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  1. #1
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    Question Confused! Grande and soundness

    I wonder if the endless COTH wisdom can clarify something for me.

    As far as I know, Grande is considered to be the sire of very sound horses. It has been hammered into my head that if I want to increase the odds of a foal getting to top sport, Grande is probably desirable.

    However, after taking a look at every stallion registered in sporthorse.com sired by Grande, I noticed most of them (if not all) have a variable degree of sickle hocks.... and sickle hocks decrease the chance of a horse staying sound.

    Can anyone clarify this?
    Last edited by SCMSL; Jan. 8, 2013 at 06:27 PM.



  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    I'm no expert on Grande, but while my horses who descend from him have stayed sound, he is several generations back. None of them have sickle hocks.

    I do have a horse with tons of St. Simon who looks very much like him, including the sickle hocks, and is probably the soundest horse I've ever owned.

    IME with upper level jumpers, slight sickle hocks are not a problem. YMMV of course and I know very little about soundness issues in Dressage horses.


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  4. #4
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    Jumpers can have a little bit of sickle hocked appearence, but very rarely are they actually clinical. Horses with very strong stifles and toplines put very little strain on their hocks. Perhaps you are looking at the wrong parts of the body?

    Tim
    Sparling Rock Holsteiners
    www.sparlingrock.com


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  5. #5
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    Perhaps you are looking at the wrong parts of the body?
    Of course you always have to evaluate a horse as a hole, but I just found this disparity senseless.

    What do you mean by clinical sickle hocks?



  6. #6
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    There are unsoundnesses and there are conformation flaws...they are not at all the same. Even a flaw, while obvious to our eye, may likely never cause an unsoundness. They are "thought" to indicate a weakness that could become an unsoundness. Some of these flaws are likely to result in insoundness especially in the horse is not managed well to prevent unsoundness. Some of these flaws are merely biases and believed to be weaknesses but really rarely result in unsoundness particularly if the flaw is not severe or is not accompanied by other flaws. For example if a horse is slightly sickle hocked and then also has a small hock and weak pasterns and a too straight stifle...for many people they will SEE the sickle hock as it is easy to see and compare to a straight hind leg but the other issues require a better eye to detect...what is an insufficient hock or how straight is too straight in the stifle and how much flexion in the pastern is too much and how much is too straight. The sickle hock gets the blame but the breakdown was likely due to more complicated mechanics. So a mild sickle can also be part of a very strong structure as can a mild turning out of the toes behind...but many people see it and claim COW HOCKS! Cow hocks is a bad structure if it is a general weakness in the whole of the hind leg accompanied by other weak structures but if it is just closer but still correct hind legs it is not "cow hocks". A flaw is a variation from perfect but it is not necessarily an unsoundness or even a potential risk...it is just not perfect. People get really overwhelmed by less then perfect and it is not that important a judge of future soundness or even suitability...you need to know your sport...look at a lot of horses and balance conformation with other assets. When they inspect they give a numerical value usually and there is a range perfect is within the range but there is room for less than perfect. I would be more concerned with whether the Grandes stay sound. There is conformation and there is toughness...my Irish Draughts are tough. They can be standing on an abcessed foot that could cripple another horse and they will be sound...that is toughness. A long lived productive offspring gets farther in training. It is more a REAL test of soundness than a score on paper.


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  7. #7
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    Confused too! I tried the site..I didn't find it relevant to your question. Nonetheless, just how many generations are you going back to find ONE sire and then make such an observation?? Grande has no sons or grandsons standing since he was born in 1958.

    http://www.allbreedpedigree.com/grande4

    There is a picture of Grande on this site - his year of birth 1958.

    Pictured: The mare and foal - both are champions as young horses in hand and both are champion performance horses representing 4th & 5th generation Grande breeding and a number of other bloodlines.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by TWF; Jan. 8, 2013 at 08:16 PM. Reason: checking my spelling!



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCMSL View Post
    Of course you always have to evaluate a horse as a hole..
    I know this was a typo, but it really made me giggle
    Barn rat for life

    The Big Horse


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by wcporter View Post
    I know this was a typo, but it really made me giggle

    Yes, a big money sucking hole LOL
    The rebel in the grey shirt


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  10. #10
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    Although it did make me laugh about the "Hole" comment I also find it funny that besides the fact that the picture of Grande does not show sickle hocked confirmation, his name is "Grande" and he only stood at 162cm. Kind of funny.

    Tim
    Sparling Rock Holsteiners
    www.sparlingrock.com



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCMSL View Post
    Of course you always have to evaluate a horse as a hole, but I just found this disparity senseless.

    What do you mean by clinical sickle hocks?
    Let me clarify. Clinical means that the deviation from vertical must be significant enough to deam the horse Sickle hocked. When looking at a horse, the deviation reviewed is the angle created between the hock and the fetlock. If this angle is zero, then they are perfect. Vets look to see a degree of imperfection before designating a horse "Sickle Hocked". A slight deviation does not warrant this designation, and would not be clinical.

    Tim
    Sparling Rock Holsteiners
    www.sparlingrock.com


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyTimMick View Post
    Let me clarify. Clinical means that the deviation from vertical must be significant enough to deam the horse Sickle hocked. When looking at a horse, the deviation reviewed is the angle created between the hock and the fetlock. If this angle is zero, then they are perfect. Vets look to see a degree of imperfection before designating a horse "Sickle Hocked". A slight deviation does not warrant this designation, and would not be clinical.

    Tim
    Thanks Tim. I might be overly critical of my horse's faults. Not sure the exact degree of deviation used to determine a clinical sickle hock, but the successful jumpers I've seen, including my own, have been slight and not a problem.

    From the photo posted, I would not consider Grande sickle hocked, but I was also surprised by his height.



  13. #13
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    Little man?? I know I got a chuckle out of that too! He was likely named at birth ..perhaps to overcome his "challenges". I do think he was in fact not demonstrating any hint of a sickle hock ...so PLEASE....don''t question the GRANDE!
    Tradition of "Grande" Sporthorse Champions
    Couture Du Jour - Devon Winner '10 & '12 & PHSA Champ '10
    Grande Desire & Impression '08-10 PHSA Champs
    Grande Sovereign -CH & HB Sire


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  14. #14
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    Thumbs up

    Having worked at the Atlanta Olympics and studying bloodlines of succesful FEI horses, both dressage and jumping, there is a lot of Grande in those pedigrees from Atlanta and Athens.
    It is a shame that there is so little of that blood left for us to use. In fact, the HAnoverian Verband a few years ago was encouraging breeders to use stallions with Grande in the pedigree. But because he threw heavy, his bloodline is not popular.
    However,in 1999 and 2000, I went looking for a mare with Grande up close in her pedigree and found a Grande direct daughter in foal to DeNiro. Bought the foal in uetero. Diora is now 13 years old and very sound. She has given us beautiful, and for the most part, modern offspring. Everyone is sold to upperlevel riders before they are a full year old.
    Maryanna Haymon- Marydell Farm - Home to Don Principe & Doctor Wendell MF
    www.marydellfarm.com
    2012 USDF Champion Breeder! 2007, 2011 USEF Champ Breeder
    2009,2010,2011 USDF Res Breeder of the Year!


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  15. #15
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    Well Grande isn't sickle hocked so I doubt it is coming from him.
    www.svhanoverians.com

    "Simple: Breeding,Training, Riding". Wolfram Wittig.


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