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Spinoff: Eventing Stallions Thread -- What should our eventing mare base be?

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  • Spinoff: Eventing Stallions Thread -- What should our eventing mare base be?

    I'm creating my own spinoff, but do not want to neglect the other part of the equation. Again, for producing upper-level eventers, what should our mare base be? American TBs? Warmbloods? IDSHs? Crossbreds?

    Should concentrations of TB blood come primarily from only one side of the pedigree, or both? Does it matter?

    I know that any can work and have worked, and there are any number of performance and conformation variables that go into the evaluation. Is there a way, however, to focus our selection of broodmares to be matched with the stallions (and others) identified in my other post so that better breeding decisions are made?

    What is your ideal broodmare for breeding an upper-level eventer?

  • #2
    IMO, a TB mare. But that is completely unscientific and not based on experience.
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    • #3
      IDSH. I bred my mare to Gatsby with the idea of keeping the Irish 5th leg and good bone but getting more blood and wanting it comming from both sire and dam (keep/improve the gallop), but also some WB to improve the dressage scores
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      • #4
        Either ISH or TB. As long as the mare is 1/2 to 3/4s TB, you have the luxury of more choice in sires. However, with a half TB mare, you'd want a sire with lots of Blood.

        Sorry. Edited to add Connemara x TB crosses.
        Last edited by vineyridge; Oct. 14, 2011, 10:32 PM.
        "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
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        • #5
          I'll go with Tilly Go Bragh's full sister
          I wasn't always a Smurf
          Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
          "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
          The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

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          • #6
            I'll go with Tilly Go Bragh's full sister
            I wasn't always a Smurf
            Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
            "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
            The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Peregrine Farm View Post
              What is your ideal broodmare for breeding an upper-level eventer?
              This one.

              pedigree

              Nicest TB I've ever seen, and produces XC machines. Lovely movers, too.

              What makes her a great broodmare are the things you want in an eventing broodmare:

              1. Quality gallop -- uphill, ground-covering, light
              2. Soundness
              3. Tough mind (an eventer needs an opinion)
              4. Forwardness -- in jumping/moving/thinking
              5. Conformation that needs no improvement

              But I breed like to like, and have chosen stallions similar in type who produce similar in type, usually with significant TB blood. (However, I don't and won't do Mr. P or Northern Dancer or other usual suspects.)

              If I had a quality crossbred mare, I'd probably be making different choices.

              The US mare base seems to lean toward the TB; what people need to learn is how to mix WB/Irish blood successfully with those TB mares.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JER View Post
                This one.

                pedigree

                Nicest TB I've ever seen, and produces XC machines. Lovely movers, too.

                What makes her a great broodmare are the things you want in an eventing broodmare:

                1. Quality gallop -- uphill, ground-covering, light
                2. Soundness
                3. Tough mind (an eventer needs an opinion)
                4. Forwardness -- in jumping/moving/thinking
                5. Conformation that needs no improvement

                But I breed like to like, and have chosen stallions similar in type who produce similar in type, usually with significant TB blood. (However, I don't and won't do Mr. P or Northern Dancer or other usual suspects.)

                If I had a quality crossbred mare, I'd probably be making different choices.

                The US mare base seems to lean toward the TB; what people need to learn is how to mix WB/Irish blood successfully with those TB mares.

                Love her pedigree. I had a gelding by Pass the Glass who was very athletic and had such a nice, substanial build to him. He came off the track sound at 8 with 64 starts.
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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by JER View Post
                  The US mare base seems to lean toward the TB; what people need to learn is how to mix WB/Irish blood successfully with those TB mares.

                  Nice mare!

                  Re: the quote above -- do you intend to stay with a pure TB base, or moving forward do you envision keeping crossbred fillies that you've bred and moving in that direction? That is sort of what I have been noodling over as far as a preference -- I know that it can be successfully done either way, but it does seem that the options increase somewhat for a crossbred with a high % of TB. Obviously it depends on the quality of the first generation out of your TB mare; I think I am leaning in that direction for our program -- hoping for quality fillies to compete, keep, and breed, at least initially.

                  What got me thinking about this was the Butts program in Germany -- I base this upon looking only at the pedigrees, but I am presuming he took heavier warmblood mares and refined them with TBs on the sire-line over two generations to get the Butts Leons, Butts Abraaxas, and Butts Avedons of the world. Or maybe it's mostly the impact of Heraldik, I don't know. But the question I had is whether, in the long view, it is better to work heavy to light, or does it really matter?

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                  • #10
                    It wasn't two generations for Herr Butt. He started with 1/2 bred TB mares from the very early 1950s and bred ONLY to Hanoverian approved TB stallions. It's really more like five or six generations of TB on top.
                    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Good point; but the question remains -- start with a non-TB and add TB over successive generations, or start with a TB mare and work from there.

                      Side question -- did Herr Butt have the success his horses have seen recently before Heraldik was added to the equation?

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                      • #12
                        The Germans didn't have TB mares available for small breeders in the 1950s. Horse racing was a very popular sport with big time rich folks and the Nazi leadership as well. The Nazis, being nouveau, got into racing in a big way. That's one of the reasons they stole all the TBs from France that they did. So TB mares were not available for anything but race breeding in Germany. It's also one reason why non racing breeders were able to get access to the greatest of German race horses. What was happening then for them would be like us getting access directly to Secretariat with non-TB mares. There weren't enough TB mares to fill a stallion's book, so the stud was willing to go outside the breed. Neither, of course did the Dutch who really had no TBs to speak of; and the government programs in Germany and Ireland for nominal stud fees for TB breeding for the cavalry is another reason the TB was on top in those countries.

                        I don't know if they were as spectacular as the latest crop, but he's been providing rides to Dibowski since the early 1990's. One of his was eventing Bundeschampion in 1992. That one has Shutterfly's grandsire for sire.
                        Last edited by vineyridge; Oct. 15, 2011, 08:31 PM.
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                        • #13
                          JER, can you expand more on your thoughts of breeding like to like?

                          Thanks!

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                          • #14
                            One of my best mares is an OTTB whom I bought specifically to breed to A Fine Romance, specifically to produce eventers.
                            www.pedigreequery.com/macassa

                            She has produced exceptional athletes (full TBs) who are also durable and sound. One went to Advanced in eventing and went on to be a winning Grand Prix jumper, and is still competing. Another of her foals went from BN to a One Star last season, and has all the ability of his older brother.
                            Here is their pedigrees: www.pedigreequery.com/my+romance

                            She is extremely athletic, with superb conformation, in particular a huge hip, an excellent pedigree (a little ND, but her sire Same Direction was known to produce good, tough, hard-knocking racehorses), a not-great trot - but a huge walk and wonderful gallop and a very good mind. Not easy, but kind. I am certain, but for a terrifying track injury she too would have been a remarkable jumper.

                            I have also subscribed to the belief of like to like, breeding similar individuals, with similar strengths and positive characteristics. In this case, the mare is an exceptional individual, and in the few areas in which she is less strong, I feel the stallion improves on her.
                            There is also quite a bit of overlap in the pedigrees, and this is something that I bred for intentionally.
                            A Fine Romance. April 1991 - June 2016. Loved forever.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Peregrine Farm View Post
                              Good point; but the question remains -- start with a non-TB and add TB over successive generations, or start with a TB mare and work from there.
                              Not really. All you have to do is look at eventing results, now and over the years. There's no magical formula with using TB blood on bottom vs top -- the reasons for doing so in Europe is wanting to change the available mare base, not for any real breeding reason -- and especially no reason to question where the TB blood should be in eventing. The question has already been answered a gazillion times over in the eventing world.

                              Or maybe I should say the question is a no-brainer. The mare base in America should be a TB with good feet and an excellent jump.
                              Last edited by grayarabpony; Oct. 16, 2011, 10:58 AM. Reason: spelling

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                              • #16
                                Our best mare is a TB - everything she produced has been really nice. Her first foal was Salute The Truth. Her daughter by Scimitar is doing the 2-star at Fair Hill this weekend - had a fair dressage (not great, but a qualifying score; she's capable of better), clean XC with the second fastest time. Her owner definitely hopes (plans) to go advanced. Her son by Innkeeper is doing the jumpers in CA. http://www.dodonfarm.com/broodmares.html#liz
                                Pedigree: http://www.pedigreequery.com/good+queen+liz

                                Liz was athletic, but also very trainable (she was my father-in-law's hunt horse when he was 75!). We think that is where Willy and his offspring get their very distinctive eyes (hard to explain, but we know a Willy baby when we see it by the shape and look of it's eye) and very calm temperaments.
                                Erin
                                Dodon Farm Training Center - on Facebook

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Peregrine Farm View Post
                                  Re: the quote above -- do you intend to stay with a pure TB base, or moving forward do you envision keeping crossbred fillies that you've bred and moving in that direction?
                                  I plan to do both of those things.

                                  The TB mare in the photo had 3 fillies. Dekorum was a 13/16ths TB by Catherston Dazzler. She was everything you could possibly want in an eventer and IMO, the perfect modern event horse. I planned to compete her to Advanced and then use her for breeding. We got to Advanced but it ended too soon. Her loss is a huge blow to me in several ways, one of which is in breeding future super eventers.

                                  The next eldest filly, Zizi, is now 6. She's a 1/2 TB 1/2 Akhal-Teke by Super Star, who is a fantastic stallion who eventers should be using. My goal was to breed a smaller (~15.2hh) version of the perfect modern event horse. (I'm a stick figure and prefer to ride smaller horses. This one was for me.) Zizi is a beautiful mare with exceptional athleticism but she is in the 14.2hh-14.3hh range, which is unusual for either side of the family. Due to her breeding, she's an unconventional model, built like the equine equivalent of a whippet. And like a whippet, she can run and jump. Her easy canter is 450mpm. Due to her size, I'm now angling to breed high-powered ponies from her. I would love to cross her with one of those super-jumping French AA ponies (like this), although given that she's really a horse, I'll probably do ET into a pony mare to ensure a small size (you can get a 10% reduction this way).

                                  The youngest is Niina, who is a full TB by Heroicity. I wanted to have a full TB out of my mare to keep the TB thing going. This was very important to me, to always have a TB mare. It was not easy to find the right TB stallion because the pedigrees and traits that I like are not easily found. Nina has her sire's colour and his temperament, because unlike her mother and sisters, she's quiet and stays quiet. The rest of the family is hot and opinionated (but in a way that's good for an event horse) under saddle. I plan to breed Nina to Catherston Dazzler as I know the lines cross well. I'll probably do some ETs in the spring.

                                  My newest mare is a full TB, who stayed on the track until age 11. This, of course, is Kissy Kiss, who got tens of thousands of page views on COTH. I had my eye on her for two years before I acquired her, shortly after Dekorum died. She's lovely to look at, and her pedigree is, too. I bred her to Chairman this year, the AI took, but a few weeks ago, we discovered she'd reabsorbed. We'll try again next year, although I'll need to find a new stallion. In the meantime, we're going to work her under saddle over the winter and learn more about her (like can she jump?), which can only help the breeding process. In the spring, I'll be looking for something in the 5/8ths TB range or perhaps at a stallion with a lot of AA blood. I do like that Bonaparte N stallion.

                                  So the general plan is to breed mostly-TBs, while also maintaining a line of full TBs. As I like light, fast horses, I'll probably stick to crossbred stallions that are heavily TB and/or AA.

                                  Originally posted by hhfarm View Post
                                  JER, can you expand more on your thoughts of breeding like to like?
                                  It's not terribly complicated, although it takes some dispassionate analysis and I do have one particular expert (someone who had bred a lot of animals, for a number of generations) that I will always consult.

                                  I want the stallion to enhance the best qualities of the mare. So I choose stallions who are like the mare in type, almost to the extent that the stallion looks like a variation of the mare. If you look at the mare Bett's Jet in the photo, and then look at Catherston Dazzler, you'll get it. I admit this isn't terribly scientific, but it does seem to work for me, and good breeders have been breeding for many, many generations this way. You know your mare, you know what she produces, and you pick the stallion who'll give you the best version of that. You do have to throw out any sentiment about 'favorite' stallions -- you're only looking for the right one for your mare.

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Erin Pittman View Post
                                    Our best mare is a TB - everything she produced has been really nice. Her first foal was Salute The Truth. Her daughter by Scimitar is doing the 2-star at Fair Hill this weekend - had a fair dressage (not great, but a qualifying score; she's capable of better), clean XC with the second fastest time. Her owner definitely hopes (plans) to go advanced. .
                                    What's her name?
                                    Chris Misita
                                    www.hiddenvalleyfarms.net Home of Bravo and Warrick!
                                    To dare; progress comes at this price. All sublime conquests are, more or less, the rewards of daring.
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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by misita View Post
                                      What's her name?
                                      Zara - ended up with one rail in stadium and finished right in the middle of the pack. When her dressage improves, she'll be awesome.
                                      Erin
                                      Dodon Farm Training Center - on Facebook

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                                      • #20
                                        Thanks Erin. I'll have fun watching her grow!

                                        What do you guys think of Ballista. Shown here with her 2010 colt Bourbon Street at 30 days. Bourbon Street is is owned by an eventer.

                                        http://www.allbreedpedigree.com/ballista7
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                                        Last edited by misita; Oct. 16, 2011, 04:47 PM.
                                        Chris Misita
                                        www.hiddenvalleyfarms.net Home of Bravo and Warrick!
                                        To dare; progress comes at this price. All sublime conquests are, more or less, the rewards of daring.
                                        Victor Hugo

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