Do you breed to the proven show record stallions or do you breed to the untested stallions with incredible bloodlines? I'm really interested in breeding to Arezzo vdl because of bloodlines or do I go for some stallion with an incredible show record like Hickstead?
A lot of stallion don't get the chance to show at a high level...they did not fail...they never got the chance. We owners don't always/often have the money to show at high levels. You can not look at those that were not shown that is your perogative but you will miss a lot of nice stallions. PatO
I'm with stoic. I want a proven sire. I would prefer a horse that has DONE the work and competed and stayed sound as well as produced horses that have done the same, which usually includes proven bloodlines. There usually isn't that much difference in the initial breeding fee between the best of stallions and the ones that have done nothing, so I don't see why you wouldn't go for the best.
I don't know jumper lines, but I know there are a lot of stallions out there who have a lot of proven get. That's what I would choose.
1. I loved his movement, conformation, type and incredible jaw dropping jump and overall eye appeal and balance - especially for a young stallion
2. Loved his bloodlines - Balou du Rouet and Argentinus
3. Loved the career path his owner is charting for him - mulitiple breed registry approvals, showing in the hunter and jumper disciplines on a limited basis early on, now schooling / showing dressage to allow him to fully mature and grow up and demonstrate his versatility and then he will go back to the hunter / jumper ring to get his breed performance approvals completed next year
4. And I simply like to get in on the ground floor level of exciting young stallions ahead of everyone else so that when they do become known in the show ring and there is a lot of buzz about them, I have an already 1-2-3 year old on the ground by him when everyone else is just starting to book their mares to him
5. I love dealing with his owner. A nicer and more accomodating stallion owner I havent come across in a long long time
So - for all of the above reasons I opted to go with the young "unproven" stallion that already has so many fabulous things going in his favor and if I didnt just buy another stallion myself, I would have gone with him again in 2012 with another one of my top mares
I would breed to the best stallion with proven get out of mares that produce like yours. This is hard to determine with the two groups you have chosen. It also matters if you are breeding for a sport horse or breeding horse.
I think a lot depends on the mare. IMO, at least one part of the equation should be proven. If you have an older mare and you know what she throws, improves, and needs help with, breeding to the younger stallion may be a good idea. But maybe not so much with a young mare that you're breeding for her first foal.
I breed to the stallion that is the best match for my mare. The way I determine this however, is to look at his conformation, pedigree, and MOST importantly- what his offspring are like. A show record is nice but if there is a good reason he doesn't have one, I'm ok with that.
As for breeding to the "big names"- I breed to sell and I must consider the marketability of the stallion. I would NEVER breed to a big name just because he is famous. But if he's a great match for my mare, then I am more likely to pick the big name stallion (be it proven competitor or dazzling young star) over an unknown that may also be a good match.
I think there are several considerations, including whether you are breeding to sell as a foal, as a started horse or to keep for yourself.
You won't go far wrong by sticking with stallions that have a record of producing performance offspring. OTOH, someone has to breed to the young stallions. You just never know.
Couple of years ago I did the unthinkable, bred a maiden mare to a young stallion in his first year of breeding. So far, touch wood, the offspring has exceeded my expectations and is possibly my best horse.
At the end of the day I think Bayhawk has it right.....
I had a trainer that always total me that the truly great horses are freaks of nature. I'm starting to understand that now. Normally those "Great" horses are from good to medium sires/dams. Although, I'm still believe in order to increase your odds you should try to breed the best of the best.
Whether that is from show records/offsprings or from bloodlines.
Now the keys is there are so many great options out there for my mare I just can't make a decision or if I do I change my mind. Heck that is why my mare was left open this year, now I'm trying to get a head start for next year.
my favorite sayings are "If you think breeding is a crapshoot, you need to shoot the crap you are breeding" and "A horse may outrun his pedigree, but he'll never out-produce (or sire) it".
All breeding requires a certain element of "luck of the draw" obviously. But, starting with proven bloodlines certainly increases your odds. I am more a fan of breeding to a proven sire, than a proven show horse (i.e. I'd probably breed to Gribaldi before Totilas at this time). But, if there was an outstanding stallion, that is unproven currently, but had proven sire/dam (and I love to see siblings), and met all the other criteria, and had a reasonable stud fee (In the breed I prefer, stud fees for unproven stallions can be kind of .. ummm.. scarily high), i wouldn't hesitate to use them on a proven mare. (There is a certain thrill about "finding" a stallion before everyone else does and being ahead of the game lol)
Proven competition stallions prove they can withstand the wear and tear and stay sound-that's meaningful. They're also trainable. They also have fantastic vet care. On the otherhand, horses like Hickstead are difficult rides and have unorthodox styles. You want a baby him? Can you handle it? I couldn't. Some great performance stallions are just hard to ride or handle.
Proven breeding stallions prove they can pass on good qualities to get- it's why they're proven. You can get a good guess about what you might get by looking at crosses and progeny. not absolute, but a good guess. Proven bloodlines increase your odds for knowing what you might get and what traits get passed on (feet, brains, build, etc.).
unproven stallions don't give you much about their soundness with heavy work, brains or ability to pass on good genes. you don't know what he's going to make. But you take a chance on them. If you roll the dice and get lucky you're going to have one of the first competition horses out of this up-and-coming great horse and that's really marketable. Eyes are going to be on you and that first or second foal crop. Or if the young stallion does well one year and you breed you can probably turn the foal around quickly. But if he just fades into the sunset well, so does the marketability of your foal. On the other hand lots of good stallions are owned by people who can't afford to campaign the horse to the highest level and you might get the horse of a lifetime out of one of these.
So it depends on your mare, your goals with the breeding, and your goals with the foal. And your drive to do good research (go see the stud, really check out the bloodline matches, whatever).
Oh and yea, you have to always match the mare with the stallion but there's more than one stallion that suits a mare and you have choices. That's what this answer is based on.
When you speak of "proven" stallions I like to think in terms of get more so than performance. That being said many years ago I had a breeder tell me that she would always try to breed to a stallion that was well known & well advertised as in essence the stallion owner was doing your advertising for you & your foals.
There are good points all around in this. The way I look at it is this:
For most of my mares (although I freely admit that I am not breeding as much as I used to) I will go with the proven stallion with great offspring out of mares similar to mine in conformation and breeding, but.....
If I have a truly great mare that produces well, I will take a chance on a young unproven stallion sometimes (if his bloodlines and conformation appear to be a decent match) - but..... I will contact the young stallion owner, discuss it thoroughly and work out a significant discount in fee so that the young stallion gets to have a chance to breed to a top mare and begin proving himself and I take less of a risk to do it.
Sometimes it works out great and other times both MO and SO learn that maybe the young stallion doesn't produce as well as hoped - at least with that type mare.
In any event, very rarely have I bred to a young unproven stallion based solely on his name or his being the 'flavor of the month.' That sort of risk belongs to the true gambler!
I totally agree that you need to match a stallion to your mare. What I'm trying to figure out is if you have two or more stallions that are completely equal as in matching your mare do you go for the proven performer or the young prospect with great bloodlines?
So do you take a risk with a young prospect or proven performer? It doesn't matter if you are breeding for dressage, eventing, arabians, quarter horses,
hunters or jumpers. What makes you decide on a stallion if several match your mare?