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  • repeat crosses?

    Stupid auto correct...apologize for previous title error! I don't see that many. Is it like a slot machine where the player hopes the next pull is genetic jackpot?

    For those that have done it, what were you criteria or reasons for the decision? Did you make it pre- or post- foaling? I'm curious on these breeding choices made so rarely.
    Last edited by TSHEventing; Apr. 27, 2012, 07:40 PM. Reason: Title

  • #2
    With the Guaranteed Gold / Puchi Trap foals, we did it 7 times in a row. I LOVED what that cross produced and every single time the foal was absolutely identical in every way to the sibling(s) before. It was uncanny how the genetics literally "hard wired" the same traits time and time again into every single foal produced.

    If I like what I am getting in Foal #1, and I would mortgage my soul and my house to own that foal, absolutely I would repeat it again and again and again ...

    Why mess with success?!
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    • #3
      Well in my own barn: Tate has 6 full brothers/sisters (he is the youngest). I didn't breed them but I know that Pam owned Onassis and Tanzania and felt (I think rightfully so ) that it was a good cross and kept repeating it over and over. 3 of the boys were presented for stallion approvals - 2 were approved. The one that wasn't approved remained intact for a long while (not sure if he still is or not) and went on to sire hunter offspring up in the North East. 1 mare was Reserve High Point Mare of her inspection. And most of them are competing in eventing or hunter/jumpers... so she may have been on to something.

      I myself have 3 full siblings by Oskar II *Pg*. When Emma (Emerald Fire) was born, she was everything that I was hoping for to come out of my wonderful "heart" mare. The long legs, fantastic movement, everything (and this filly I will readily admit that I'm barn blind on so don't judge me lol) for me is perfection. She did very well in hand, was tied for High Point Mare at the Inspection that was during the Annual Meeting (with 13 mares being presented) and the German Breeding Director said that she was international and what we should be breeding for. She's doing great under saddle and is about to make her dressage debut. I bred the mare back to Oskar on the 30 day heat when Emma was born I liked what I saw so much. The gelding is very good but takes after the mom more. Tried one more time and got another filly, that has less bling, but IMO is BETTER than Emma in terms of movement... so it was a good nick I think. Time will tell.

      I do plan on breeding back Val to Tate - I like the cross and what I got this year and that was the whole reason for keeping her as a broodmare... I think stallion owners repeat crosses with their own stallions more often. partly for convience perhaps, but also we tend to keep or obtain mares FOR our stallions. I know of several other SOs that have many many full siblings....
      Emerald Acres standing the ATA, Trakehner Verband, sBs, RPSI, and ISR/OLD NA Approved Stallion, Tatendrang. Visit us at our Facebook Farm Page as well!

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      • #4
        I have two full siblings that I bred - and one follows the mother while the other follows the father - in looks and attitude. If you saw them you would never think they are siblings.

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        • #5
          We do it but we're a multigenerational riding/breeding farm, so we know what needs to be added *usually* from generation to generation. Which means we have a pretty firm understanding of what changes need to be made (as riding horses) and what each parent brings to the table - temperament, barrel size/shape, quality of each gait & jump, length of leg, etc.

          To break it down - most of the mares are daughter/granddaughter/greatgranddaughters and the stallions are either a product of the same sort of breeding (sire or dam's strengths/weaknesses are well know) or for the outside boys - they are proven to produce horses we want to ride ourselves and compliment the mares. And then there are the siblings that don't go to the breeding shed - full and half brothers and sisters that stay and get trained up the levels until they sell (or not).

          Not everyone does it this way and that's fine but we like knowing (as best we can) what we are going to produce with each breeding as riding stock.

          Plans for who gets bred to whom and when are floating around from the time a filly is born. They solidify when she reaches an age of going to the breeding shed - and usually we have an older full sibling going well undersaddle at that point and know what needs to come from the stallion to make a better next generation. Even though we're not breeding this year - there is a "list" in our minds of who would be bred in the event of a career ending injury. In breeding years for the "real" broodmares - we usually have a short list of which stallions will come home in the tank (frozen). Or if we're collecting one of the stallions - he has a 'list of ladies' that are his for that year...so a collection can be split among multiple mares. But if we're waiting to see what a mare throws - we watch closely for the first few weeks, note strengths, weaknesses and make a decision on what qualities have come through in that particular cross. It's a gamble!

          If you're at the F1 stage - I would imagine it's much tougher as there are more unknowns. Then the questions of 'are you breeding for yourself?' or 'are you breeding for the market?' come into play and those are something that have to be decided.

          We have a mare that is probably the best example - Wakanda. She is by Waldaire out of an Again and Again daughter who was a full sister to Alacazam. So Wakanda is by a GP horse, out of a mare who was a full sister to a GP horse and by a GP horse. Again and Again was the 9th full sibling - one full brother was Ruxton (champion Working Hunter), Jackie Blue (jumped in the LA Olympics) and Rushton (successful hunter). Wakanda has 2 full brothers - Wizard (licensed stallion) and Whodini (gelding). Of the 3 - Wizard is the most like Waldaire (only better), Wakanda is like their dam (only better) and Whodini is the most like Again and Again (more elasticity, power and bigger gaits). There are also 2 half brothers by Dressage Royal growing up in the bachelor pasture. Knowing what we know about DR and the 3 full siblings - if Wakanda ever goes into the broodmare pool - she's going to Dressage Royal. No question, no debate and not a case of breeding backwards as there are qualities that Waldaire added to her that would be a positive influence on the offspring.

          Long story short - it helps to know your mare and what she brings to the table and if a stallion stamps his offspring (or not) and how offspring from either side are to ride.

          Hope that helps somewhat.
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          • #6
            Excellent response Tasker.

            I too have repeated crosses with a number of mares, a number of times.
            As Tasker said it does help to be clear about what you are breeding for, and what qualities both mare and stallion bring to the cross.

            My retired mare Macassa has been bred to A Fine Romance exclusively.
            Although my breeding program is not nearly on the same level as Tasker's,it is also multigenerational.
            I bred AFR myself so I had a clear idea of the characteristics of his sire/dam/siblings that I had also bred myself.
            I had seen Macassa at the track, knew offspring by her sire, knew her breeder and her dam.
            As soon as I saw her at the race track, and saw her pedigree, I knew she was exactly what I was looking for for my small program.
            Each offspring out of her by AFR has been exactly what I was hoping to breed.
            Almost carbon copies of each other - and each replicating the best characteristics of their sire and dam.
            Sane, sound,beautiful athletes, who include an Advanced event horse, winning Grand Prix jumper, and * event horse.
            Sadly she aborted 2 foals at 7 months, and one died at age 2.

            I do have her only daughter though and look forward to breeding her, and seeing how this cross carries on into the future.
            A Fine Romance. April 1991 - June 2016. Loved forever.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Oh, bummer Fred! Sorry to hear about the bad luck

              This question just crossed my mind because my new filly is 10 times the foal that my Riverman colt was and I am sorely tempted to rebreed her back with the remaining straw I have of Fleetwater Opposition. Sadly, I am a grad student and it just isn't in the cards for me, but when I asked Christine Miller of EMCO WHY he wasn't used more often she stated "That is the question I have been asking myself since my colt was born years ago"

              For now, I will save as the future is always an option, but it just got me thinking about repeat crosses and reasons for or against.

              Comment


              • #8
                I've done a repeat cross with my heart horse and Silvermoon. I spent literally months researching stallions and had very strict criteria for the stallion: must have done GP dressage and/or sired GP dressage horses with a high % of offspring being successful. Must be line bred. Must be from a strong mother line. Must be from a successful stallion line. Must jump. Must be sound and have a good temperament. Must be refining.

                As you can imagine there aren't many stallions who tick all of those boxes! When the first foal was born I was delighted. He is very smart and uphill with better movement than his dam. The problem was that he wasn't a filly. So repeating the cross was a very easy decision. Sadly I got yet another colt. He's also lovely. Strangely (to my mind) he's taken more after his dam in his build but he's got more of the elevation and elasticity of his sire.

                If I could have done I'd have repeated this cross again and again as it is everything I wanted to take forward in my little breeding programme. As it was Silvermoon moved studs and I can no longer get chilled semen from him which caused me huge problems. I have a mare who has had two lovely foals by a stallion whose lines I cannot get hold of in any other way. And it made me realise that I don't really know what my mare put into the foals and what the stallion was responsible for. Choosing last year's stallion was very difficult. I'm still not totally sure about this year's stallion either and won't be until I see what she throws to a completely different stamp of stallion with different bloodlines.

                And then of course there's the riding and competing aspect. I wont know about that until my mare is long retired from breeding. It is all a gamble isn't it? And this is with a mare I've known and ridden since she was a foal. I know her inside out. But I still don't know her well enough to find it easy choosing a stallion.

                Comment


                • #9
                  This is something i have been wondering about lately as well, as someone who uses frozen semen only and always use a different stallion every time

                  Sometimes it takes longer than the 30 day heat to know you want to repeat a mating, well for me anyway. Often foals just dont show their movement til they are a bit older

                  I am sure if i had my own stallion then i would be repeating matings all the time, but with frozen semen, the list is endless and possibilites always seem so exciting

                  i have bred the best filly i have ever bred this year by Sir Donnerhall but didnt realise how good she was until after her dam was confirmed in foal to Furstenball

                  I will definately be repeating the mating again as soon as possible though

                  I have wanted to repeat matings of other foals before - really good moving foals but havent, as one was too hot in temperament and another too heavy in type - various reasons, and i have wondered in fact how similar full siblings are or are not

                  i have seen it in TBs bred for racing which i have had alot to do with - where one full brother is tops on the track and at stud but the next one is a dud in every way

                  i think this has put me off a bit with repeating matings with warmbloods

                  Paulamc

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                  • #10
                    For a small breeder, it's putting a lot of eggs in one basket. We usually rotate among stallions we like, and will go back if the foal develops well - but not necessarily on the next cycle unless we judge the foal SPECTACULAR. We've done that, twice.

                    And we've got one cross that ALWAYS produces our favorite baby - we're on our fourth in a row on this one.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm a big believer in doing something that works.

                      When I have a cross that is excellent again and again -- well, why mess with success?

                      My best/favorite cross is one I have now done 6 times, and am going to rebreed the mare soon for another. I think number 6 might be her best foal yet.

                      I actually bought a full sister to her so I could try those genetics with some other pedigrees, since the older sister is such a great producer. So far I'm thrilled with the younger sister's first foal.

                      I've also kept two fillies from the mare (and would have kept a third, but sadly lost her in a pasture accident as a yearling) and both of them had outstanding first foals for me.
                      Family Partners Welsh Ponies - Home of Section B Welsh stallion *Wedderlie Mardi Gras LOM/AOE http://www.welshponies.com
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                      • #12
                        I have done repeat crosses but I have also experiemented too. I have to say that the two fillies I have bred this year have delighted me so much that a repeat breeding is on the cards for both the mares, but in a few years time as I am not recovering the mares this year
                        www.volatis.co.uk - breeders of quality and colour

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rideagoldenpony View Post
                          I'm a big believer in doing something that works.
                          I agree. If a cross is successful I wouldn't hesitate to repeat it, unless perhaps you're breeding to keep for yourself (to build a breeding program, for example) and don't want to end up with all of your horses too closely related.

                          I have a mare/stallion combination which produced two consecutive National Champion foals, so I repeated the cross a third time (foal #3 was born two weeks ago), and she'll be rebred to the same stallion for repeat #4. I guess I'm in rideagoldenpony's camp of "why mess with success"
                          River Oaks Farm - home of the Elite Book Friesian Sporthorse Grand Prix dressage stallion Lexington - sire of four consecutive FSA National Inspection Champions. Endorsing the FSA.

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                          • #14
                            We always have owned our own stallions and mares - picked for the best qualities. If a cross works to produce what we want, we stay with it. Puchi's Rambo bred to one black TB mare produced exceptionally nice, painted TB's 7 out of 7 breedings. If I was breeding to outside stallions, I "might" switch off occassionally to see if I could breed something even better!!
                            www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
                            Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

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                            • #15
                              lack of system in the U.S.

                              Originally posted by TSHEventing View Post
                              Stupid auto correct...apologize for previous title error! I don't see that many. Is it like a slot machine where the player hopes the next pull is genetic jackpot?

                              For those that have done it, what were you criteria or reasons for the decision? Did you make it pre- or post- foaling? I'm curious on these breeding choices made so rarely.
                              This is one major difference between North American and Euroipean breeders. In Europe, knowing the bloodlines, the history and being current on performance data enables breeders to make educated choices - and at the same time they also BELIEVE in that system and they stick with decisions and only make drastic changes after careful evaluation of the finished product. So they keep repeating successful crosses for a while. They are also aware of the fact that in order to achieve genetic progress, you have to bring in successful young daughters of good production mares into the program - and when that happens, they have to switch stallions as well.

                              Breeding decisions in North America, in general, are more emotional. Decisions in both stallion selection and mare culling tend to be based on more superficial information, fads, fashion and a lot of emotion rather than cold hard facts. People, in general, are also less steadfast and less patient, thus they will rarely repeat crosses, or only return to the successful cross after several less successful attempts to re-invent the wheel.

                              The two worlds are different. While the European protocol is clearly more conducive to producing top sporthorses, the American way is more experimental - and for a lot of folks is more fun (satisfies the inner gambler within them).
                              Andras
                              http://www.prairiepinesfarm.com
                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4SfHHhoc_8
                              http://www.andrasszieberthtraining.blogspot.com

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                              • #16
                                Szipi - might just be terminology, but IMO the "European system" you're describing will produce more consistency, but with no assurance whatsoever of improvement. The "American system" you're describing will certainly have a wider range of results, but statistically should have a higher probability of spectactular (as well as awful).

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                                • #17
                                  There was another thread on this topic recently.

                                  I have done many repeat breedings over the years. Repeating a breeding is a great way to learn how strong (or not) a mare is in passing on traits.

                                  Once I get a reliable, truly excellent cross, I am likely to repeat it frequently. To date, the most successful has been the Fidertanz cross with my Wolkentanz I/ Rohdiamant/ Freiherr/ Aktuell mare. It is consistent and it gives many more strong plusses than negatives. This year I have my 5th on the ground and have bred a 6th for 2013.

                                  I have two daughters from the above cross and plan to breed them in the future. Those will hopefully carry the development forward. That is the model that Andras speaks of above - bringing in top daughters of top producing mares and going forward with new crosses with new stallions.

                                  It is this sort of thing that makes breeding truly fascinating.
                                  Mary Lou
                                  http://www.homeagainfarm.com

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                                  Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique

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                                  • #18
                                    I did

                                    I was trying to breed two mares to the same stallion and one didn't take so I had a breedback for the next year. I didn't decide to actually use it until after the first foal was born though. I'm very glad I did as the first born decided she wanted to jump and I wanted to do dressage. The second one is perfectly happy doing dressage with me.
                                    Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe

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                                    • #19
                                      I'm doing a repeat cross this year. I breed mostly with eventing in mind....but I bred my mare Whizzo (Zoe) with dressage and re-sale in mind (bred her to Donarweiss)...but wanted to make sure the offspring could jump too The first foal is outstanding--she really just keeps getting better. I hadn't intended to repeat the cross....as I was thinking of crossing the mare to a TB for an eventer. But after seeing the foal...the decision to repeat the cross was darn easy. Now letting go of this cute filly...might not be so easy
                                      ** 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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                                      • #20
                                        Im not sure if you are getting the point

                                        Originally posted by secretariat View Post
                                        Szipi - might just be terminology, but IMO the "European system" you're describing will produce more consistency, but with no assurance whatsoever of improvement. The "American system" you're describing will certainly have a wider range of results, but statistically should have a higher probability of spectactular (as well as awful).
                                        I think you have totally missed the point:

                                        Only a rational, proven and science-based system will produce consistent results, by taking into account successes and faliures of the genetic and training experiment combined - thus producing improvement.

                                        Having no system and constantly relying on outcrosses (F-1 crosses) does not lead to anything. Unfortunately. That, combined with no consistent training system results in very very low rate of top performers. The other unfortunate event is that on the really really rare chance, that one of these haphazardly bred horses happens to have a lot of talent and survives the less than ideal trainig/competition system, and makes it to be a top horse, a lot of dilettants hail it as an example to promote baseless breeding practices - and the superiority of randomness over science and science-based breeding.

                                        If you doubt my points, please look at statistical data.
                                        Andras
                                        http://www.prairiepinesfarm.com
                                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4SfHHhoc_8
                                        http://www.andrasszieberthtraining.blogspot.com

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