations in his pedigree that couldn't run or produce a runner...

But it doesn't matter becuase it is not likely any of us (over 20 anyway) will EVER live long enough to see the JC step into the model world of animal science.

Tradition is NOT always a good thing. Unless you are the owner of Coolmore...

HobbyHorseLabradors
Jan. 14, 2007, 09:41 PM
Guess who is at a private fee for 2007? Does private mean $300,000? No, that means they can drop the fee and save face. Why? Because most of his foals are NOT bringing $300,000 in the sales ring. And his stats for $300,000 are pathetic. Yes he has good horses but he has far more bad horses. And he has failed miserably down under from all reports.

But as someone pointed out that shows that live cover is NOT limiting book sizes.

No Storm Cat will not breed more mares with AI. He might get a FEW more but not 200 or 400 or more than that. First of all there are only so many TB mares to go around. Very few warrant a $500,000 fee. Even with ET mares do not super ovulate so the most you could ever hope for from ETing your mare is 5 or 6 foals TOPS a year. ET is not cheap or easy or result in 100% success rate. And once there are twice as many Storm Cat babies on the ground they will no longer be worth $500,000 a pop. Unless he dies soon. then it would be a moot point because stallion semen does not freeze and store that well. You could get a few more years out of it and that would be it.

But at any rate the number of stallions in this country (or anywhere) that stand for over $100,000 is literally a handful. 17 in the USA in fact including Giant's Causeway (fee unknown but certainly $100,000 at least). How many breeders can afford that? Not many! And a lot of those stallions are old and also their seasons are mostly used up by syndicate members not the general public.

Yes fees will come down. They NEED to come down judging by the 2006 auction results. the fees are WAY out of line for what the breeders can hope to get back. Not a single stud fee range even hit 70% profit margin in 2006. So some breeders or pinhookers got lucky and most ended up in the red on individual horses. Hopefully they each had enough profitable ones to balance it out.

Breed to race don't have that problem but they still have the problem that IF they wanted to sell the odds are against them getting their money back on the stud fee much less their other expenses.

AI and ET would let ALL breeders play at all but the very top levels. Small breeders would no longer have to spend as much on shipping and boarding in order to get the best match for their mare and rarer bloodlines would be able to move around more. What if the perfect stallion for your mare if you are breeding by line breeding or inbreeding patterns happens to be in CA and you are in FL or NJ? Odds are pretty good you are going to NOT ship her out there but go to another stallion who may not be that perfect match but is closer. Or you have to settle for a lesser stud because you'd be spending $2,000 or $3,000 on shipping and board that might have gone to a $7,000 or $8,000 stallion instead of a lesser $5,000 one.

It just boggles the mind why EVERY other species and breed has managed to not only make AI and ET work but BENEFIT from it and for some reason the whole TB world would just fall apart!! Personally I think most TB breeders are far smarter than that.

WHY would you even breed to a stallion with no book limit? That should be the first question! Why pay to be one of 1,000 horses? Odds are PRETTY GOOD that you will be able to pick up one of those 1,000 horses at auction at far less than the stud fee while breeding your mare to a stallion with a book of 200 or less whose foals might stand a chance of HOLDING thier value because there are far fewer of them available. Making them much more valuable at the same fee.

It is ironic that the people that benefit from the ban (the big breeders with unlimited resources) have convinced so many of the regular people to support their monopoly!

The KY market will not collapse. That is still where the best (and most expensive) stock is and that will be where most of it STAYS because most of it is owned by people who either have farms there or board at farms there. At the highest level that won't change.

At the other levels there may be some shuffling but they will survive. And regional markets may prosper. And small breeders can live anywhere and still have access to good stallions rather than Joe Blow down the road who is a grandson of Storm Cat! He couldn't outrun a turtle but hey he's down the road! And he's a grandson of Storm Cat! Never mind those other 7 generations in his pedigree that couldn't run or produce a runner...

But it doesn't matter becuase it is not likely any of us (over 20 anyway) will EVER live long enough to see the JC step into the model world of animal science.

Tradition is NOT always a good thing. Unless you are the owner of Coolmore...


I'm glad I'm not the only one that feel like the JC is in the dark ages!
I think they just keep it that way to benefit the high levels, when all it does is hurt the horses in the long run. More mediocre foals born because of limitations that only effect Joe Blow whose wallet isn't as big as some other people in the sport.
Science is a wonderful thing and I wouldn't exactly call shipping fresh semen a technological advance like sending man to the moon!

Slewdledo
Jan. 15, 2007, 01:05 AM
But what happens to the gene pool if folks only breed to the top stallions?

Tesio believed that something intangible passed between the stallion and the mare during intercourse. Who's to say something doesn't? :winkgrin:

Frankly, I think it's ridiculous that folks have their stallions humping plastic and put everything in the hands of FedEx and the vet.

vineyridge
Jan. 15, 2007, 12:02 PM
Remember the flap in about 2001 about a palomino TB in Texas whose foals all had their papers yanked because the live cover rule was violated?

Anyone know how that came out in the end?

Not naming any stallion whose owner filed "incorrect" cover papers because I'm not sure.

summerhorse
Jan. 15, 2007, 12:25 PM
Remember the flap in about 2001 about a palomino TB in Texas whose foals all had their papers yanked because the live cover rule was violated?

Anyone know how that came out in the end?

Not naming any stallion whose owner filed "incorrect" cover papers because I'm not sure.


They stayed yanked.

summerhorse
Jan. 15, 2007, 12:30 PM
But what happens to the gene pool if folks only breed to the top stallions?

Tesio believed that something intangible passed between the stallion and the mare during intercourse. Who's to say something doesn't? :winkgrin:

Frankly, I think it's ridiculous that folks have their stallions humping plastic and put everything in the hands of FedEx and the vet.

Most people only breed to the top stallions now. Or the best they can afford. Most of the mares bred are bred by relatively few stallions. there were will still be many levels of stallions to breed to. But that is where smart stallion managers who limit their books come in and smart breeders who do not patronize anyone who does NOT.

there will still be regional stallions only they should be better quality. Anybody worried about inbreeding (and everyone seems to be) simply has to avoid it. It isn't that hard nor is it difficult to run inbreeding coefficients on matings.

On the Farm
Jan. 15, 2007, 06:34 PM
Most people only breed to the top stallions now. Or the best they can afford. Most of the mares bred are bred by relatively few stallions.

Define "top stallion" and "relatively few" (as in a number.)

summerhorse
Jan. 15, 2007, 07:11 PM
They haven't printed those stats yet but there are something like 2,500 or 3,000 JC stallions sending reports in most years and of those I think around 30% bred most of the mares (like I don't know 70%). When they print them or I can find them I will post them.

The best stallions stand for $75,000 and up. A very elite group. The better ones stand for around $25,000-60,000. Then the "good ones" stand for $10,000-$24,000 or so. Below that are considered bargain basement or are stallions with little credentials (but maybe good bloodlines) trying to get enough mares to prove themselves. These are KY prices.

For regional markets everything goes way down. The larger ones NY, FL, CA, Mid Atlantic very few stallions stand for over $10,000, they are the best of their region. The better stallions are generally $5,000-10,000. New or unproven well bred stallions are in the $2,500-3,000 range. Lower than that they are either unraced or underachievers as stallions. Of course there are overpriced stallions in every catagory.

Although for those breeding to race the fees are NOT necessarily reflective of the best choice for your mare. They are reflective of sales popularity which drives the industry anymore rather than actual performance. You can find very good values in horses with unfashionable but producing pedigrees. Slew City Slew and Royal Academy are near the top of the sires list but Slew stands for $7,000 and RA for around $15,000? (under $20,000). But they get solid racehorses.

So it pays to become familiar with a stallions statistics not only overall but with mares with pedigrees like yours. The big stallion may look good on paper but not match up well with your mare in conformation or blood or he may just be one of those that gets a few big horses and a whole bunch of bad ones.

And some nice prospects can be found by basically haunting the big boys trash. Gibson County was a grade 2 stakes winner, brilliantly fast with a lovely (but not fashionable) pedigree and his owner Mike Pegram (of real Quiet and Silverbulletday fame) sent him to some friends who were going to geld him and make a roping horse out of him! Luckily they saw A) he was not a roping horse and B) you know this guy has way better credentials than most of the stallions that retire to FL each year!

For a while he lead the nation for the freshman sire list with a very small crop out of average mares. Now he stands for $3,000 (not a Storm Cat!) and is a very good value and his better bred foals won't even be born until this year and next. Expect that fee to go up.

On the Farm
Jan. 15, 2007, 09:25 PM
They haven't printed those stats yet but there are something like 2,500 or 3,000 JC stallions sending reports in most years and of those I think around 30% bred most of the mares (like I don't know 70%). When they print them or I can find them I will post them.


So you're saying that 900 stallions (30% of 3000) are sireing on average 25,900 foals (70% of 37,000) per year, which means those stallions are producing over 280 foals each? I think you'd better wait on the JC info (of course the 2006 mares bred stats are readily available at the Blood horse site) before you continue with your misinformation campaign. You're entitled to your wrong opinion, but please don't try to justify it with phony info. I'll call you on it every time.

summerhorse
Jan. 15, 2007, 09:48 PM
So you're saying that 900 stallions (30% of 3000) are sireing on average 25,900 foals (70% of 37,000) per year, which means those stallions are producing over 280 foals each? I think you'd better wait on the JC info (of course the 2006 mares bred stats are readily available at the Blood horse site) before you continue with your misinformation campaign. You're entitled to your wrong opinion, but please don't try to justify it with phony info. I'll call you on it every time.


Here you can do the math: http://www.bloodhorse.com/articleindex/article.asp?id=35880 Note that is with about 90% of reports in.

But if you don't want to bother using the stallions from KY, FL, NY, MD, and CA where the better stallions (overall) stand 31.4% of the stallions at stud covered 61.6% of the mares bred. (that's total stallions standing and total mares bred)

Add in TX and LA who do have numbers but not the quality and you can bring that to 46.4 % of the stallions covered 68.8% of the mares.

For a blow by blow description http://breeding.bloodhorse.com/marelistreport.asp

It seems my phony numbers (which were from memory) weren't so far off. Pretty darn close in fact.

On the Farm
Jan. 15, 2007, 10:07 PM
My bad for leaving out a decimal, which does bring the numbers into a better picture. So that average is 28 and change/per sire for the 900 sires. Does your info contain the median numbers of mares bred/sire? My apologies for my own misinformation.

However, I still think your argument of greater diversity still falls apart since tbs are a closed book. Only so many mares are available for breeding and if the mares bred are doubled, say from 107 to 214 for Royal Academy (hey, I got the math right on that one!!) then those mares have to come from somewhere. From your perspective, which stallions will lose those mares? Will it be the big names, the middle market, or the regional group?

summerhorse
Jan. 15, 2007, 11:35 PM
My bad for leaving out a decimal, which does bring the numbers into a better picture. So that average is 28 and change/per sire for the 900 sires. Does your info contain the median numbers of mares bred/sire? My apologies for my own misinformation.

However, I still think your argument of greater diversity still falls apart since tbs are a closed book. Only so many mares are available for breeding and if the mares bred are doubled, say from 107 to 214 for Royal Academy (hey, I got the math right on that one!!) then those mares have to come from somewhere. From your perspective, which stallions will lose those mares? Will it be the big names, the middle market, or the regional group?


Well if breeders have any sense it will be the worst stallions that lose! With AI breeders can access a better stallion than they could before. But that won't necessarily mean these breeders will be rolling in cash just that they will now be able to get more bang for their buck as well as more bloodline choices. Economically it will be the good and better stallions that will gain but unless there are a lot of Lotto winners probably not many of the highest price stallions books or numbers will change a whole lot. To keep those fees high they need to keep the books exclusive. And they want those fees high.

On the Farm
Jan. 16, 2007, 04:59 AM
If AI was entrenched in the industry, do you honestly think horses like Gibson County would even stand a chance of entering stud?

halo
Jan. 16, 2007, 07:33 AM
Absolutely. Why wouldnt he have been? He was used almost exclusively by his owners until his foals were proven. They used him because they LIKED him. And at this point I guarantee if they would allow AI, he'd be shipped all over the country; there has been that much interest in him as an outcross.

Everythingbutwings
Jan. 16, 2007, 07:41 AM
I do want to point out that just because I could come up with the fee doesn't mean that my mare would be acceptable to breed to one of those elite stallions at the top. I don't think that she'd be accepted by quite a few of the very good stallions in the Mid-Atlantic, our region, either.

Responsible stallion owners figure out how to improve their stallions by being selective about the mares they are bred to. Yes, we are surrounded by failed sons of Storm Cat, Mr. P, Deputy Minister, etc, whose owners are cranking out lesser quality foals and collecting their $500 - $1500 fee. There isn't a big jump between those horses and the excellent sons of similar pedigree with solid performance and offspring records standing for $2,500 - $20,000. Mare owners need to pony up the extra grand and be a bit more choosy about where they pick their matings. I know from my own visits to Northview Stallion Station, Bonita Farm, Blue Ridge Farm, Maryland Stallion Station, Legacy Farm and O' Sullivan, there are a good variety of pedigrees and the stud managers & staff are more than happy to speak with experience about which bloodlines match up with which stallions. I have heard more than once advice against breeding to a stallion I just thought was wonderful. Not right for my mare.

If I've got a mare who would be accepted in AP Indy's book, you can be darned sure that shipping her to him wouldn't be a problem, nor would coming up with the board and stud fees. Foal sharing, partnerships, leases, etc make up a big part of the business or breeding thoroughbreds.

AI is very important, IMO, in breeds where there are so very few quality horses available, in order for someone to breed to the best possible rather than the stud down the block. Look at Cleveland Bays! There are many vanishing breeds who have used AI to benefit the breed.

AI in thoroughbreds in the real time isn't going to improve the breed, careful planning of matings is. Owners who are interested in a long term goal with their breeding plan, not cranking out a fast developing prospect for the weanling sales. Obviously, allowing AI would make accessablility to less popular but well qualified stallions much easier. The difference between European and North American breeding shows that. Red Ransom was bred by Rokeby, stood in NA for a while and is now in europe where he is more attractive for their programs. But there simply isn't a dearth of quality stallions of that type right here for there to be a need to change the AI rules.

Not allowing AI definately benefits the stud farm owners in that the mares sent to court come complete with board bills. There is an entire industry just around the shipping and boarding, but, as I said, were I to have a good enough mare to be accepted to a top stallion, I bet I wouldn't have to look too hard to find a willing partner to share the costs.

Pronzini
Jan. 16, 2007, 10:38 AM
I can't speak to Maryland but I know what's available in California and it's not just a question of coming up with a little more money. I'm near the top end of the stud fees here as it is but, for various reasons, there are only about 4 stallions in the state I'd actually breed to which is why I took it on the road. I don't want to breed to the failed $2500 son of Storm Cat because mentally I can't help but add $20,000 to the cost of the fee to raise the baby and there is almost no chance that those stallions will sire anything worth near that much.

There's another phenomena out here that does not happen in Kentucky and I suspect doesn't happen in alot of the Eastern states. Distances, even within the same state, are huge out here and live cover means that you have to board with unfamiliar folks if they stand a stallion you're interested in. There is one stallion in a major farm who is one of the more expensive stallions in the state that I won't utilize because the mare care there is reportedly atrocious. Horses have reportedly come back thin and banged up. I know a fellow breeder who had a mare foal out at a (different) large farm so he could breed to one of the leading sires in the state. That foal has never thrived and he found out when she came home that she was sickly from birth and may not have been treated as aggressively as she should have been early. No one told him anything and he didn't even know anything was wrong until he got the first bill and spotted some antibiotics on it.

There is thread after thread on COTH about boarding facilities and trusting their competence etc etc. Well, that's a way of life for many TB breeders under live cover. You send a mare off--sometimes to different states--and you often have no idea what's happening to her, who's looking after her or what they are doing. It's worse when there is a baby involved too.

Jessi P
Jan. 16, 2007, 11:04 AM
I have to digress from the original focus for a minute and add my $0.02.

I believe that the today's Thoroughbred as a breed is at a point where there are a large number of Tbs in a wide range of talent. I believe that there is a large "middle class" in the racing TB world today. I believe there are a lot of factors that go into that - including regional programs that promote the breeding of "less than stellar" racing stock by way of bonus incentives. I believe that we are at a point where we can either reinforce the breed by breeding the best to the best (which we smaller breeders will be able to better afford via AI) or we can further dilute the talent of the breed by breeding mediocre stock (Joe Blow down the road). Of course this equation only takes into consideration the stallions......the mare is an equal part of the equation, however she has a limit to how many foals per year she can have, even considering ET - the stallions have a deeper impact overall on the breed than the mares (IMHO). So, if we begin AI, the middle and lower class stallions will be culled and upper classes more readily available to the smaller breeders whose homebreds comprise a goodly % of the TB foal crop. And in the next generation, the broodmares will be daughters of the better stallions, and further strengthen the breed. Poor producing mares will be culled as availability increases to daughters of better sires.

This is what we can do with the breed today, IMHO.

Or we can continue to promote mediocrity by insisting on live cover - where location and $ become greater factors in the breeding decision.

Just my $0.02 - back to your regularly sheduled program. ;)

summerhorse
Jan. 16, 2007, 12:09 PM
I have to digress from the original focus for a minute and add my $0.02.

I believe that the today's Thoroughbred as a breed is at a point where there are a large number of Tbs in a wide range of talent. I believe that there is a large "middle class" in the racing TB world today. I believe there are a lot of factors that go into that - including regional programs that promote the breeding of "less than stellar" racing stock by way of bonus incentives. I believe that we are at a point where we can either reinforce the breed by breeding the best to the best (which we smaller breeders will be able to better afford via AI) or we can further dilute the talent of the breed by breeding mediocre stock (Joe Blow down the road). Of course this equation only takes into consideration the stallions......the mare is an equal part of the equation, however she has a limit to how many foals per year she can have, even considering ET - the stallions have a deeper impact overall on the breed than the mares (IMHO). So, if we begin AI, the middle and lower class stallions will be culled and upper classes more readily available to the smaller breeders whose homebreds comprise a goodly % of the TB foal crop. And in the next generation, the broodmares will be daughters of the better stallions, and further strengthen the breed. Poor producing mares will be culled as availability increases to daughters of better sires.

This is what we can do with the breed today, IMHO.

Or we can continue to promote mediocrity by insisting on live cover - where location and $ become greater factors in the breeding decision.

Just my $0.02 - back to your regularly sheduled program. ;)


I agree

And on the boarding/shipping thing too. I've heard SO many horror stories of neglected mares, sick and dying foals, etc. The fact is it is hard to find anyone to take as good a care of your mare as you esp. when they are running 100s or 1000s through a season.

On the Farm
Jan. 16, 2007, 06:00 PM
I'm still puzzled by some of the logic here. First is the notion that regional stallions and their diversity will flourish with AI, but then another notion is presented that AI will eliminate middle and lower level stallions and only the best stallions will be available in the long run. Aren't those two notions contradictory?

Anyway, this subject has been argued ad nauseum on several occasions here. My view is that the breed has been well served for generations by the live cover rule and I sincerely hope it remains in force for many more. As JessiP mentioned, state bred rules, particularly New York's old breedback requirement, have interfered with tb development, but that is an entirely different issue.

Jessi P
Jan. 16, 2007, 06:26 PM
In case my post was not entirely clear - When I say the middle and lower classes will be culled - I do not mean eliminated completely! I believe that should AI be allowed then each level of stud fee will whittled down until several of the best in each $ slot remain. But I think we will see a sharp decline in the numbers of the lower end stallions simply because the convenience of breeding to Joe Blow down the street will be supplanted by the ability to order up semen from a better stallion instead. There will be less incentive to stand lower end stallions when/if AI allows greater diversity. Of course there will always be exceptions, and there will be individuals using the option of AI to breed to particular stallions who might not be the most fashionable but because of precise pedigree matching and nicking information. Perhaps there is a stallion whose pedigree and physical type perfectly complement my mare - but I am by Pittsburgh, Pa and he is in Cali or Arizona... AI allows me to execute that breeding where I would not have been able to do so with the current live cover rules. So in that respect the gene pool available to me as a breeder will increase. I believe that overall the number of stallions will decrease - and all stallions (incl higher stud fee stallions) will come down a rung in price. Just my speculation..

summerhorse
Jan. 17, 2007, 04:44 PM
I'm still puzzled by some of the logic here. First is the notion that regional stallions and their diversity will flourish with AI, but then another notion is presented that AI will eliminate middle and lower level stallions and only the best stallions will be available in the long run. Aren't those two notions contradictory?

Anyway, this subject has been argued ad nauseum on several occasions here. My view is that the breed has been well served for generations by the live cover rule and I sincerely hope it remains in force for many more. As JessiP mentioned, state bred rules, particularly New York's old breedback requirement, have interfered with tb development, but that is an entirely different issue.

No what will happen is the under performers will be elimininated, most stud fees (probably not those at the top) will come down some, some a lot as horses fees will be required to reflect their actual production rather than the current "fad" although that part will never go away particularly at the high end of the sales market. Good stallions will no longer need to be hustled off to KY to be available to all and mare owners can access any bloodline they want not the ones within affordable driving distance. This will actually bring MORE bloodlines to regional markets. There will ALWAYS be regional markets and people can still breed live cover all they want if they prefer. People can still stand any stallion they want but economics will see that those who are actually in it to make money vs. hobby breeders who just love their stallion regardless of his production will not be sending tons of mares to stallions who do not produce.

there will be fewer stallions. This is not a bad thing, there are too many stallions now. Most of the bad ones thankfully have small books but they are still producing a lot of racehorses who will never ever earn their keep. And aren't pretty or sound enough to show or event. With ET mares could be MORE represented which would actually increase diversity as all mares are underrepresented vs. stallions in the gene pool and many of these mares are from older or solid but not sale fashion bloodlines. Or turf or distance lines (good for breed to race, not at all desired by sales breeders).


Here's an example. Say I have a nice mare who will foal and I want to breed her back. The top 3 stallions in FL are Exchange Rate (not nationally Ranked) $10,000, 44% Starters from foals, 27% winners from foals, 3% SWs from foals, Concerto, $7,500, #75th nationally, 69% starters, 55% winners, 6% SWs, and Concorde's Tune, $3,500 (good but his foals are not popular at the sales), 64% starters, 50% winners, 5% SWs (not bad for the money actually), all 3 are Danzig lines. There is also Halo's Image (Halo), ranked #69, stats not available right now and Trippi (End Sweep), #78, his stats aren't coming up either. Figure in shipping up and back, $1,000, plus mare care.

But what if my mare IS a Danzig or I've already bred to Trippi, Halo's Image, and/or the others. There are a ton of very nice, high priced but totally unproven stallions in FL a race to breed owner is not going to LEAP to get into their book for the money. Also FL is kind of saturated with relatively few (successful) sire lines.

OR in KY I could get Pleasant Tap (Pleasant Colony) for $15,000, ranked #12 nationally, 70% St, 47% win, and 7% SWs, Royal Academy (Nijinksy), 2nd nationally, $15,000, with 72% starters, 48% winners, 7% stakes winners or Slew City Slew (Seattle Slew), $6,000, #27 nationally (until Lava Man runs again anyway! =) with 79% SWs, 60% winners, and 6% SWs. All of these have gotten "the big horse", none of the FL horses have.

But figure in 13 hour drive at about $2,000 Cheapest, more for a mare with foal, double or triple the mare care. It adds on a LOT to those fees.

With AI those shipping and mare care fees are gone and no risk to my newborn foal. AND WAY better stallions for not that much more money but it might be my limit of money.

And of course there are other lesser stallions in KY than this for way less fees that would also suit. Just showing you can get to the very top without spending that much more money on fees if you don't have to pay another $5,000 or so in transport and mare care and associated costs plus the risk to mare and foal. At least if she doesn't catch I haven't wasted all that money!