How do you decide if a colt is a stallion prospect? Update post 143
Just pondering really. How do you decide whether a colt has what it takes to be a stallion or not?
The pondering has been triggered by my mare producing another colt instead of the filly I'd ordered. I'd love to carry her line on but she is only giving me colts.
Sire is Silvermoon who has a very good production record with Blue Hors Matine, Succes and Night Moon all being GP dressage horses and also Shiva, an Advanced eventer. He also has a popular stallion son in Cadeau.
My mare bloodhounded for several years clearing 1m70+ on many occasions. She also did a little showjumping (2 outings to be exact!) going double clear round 1m20 with scope for much more. She competed in dressage up to PSG and was schooling most of GP.
Her dam's full sister was Bright and Fair who was National Champion Broodmare at Wembley (the top show in the UK).
Her damsire Top Star sired several good eventers who competed up to international level and also the international showjumper Brookstreet Olympic Video.
My mare proved to be tough and trainable and stayed sound from age 3 to age 16 when she was retired to be a broodmare. Her first Silvermoon foal has sold to an advanced eventing home and is still entire at present. As long as he behaves and his owners think he is worthy to be an entire he will stay that way but of course I have no idea if he will end up as a stallion that I can use in the future or not.
This year's colt is taller than last years and more confident. I think he will end up around 16.3-17hh. He will be grey.
This is what he looked like at 3 days old. He is eligible for grading with the SHB(GB) or the AES.
What do you think? Stupid idea? Or keep him a colt and see how he goes? And can you explain your replies please as this is an area I know nothing about and would love to learn.
Keeping a stallion depends upon your convictions and resources. If you have deep pockets, go for it. I have no clue what your resources are… for the most part standing a stallion is NOT a financially profitable venture… but if you gain some satisfaction from keeping him stallion for other reasons, by all means do so. We see repeatedly that some stallions we now regard as very important - were not well received originally, but an owner persevered, and over time the general public recognized the value of the horse. At this point he is really too young to say much one way or the other.
I really just wanted to offer my humble opinion that he is a lovely lovely colt. I can see why you are tempted, it must be thrilling just to watch him. Frankly, if breeders did not react with passion and commitment to the animals they produced, they should not be breeding.
If your primary goal is to continue your mare's line....and this is a nice colt (and stays a nice colt). Take a wait and see approach. If he stays mannered, you could keep him a colt until 3-4, collect and freeze him. I know a few people that did this.
Then you can decide at that point whether to geld him or not. So you may not need to keep him a stallion to offer to the public...but can still have the material to continue your mare's lines.
Biggest issue with this is whether having him (and his offspring) registered is important to you.
Just a thought. I personally, no matter how nice a colt is, would keep them a stallion. But of course my mares seem to always throw fillies (and chestnut ones at that!).
** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **
Check with your registry of choice to help with the decision. First evaluate bloodlines, especially mare line, in my experience. A well known and well used sire will have many sons who go to stand at stud.
"Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist
In reality I have never even for a nanosecond considered keeping a stallion, but if I did, he would have to have turn-out with other horses. So many stallions have pretty crappy lives because they are kept isolated most of the time.
Thanks to everyone who has replied. There's lots to think about!
To reply to Not Again this colts sire Silvermoon only has one stallion son. He is a Trakehner called Cadeau and stands in Germany. There are no Silvermoon stallions anywhere else in the world.
The damline of this colt is incompletely recorded after the first 5 generations. He traces back to TB racehorses. The highlights of his damline are outlined in the first post. His bloodlines are uncommon but have produced international performers in both eventing and showjumping.
Is this positive or negative?
I do have access to facilities where he can grow up in a bachelor herd till he is 3 so he has the potential to learn how to be a horse and play with other colts and geldings that are a similar age to him. So I guess I could see how it goes? His full brother was sold to an eventing home and he is still entire as a yearling. Their plans are to keep his bits on as long as he deserves to keep them. I'm delighted that someone without a vested interest in my mare rates big brother as a potential stallion prospect but obviously I cannot influence whether they keep him entire or not long term. Big brother has a super temperament so far.
If I had the chance to get a filly that was a full sister I wouldn't bother considering keeping this foal entire. Problem is I can't get Silvermoon semen any more.
Perhaps the best plan is to wait and see? If he's naughty or not quality enough I will turn him into a gelding. If I find a way to get a full sister to him I'll almost certainly do the same.
Just some thoughts, based upon our rather limited experience: We’ve only had four stallions over the years, and each is unique in terms of their temperaments. We have one now who is 6 years old – Sandro D. He is a gentleman in most every respect. As a matter of simple fact, you can have well behaved stallion, who has a rich full life, interacting with people and other horses… who does not act like a hormonal monster.
I think there are many factors that go into raising a stallion you can live with, including the temperaments they were born with and them being in an environment that allows them to live as natural a life as possible, which means being around other horses (his herd) and being out as much as possible. In my experience, stallions are sensitive and have a real sense of fairness. I think that if you treat them with respect, you will get that back in kind. We have always been firm about certain things, but I would never ever ever try to bully our guy. He is bigger and stronger than we are... so we are never involved in tests of strength or will. He responds to us because he is trained properly, not because he’s been forced or bullied. We never have a chain on his nose or engage in any of the “force-bully-force” approaches that we see sometimes with other stallions.
And (you knew this was coming)… we have never allowed him to be bred, so he really hasn’t a clue what he is missing. That said, if his nuts ever become a problem, they’ll be gone.
I think that if you value your colt’s pedigree, and have the facilities for him… don’t do anything at all unless or until it becomes necessary.
According to some statistics I recently read 60+% of stallions approved in Germany, typically as 2 1/5 years or older, were not Premium Foals.
You've taken a good look at the colt, and like him. So here is what I would suggest.
First, I'd look at the pedigree. Not what it means to you, but is this colt really extra-ordinarily well bred, in a broader sense, and does that breeding have any value other than sentimental value to you?
Then look at the market. Will there be a market for a stallion such as he is, if left intact?
Lastly, WHERE is he going to stand at stud, after somebody spends a king's ransom on his show bills, approvals fees, 100 or 30 day test, and the rest of it? This could cost quarter of a million if you do it right. Is this an international caliber horse, or just a colt you personally like?
If you have your own mare herd and believe in your boy, and believe in his progeny, and pray that the economy will pick up soon, keep him as a stud and see what happens.
Bear in mind that in US stallions are a liability and most trainers and lots of show barns don't want to have anything to do with them. Even if they are well behaved. And it's a lonely life for the stallion b/c they usually will not be turned out with others, and to keep them happy can be very expensive.
If you have the resources to run him on for your own use and you don't care if he gets used otherwise, I would consider freezing him when he is old enough and then geld him. You already have an out of the box pedigree so will likely have to rely on performance results anyway. Freeze him and let him live and compete as a gelding.
Ainninn House Stud
Irish Draughts and Connemaras
Co. Westmeath, Ireland
If I had a colt, "my" first requirement would be that he must have a gelding like temperment. In the field he can be a big idiot all he likes, but in hand and in close quarters with people, the colt must be a perfect sane gentleman.
And then you can consider his conformation and whethere or not he checks that box or not.