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Rachel Alexandra will not be bred in 2014 (I think that's what it says)

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  • #21
    All of this just leaves me wondering if horses suffer from gestational diabetes or if anyone is even looking for it? The condition is hereditary in other mammalian species and since RA’s dam had the same problem shouldn’t it be considered?

    Left untreated/unrecognized, gestational diabetes can and often does result in extra-large neonates among other things. It can be controlled fairly well with a carefully managed diet low in simple carbohydrates along with exercise. Blood sugar needs to be monitored frequently until after parturition.

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    • #22
      She has the best vets in the business, I am sure every possibility has been examined and then some. I don't think her foals are abnormally large.
      McDowell Racing Stables

      Home Away From Home

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      • #23
        Originally posted by fire_911medic View Post
        I am willing to venture if never broodmare capable.again she may win a horse park retirement like cigar and other pensioner or infertile stallions. Many have found their way there to allow the public to view. Broodmares typically live out all the time in bands so having people going through all the time and exposure is of concern there. Would love for her to be visible at the horse park or better yet the resident churchill downs thoroughbred !
        She deserves to be someplace other than the KHP. I wouldn't send a horse to them.
        Only two emotions belong in the saddle: One is a sense of humor. The other is patience.

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        • #24
          Shame if she cannot be bred. I do wish the JC would move away from live cover only rules. With DNA testing and other regulations of the the other racing industries who have moved away from live cover only (Standardbred, Arabs, QHs), I think it could be made safer for the horses while still protective of the breed and industru. But I also understand why folks do not want to move in that direction as well.

          But whether she would be a good show horse or not....no way to tell. I've had a few who were rank, difficult and mean ....turn into easy pussy cats after being away from the track (including one top stakes winning horse whose very BNT said he would be difficult--he was packing my beginner mom on trail rides after two years---completely different personality than when he was in race training).

          But she has nothing left to prove. And I suspect she would be happiest on a farm with just her people and a few horse friends.
          ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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          • #25
            Why are you guys bringing up live cover? She could be covered every day without any problems. She can't deliver a foal without complications.
            McDowell Racing Stables

            Home Away From Home

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            • #26
              Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
              Why are you guys bringing up live cover? She could be covered every day without any problems. She can't deliver a foal without complications.
              By live cover...I mean the mare being jumped by the stallion and carrying the foals.

              The other industries like Standardbred and Arab (and I think QH) allow ET and AI. But here...the issue would be ET.

              In the Arab world, a mare could have multiple offspring in a year produced using ET. I think in the Standardbred world, while they can have multiple offspring produced by the mare, I think they are limited to registering only one. Or something like that.

              But the point being....all other industries allow ET and AI...and have moved away from live cover (AND the mare carrying the foal) only.
              ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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              • #27
                Live cover and a mare carrying the foal are 2 different things. You can live cover a mare and still flush an embryo.

                I know lots of QH industry people that wish things would move back to live cover only and no shipped semen.
                Only two emotions belong in the saddle: One is a sense of humor. The other is patience.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post

                  But the point being....all other industries allow ET and AI...and have moved away from live cover (AND the mare carrying the foal) only.
                  And that is why the other industries don't have many farms that can make their living solely off stallion care and management, and mare care. The current "old school" way makes it difficult to breed a mare and discourages sending mares off that aren't of quality (it still happens, but on a small, regional scale).

                  "Pat the horse; kick yourself" - Carl Hester

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by Angelico View Post
                    And that is why the other industries don't have many farms that can make their living solely off stallion care and management, and mare care. The current "old school" way makes it difficult to breed a mare and discourages sending mares off that aren't of quality (it still happens, but on a small, regional scale).

                    As I said in my post....I DO understand why there are some people that do not want to move that way. But I personally disagree for many reasons I'm not going to get into on this thread. The JC is really the only hold out on this. ET is NOT cheap to do (as I have looked into for my competition horses and know many who have done ET). I've been to farms with Arab race mares, and the ones doing the ET were the mares worth in the millions....not your average mare.
                    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                      She has the best vets in the business, I am sure every possibility has been examined and then some. I don't think her foals are abnormally large.
                      I wouldn't automatically assume her vets are the type to think outside of the box though. Knew of a very wealthy farm breeding in NY that had multimillion dollar Arabian halter horses, money no object, "best" vets/farriers, etc., that wouldn''t even consider insulin reistance as a possible cause of multiple cases of fatal laminitis on their farm. This was back in the days when IR was considered a fairly new idea as a significant contributor to nontypical causes of laminitis and founder. This farm continued to provide access to acres of gorgeous grassy pastures along with 2x daily sweet feed - all under the direction of their vet team. They also continued to euthanize beautiful, otherwise healthy animals that had reached their teens on a fairly regular basis. Just saying...

                      Since I've not come across much about gestational diabetes in horses I have to assume nobody's looking. Oh and I thought it mentioned in an earlier thread that RA's foals were quite large which resulted in the last one causing colon damage.

                      From that article in SI:

                      After delivering a 140-pound filly by Bernardini Tuesday morning, she developed problems resulting in surgery Wednesday to repair an area in her small colon that was injured during foaling. A blood loss in the affected section resulted in an infection.
                      140# foal is pretty large for a TB.

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                        As I said in my post....I DO understand why there are some people that do not want to move that way. But I personally disagree for many reasons I'm not going to get into on this thread. The JC is really the only hold out on this. ET is NOT cheap to do (as I have looked into for my competition horses and know many who have done ET). I've been to farms with Arab race mares, and the ones doing the ET were the mares worth in the millions....not your average mare.
                        How many horses are truly worth millions? Very few, and even fewer Arabian race mares (and I love Arab racing).
                        And what of AI? There are some SCARY back yard labs out there.

                        "Pat the horse; kick yourself" - Carl Hester

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                        • #32
                          Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                          Why are you guys bringing up live cover? She could be covered every day without any problems. She can't deliver a foal without complications.
                          Yes, breeding is not the problem. Foaling is the problem. She's a wonderful mare and thanks to Jess Jackson, she did wonderful things. Not worth killing her to try to get another foal. Of course, for non-racing people, she could have embryo transfer as was done each year with Weihaiwej (I misspelled that, but she was the big WEG winner years ago.)

                          I just brought up the "she maybe could be a show mare" because so many off track TBs have done well in the hunter ring. And I've owned 3 ottb mares, all of whom were great under saddle.

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by rcloisonne View Post
                            I wouldn't automatically assume her vets are the type to think outside of the box though. Knew of a very wealthy farm breeding in NY that had multimillion dollar Arabian halter horses, money no object, "best" vets/farriers, etc., that wouldn''t even consider insulin reistance as a possible cause of multiple cases of fatal laminitis on their farm. This was back in the days when IR was considered a fairly new idea as a significant contributor to nontypical causes of laminitis and founder. This farm continued to provide access to acres of gorgeous grassy pastures along with 2x daily sweet feed - all under the direction of their vet team. They also continued to euthanize beautiful, otherwise healthy animals that had reached their teens on a fairly regular basis. Just saying...

                            Since I've not come across much about gestational diabetes in horses I have to assume nobody's looking. Oh and I thought it mentioned in an earlier thread that RA's foals were quite large which resulted in the last one causing colon damage.

                            From that article in SI:


                            140# foal is pretty large for a TB.
                            With all due respect, the Kentucky equine veterinary community probably sees more mares with foaling complications, and brings more mares and foals through life-threatening situations with good outcomes, than any vets in the country.

                            Any Kentucky Thoroughbred farm manager will tell you that a 140# foal is on the large side, but not uncommon. Some mares routinely deliver 150# foals without complications.

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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by Angelico View Post
                              And what of AI? There are some SCARY back yard labs out there.
                              I didn't want to get into it but to me AI isn't the issue. Indiscriminate breeding is and that is done regardless of live cover, ET or AI. People are resistant to changing the JC way of doing things SOLELY to protect the broodmare farms that earn money off the day care of mares shipped to stallions.

                              It isn't really protective of the breed or indiscriminate breeding. A backyard yahoo can still breed and registered a crappy cheap TB just as with anything.

                              BUT you do not see ET being done on a "back" yard basis--because it is bloody expensive and not easy. BUT yes, there are several million dollar arab race mares kept here in the US. Their offspring can race here, but many race all over the world. The farm I was at had many valuable mares from some of the Top international farms and the mares were there because of their location to top vets and experience in training race horses but also shipping horses internationally.
                              ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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                              • #35
                                Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                                I didn't want to get into it but to me AI isn't the issue. Indiscriminate breeding is and that is done regardless of live cover, ET or AI. People are resistant to changing the JC way of doing things SOLELY to protect the broodmare farms that earn money off the day care of mares shipped to stallions.

                                It isn't really protective of the breed or indiscriminate breeding. A backyard yahoo can still breed and registered a crappy cheap TB just as with anything.

                                BUT you do not see ET being done on a "back" yard basis--because it is bloody expensive and not easy. BUT yes, there are several million dollar arab race mares kept here in the US. Their offspring can race here, but many race all over the world. The farm I was at had many valuable mares from some of the Top international farms and the mares were there because of their location to top vets and experience in training race horses but also shipping horses internationally. That must have been an awesome farm!
                                Why shouldn't we protect our breeding farms? It would be senseless to allow AI and ruin all these operations. If it isn't broke, don't fix it. We do not need AI. Why push for it? Does it not bother you how any idiot can handle that semen, then box it up and send it to mare owners. You remember what JB's lab looked like?

                                The QH registry allows ET, and honestly, I think it is silly. Have you ever walked through a barn and seen four horses, all ET's, all essentially the same horse, same age? I have, and it just strikes me as messed up. Yes, it is a cool science, yes, I'm sure it is handy, but look at the long term effects that will have on the breed, the gene pool. Say one of those four is a highly successful racehorse, yet it has three full siblings like itself, tell me that won't decrease his value when he goes to stud. You can get the exact same genes from one of the others, or heck, do more ET's. Too much of a good thing, makes it not so good any more.

                                I love RA, but can we not respect nature and leave her be? She had two beautiful, healthy foals. What more does she, or any mare need to contribute? Nature has its reasons for things.

                                "Pat the horse; kick yourself" - Carl Hester

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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by Angelico View Post
                                  You can get the exact same genes from one of the others, or heck, do more ET's. Too much of a good thing, makes it not so good any more.
                                  .
                                  Actually...that isn't correct. You may get the exact same genes from twins or a clone....but ETs are mostly just siblings. And often times NOT even full siblings. Even full siblings do not have the same genes (unless they are type of twin)....I know my brother and I don't look that much alike!


                                  It just allows a mare to have more than one foal in a year and/or not risk the mare. Granted, it can be very hit or miss. I've heard of up to 5 foals via ET in one year but that is VERY unusual. Most of the time you just get one or two--if you are lucky.

                                  I believe in the Standardbreds, they allow ET....but one one foal per year can be registered to race. I find that a bit interesting and I'm sure curbs the use of ET a bit.

                                  As for protecting the farms....the mares still need to be cared for...it is just changing the location of who is doing the care. I doubt it would end all the broodmare farms in KY (as that is a great location for raising horses)....but I also personally do not think this is earth shattering.

                                  I find it just interesting why the JC fights it so hard....especially something like AI (as that protects the mare and stallion and with DNA, we do not have the same issues before of needing the live cover to prevent fraud.). But that is a another topic. This is a beautiful mare and I do tend to agree that she has nothing left to prove.
                                  Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Feb. 19, 2014, 05:25 PM.
                                  ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                                    There is the possibility but I see no need for it. Sport horse big bucks are scrape off the bottom of your shoe bucks for race horses.
                                    Unless you're Qatar looking to buy Olympic medals...or whoever it was paid FIFTEEN MILLION for some jumper gelding (not if I had ten times that money would I waste it on a show horse.)

                                    I can't see why anyone would want an RA except for the novelty factor until the two she did manage to produce so far show whether they can do anything. Mid-level show horses are a dime a dozen if you want TBs, there's no reason to think she'd be a tip-top show horse, they can't possibly have thought they'd ever make their money back on her at profit...let her be a pasture puff at least until these two show if it's worth risking another one.
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                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by ejm View Post
                                      Any Kentucky Thoroughbred farm manager will tell you that a 140# foal is on the large side, but not uncommon. Some mares routinely deliver 150# foals without complications.
                                      This.

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                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by NCRider View Post
                                        They paid $10,000,000 for her, primarily for breeding purposes. I can't imagine any sort of insurance will ever be in play. That's a big investment to leave sitting on the sidelines unproductive for sentimental reasons if the vets ever give the go ahead.
                                        Jess Jackson absolutely did not buy her primarily as a broodmare. He bought he because he wanted to see her race against the colts, which her previous connections were probably going to drag their feet on. They certainly weren't going to race her in the Preakness and Jackson wanted her in that race. He could have purchased her cheaper as a broodmare after her race career was over. She was never worth more than when he bought her. It had nothing to do with business.

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                                        • #40
                                          I hate what AI and ET has done to the standardbred breeding industry, I hope the JC stays far far away from it indefinitely.
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