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Question for breeders: Which stallions' foals are most popular?

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  • #21
    Thanks DownYonder!

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    • #22
      Originally posted by carnivalhill View Post
      Yes, Europe does jump on the new stallion bandwagon, but they have a much different mare base than we do, and different reasons for doing it. They have generations upon generations of breeding info to draw upon. Their mare base is very deep, where here often (there are plenty of exceptions I know) there may not be any knowledge of the mare, other than what they see standing in front of them. Europeans know how their mares produce and with what lines. Everything is well documented, they have generational knowledge to draw upon. Breeding isn't just a hobby there as is most often the case here.....
      I think that was the case when I first got into warmblood breeding. It's been my observation that things have changed over there, and the demographic of the new breeder, coming to horses later in life, without a deep knowledge base has increased quite a bit. I also see a certain amount of new resistance to advice given from older, established breeders.

      I do agree that the infrastructure to get that foal sold, or under saddle and sold is light-years better over there. No comparison.

      Speaking only to the dressage market, if the breeder in the US ignores foal-makers and hot trends, they had better be prepared to sell that horse under saddle and not as a youngster. There is little chance of recouping their investment in that case, unless they are making up the horse themselves.

      There were many reasons why I threw in the exam glove (so to speak) and gave up breeding, but the realization that I had to breed to what was hot rather than what stallion I thought was best for my mares was a big one. I wasn't willing to cave, but neither was I willing to bleed to death.
      "No matter how cynical I get its just not enough to keep up." Lily Tomlin

      Comment


      • #23
        Originally posted by carnivalhill View Post
        Yes, Europe does jump on the new stallion bandwagon, but they have a much different mare base than we do, and different reasons for doing it. They have generations upon generations of breeding info to draw upon. Their mare base is very deep, where here often (there are plenty of exceptions I know) there may not be any knowledge of the mare, other than what they see standing in front of them. Europeans know how their mares produce and with what lines. Everything is well documented, they have generational knowledge to draw upon. Breeding isn't just a hobby there as is most often the case here. They have the systems in place to develop what they produce and market them. The big European breeding farms will try on the "newcomers" as they produce foals in numbers, and can afford to take a calculated risk. Sometimes they just want/need to infuse some new blood into the genetic pool of their particular program. For me, the goal is always to produce a top quality horse, not a quick sale because of name recognition that comes from the flavor of the week. Off the soapbox now, just my opinion
        I respectfully disagree. I do not think all their breeding choices are as strategic as you stated. They are business people too and need to function in a fickle market. Some are old school but many are not. They function by trial and error too, they just have more horses, so more success.
        While some have first hand experience with generations of their own mares, many buy their horses, just like we import. We have the same info they have at that point. They do have the advantage of their peers.
        And having some knowledge of genetics I often find the discussion about the mare line to be interesting. Any horse is half of each parent. So in only 3 generations, any mare is, at minimum, 1/8th (12%) of her "mare line" and 7/8th of the stallions in her pedigree. In other words, genetically, she is a product of the last three stallions more so than the original mare. Line breeding (which was very common) was the only way to preserve the original genetics. Holsteiners use mother lines successfully but they breed them back to horses with similar lines or known nicks. This is not as true with the Dutch. And the Hanoverians are letting in a ton of outside stallion. So the mare base does not carry the same weight or knowledge in these cases.

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        • #24
          I respectfully disagree. I do not think all their breeding choices are as strategic as you stated. They are business people too and need to function in a fickle market. Some are old school but many are not. They function by trial and error too, they just have more horses, so more success.

          Totally agree. People think just because someone lives in Germany they are automatically a breeding genius lol. No I don't think so.

          From an interview with Wolfram Wittig with Chris Hector:

          CH: But that is the sad thing about the present, there are good stallions who get no mares, and there are bad and un-tried stallions, that get hundreds of mares, and the good breeders, like Mrs Vorwerk, they give up…

          WW: “It is public relations, and in the future we will get the penalty for this, we get the result in the future. But you cannot stop it…”

          CH: Because the local farmers no longer breed to local stallions?

          WW “Yes, and every time you have less and less farmers. Some farms get bigger and bigger, and the others retire, then you have less mares in less hands. And there are less people with experience with horses, they need the old knowledge – but it is not interesting, you cannot make money with that. Breeding is now, money makes the world go round, and the stallion business shows us that it is just the money, it is not really a breeding system.”

          CH: But do you think people are going to realize this and say, we’ve got to get back to stallions with more rideability, better temperament…

          WW: “It is difficult to turn a wheel back. Now it is a fact of life, and you have to accept it. If we only used the old and very successful stallions, in ten years we get the same question – there is no development – because you are only using the old stallions.”

          CH:But now we only use the new stallions…

          WW: “Now we only use the new stallions, the licensing winners, and we have no experience of what their children will be like. Then in four or five years, you see the result! Some of them have covered more than two thousand mares, and you have all these horses, then it is too late. But the responsibility is with the breeder, the breeder selects the stallion, he owns the mare and it is his decision, and if he wants to sell the foal, then breed to last year’s licensing winner!”

          In all honesty I think it is very, very hard to make the BEST possible breeding decision when you are breeding with the sole aim of having a salable foal. How can you be? You have to eliminate so many possible stallion matches because they aren't the right color or because they aren't as fashionable or because they don't have a pretty face. And I tend to agree with WW in that " it really isn't a breeding system", it is just a business decision. Again, this is hardly a NA phenomenon.
          www.svhanoverians.com

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

          Comment


          • #25
            If you want to sell a dressage foal and you are breeding warmbloods, then choose the latest fancy, flashy black young stallion who has won whatever championship is deemed important. For a jumper/hunter foal select the stallion with the biggest name recognition.
            Most buyers don't care about the mare so as long as they recognise the stallion name as a 'winner' ,the foal is pretty and the price is cheap.

            For me, I have noticed that my favorite verband has approved stallions in the past that I don't agree with and therefore the 'winners' are not in my breeding program.
            Many years ago, I remember watching a video of a young hot stallion and the first thing that came to mind was 'there is something wrong with the back end of that horse'. I even had a discussion with my favorite verband about him and was told that breeders 'love' him because his foals sell quickly. He produced flashy pretty babies and that's what people want...and yes...the backend was a little funky...but nobody cared...$$$$$$

            I have read with great interest that dressage breeders ( like me) don't have the competition experience to know what to produce and yet buyers are still flocking to the young 'hot' stallions...a tribute to the Euopean marketing machine. I don't breed like that, I actually want my horses to excel in competition so I focus on selling the older horse that was bred from a carefully chosen stallion that is proven with my mares bloodlines....and I have many years of experience competing in dressage. I have a very good idea of what "I" want to ride as a competitor.

            So, in summary, pick the latest 'hot' stallion for whatever your primary focus is and you may be successful at selling the foal.
            Last edited by Ticker; May. 25, 2013, 01:10 PM.

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            • #26
              Oh, I complete agree with Wolfram Wittig. There is no stopping these trends towards precocity, foal-makers, and "the next hot stallion". It will take 10 years or so until sufficient backlash is felt from the riders, and then you'll see some kind of "foundation breeding" movement like the QH industry saw. I can only hope that some of the valuable bloodlines we are seeing disappear will be extant enough in the marelines to be able to take hold.
              "No matter how cynical I get its just not enough to keep up." Lily Tomlin

              Comment


              • #27
                This thread is a good example of why it's a good idea to try to breed the best foal that betters the breed, not just the quickest resale. We all know that it's difficult to make a profit anyway so just producing foals for a quick sale doesn't seem like the most profitable business in the world anyway!

                Most of us are doing this as a labor of love and get a lot of pleasure from producing something that goes on and does something outstanding. That being said, trying to produce that superstar can certainly mean taking a chance on the young unproven stallion if your gut feels like that will be a good fit for your mare.

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                • #28
                  I find this thread very informative and I wantd to add that not all buyers are looking for a foal out of hot young stallions. I have been watching the foal market in the us for the last 10 years and I am always looking to see what is being produced. I have to say that I am often very disappointed that I cant find foals out of the stallions I am impressed with. In stead I see all theses foals out of stallions that are hot but not proven they havent done anything and they dont have anything old enough to be undersaddle yet much less showing they produce winning riding horses. Off the top of my head I would love to buy a foal out of Don Schufro or Benidetto. I will say when I find a foal especially a filly out of a stallion I like often the breeder isnt selling her she's a keeper. I want a foal out of a proven older stallion that has truly shown that he makes the real thing not some new guy. Maybe im just the exception. Just my two cents some really good info in this thread thanks to all the contributors.
                  One day you'll wake up and there wont be any more time to do what you've always wanted to do. Do it NOW!

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    the problem with the fashion stallions is that too many mares are bred to them and then the market of the foals is very bad as they often sell at very low prices if there are so many.

                    I have recently watched two stallions that I think are really nice, Bonhomme's Fiderdance and their very dark chestnut stallion Black Ruby.
                    Gwendolyn
                    http://www.gestuet-falkenhorst.com
                    Exceptional colored German WBs, TBs and Arabians

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      I have been reading this thread with interest. There are only a few breeders both here in the US as well as in Europe who can claim generations of breeding horses. I am one of them. I do breed some of my mares with the new young flavor-of-the-month stallions using frozen semen. I have to. I need people to call me about buying foals and young horses and like it or not, horses sired by those flavor-of-the-month stallions bring in buyers. (If it's sired by a German stallion, it must be better, right?) They then often buy a foal, young horse or riding horse by one of my own stallions (which by the way, were either imported from Germany or bred using German stallions). Often, the domestic sired foals by one of my stallions are the better individuals and often they are WAY better for the amateur market needed for riding horses here in the US. I spend a lot of time, effort and money competing and proving my stallions' rideability. I don't get to show them at a stallion show and then make a cleverly edited video from it. I have stallion test results, horse show scores and national rankings instead. Sometimes, it is hard enough to just keep going in this crazy business. On this BB there are posts from my fellow breeders who have just given up. I am still in full steam ahead with well over 100 horses on my breeding farm. I will not last forever doing this. The work is brutal, as we breeders all know. You have to love it, and I still do!
                      http://www.rollingstonefarm.com
                      Large Oldenburg and Hanoverian breeding farm
                      Standing Shakespeare RSF, Fhitzgerald, Sir James and the homebred stallion Dheputy.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by ewells View Post
                        I find this thread very informative and I wantd to add that not all buyers are looking for a foal out of hot young stallions. I have been watching the foal market in the us for the last 10 years and I am always looking to see what is being produced. I have to say that I am often very disappointed that I cant find foals out of the stallions I am impressed with. In stead I see all theses foals out of stallions that are hot but not proven they havent done anything and they dont have anything old enough to be undersaddle yet much less showing they produce winning riding horses. Off the top of my head I would love to buy a foal out of Don Schufro or Benidetto. I will say when I find a foal especially a filly out of a stallion I like often the breeder isnt selling her she's a keeper. I want a foal out of a proven older stallion that has truly shown that he makes the real thing not some new guy. Maybe im just the exception. Just my two cents some really good info in this thread thanks to all the contributors.
                        I consider a Don Schufro filly = gold....but she has to be out of an exceptional mare...not any mare will do.

                        I am a strong believer in the mare being the most important part of the recipe.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Mo your program is impressive and you not only have the genetics but you put the effort money and time to rasie them right. :-)

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            MoSwanson I have been lurking on you web site for years and I have to say it recently has been very fun to see some of the foals I looked at years ago all grown up. I fell in Love with Ghodive the year she was born and I wasnt suprised when you changed your mind and kept her . I am now excited to see her first foals maybe one of them will be the one for me. Also eagerly waiting to see how the Sir James babies turn out. Gold Luck has made some wonderful horses.
                            I have seen you use some of the hot stallions but I have felt like for your young mares you tend to breed them the first time to a well established proven stallion and see what you get. Over all I hope you are able to continue breeding I think you are doing a fantastic job. Also thanks for adding all the videos to you site the last few years when I first was on you page I kept thinking Id really like to see that horse move
                            One day you'll wake up and there wont be any more time to do what you've always wanted to do. Do it NOW!

                            Comment


                            • #34


                              I guess according to this thread, I would be one that is being negatively labeled as using the flavor of the month/week/year stallions in order to sell foals. REally?

                              There are legitimate reasons a stallion is the flavored stallion. He is usually young, usually from Europe, because they have the system in place to get a young horse proven early; He Will always have depth of pedigree on both sides leaving little room for error; He will always have either won his stallion licencing, (which is hardly to be made light of; remember they start with 4-600 stallions) he will have won major competitions (with outstanding marks) ,and/or is continuing to keep his name in the forefront of leading competitions. It could also be because his few to date foalcrops have produced high sellers at renowned auctions. This does not mean a 15 year old stallion that has done the same thing in his lifetime isnt just as impressive, or dosent have anything to offer any more, it might mean that the inspection jury could now be looking for something a little different and if thats what the inspectors are looking for then we as a group of breeders hoping to sell our foals should probably listen up.

                              HOWEVER, (Yup, here comes the soapbox!)just crossing this stallion with any mare that will stand to be bred will not get you an easy to sell foal. You still have to do your homework, you still have to breed the best cross for your mare. You still must be breeding to improve and or sustain the conformation and talent in the resulting foal. This done you will get a very sellable foal. This not done, you may have a pasture ornament. Selective breeding does not go out the window just because you didnt use the stallion next door or an older proven stallion. Selective breeding dosent mean you always have to look at changing the stallion you wish to breed to....perhaps you need to change the mare to get what you want!

                              To sum it up a saleable foal is one that has depth of pedigree - on both sides; (No matter where the stallion and mare originate) the mind and work ethic, the agility, conformation and the opportunity to be seen. Lacking this you need to keep it, start it yourself, train it and promote it and sell it on what you have proven it can do many many years down the road. I have produced many foals that sell right away as weanlings and am proud to say they most all went to FEI riders. I have also produced some from great old stallions that were "hot" 10 - 15 years ago. Guess which ones I have put more money in than what I got out? Yes we breed because of a passion, but we cant feed our passion with more input costs than revenue. You want your foal to succeed you need them to catch the eye of someone that can take them to their potential if you cant do it yourself and the sooner the better.

                              I also would like to mention that because someone is looking at the best way to sell a horse young as a revenue venture, that their contribution is not as important as someone who is breeding solely because of passion. Our industry needs good business people also and if we have good business people working along side with passionate people we will have a very strong industry Diversity breeds strength.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                I think Doreen (Key Warmbloods) makes a really good point too! I hope I did not imply that it is wrong to breed to a young stallion (because I certainly have in the past and I will do it again in the future I am sure) because as you say, the best young stallions represent progress within our breed/sport. They are (hopefully) an improvement on what came before them. The downside is that they definitely pose more of a risk to the breeder in terms of producing a sport horse because we do not know if they posses all of the qualities needed to excel in sport.

                                I think at the end of the day it is just really important that breeders keep an eye to the sport that we are breeding for and that both the stallions AND the mares are well suited to produce sport oriented horses, horses with both the physical and mental qualities needed. And in all reality here folks, I think it safe to say that when a breeder produces a horse of insufficient quality for the sport it is most likely due to a lack of mare quality and not to the choice of stallion whether he be young and fashionable or not.

                                So yeah, to me it is not even really about which stallion is used (in most cases) but more about whether or not a breeder is making a sport oriented breeding decision vs $$$$ foal making breeding decisions. If you are breeding dressage horses then you need to be making decision that reflect those goals and as far as I see it, dark color and pretty faces have nothing to do with talent or ability.

                                Sorry, a bit of a disorganized ramble but just a few more thoughts from the other side of the argument.
                                www.svhanoverians.com

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

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by carnivalhill View Post
                                  JMHO, but, this thread really highlights a flaw in the breeding philosophy of this country. Choosing the right stallion for YOUR mare, in order to achieve an improvement in the resulting foal should be the goal. If you can achieve this, you should have a marketable result, and hopefully improve upon the next generation of breeding stock. Just because a hot young stallion has one super performance as a 3-year old, is a cool color, generates a lot of hype, doesn't mean he should be bred to your mare.

                                  At that point, no-one really knows how he will produce or what kind of mare he actually needs. Jumping in too quickly, before anyone even knows what he can produce is really risky. Fashion breeding is tempting for sure, a pretty black horse with 4 whites or a nice palomino catches people's attention. Just won a big class somewhere, but was never on the radar before last week?? Forking over extravagant breeding fees for an unproven stallion just because he's the latest buzz on the internet -- not for me, but again, JMHO. I guess the question you have to ask yourself is, "am I trying to breed the best horse possible, or just the one I think will sell the quickest?"
                                  I agree. I am not a breeder, and I found choosing te right stallion for MY particular mare extremely difficult! I never was able to settle on a 'big name' stallion. She is a maiden so I chose to go with a safer (financially anyways) breeding. I will see what she throws and go from there.

                                  The choices and variables are really mind boggling though when your trying to pick!

                                  I don't think Europe breeders are geniuses, they have an abundance of grey horses so can just breed whatever they feel like. NA has a few great horses and lines but also a lot o outcast lines and poorly bred horses so it's harder to sift through them IMO...
                                  "My ideal horse is the horse that I fall in love with again every morning when I see his face hanging over the stable door, looking for breakfast. " - Jim Wofford

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #37
                                    Thank you all. I really appreciate everybody's comments. They're very thought provoking.
                                    I can understand how hard it must be for breeders to find the right balance between popular and functional although one does not necessarily rule out the other.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      As a buyer, I would rather hitch my wagon to a great breeder such as a Mo Swanson type, visit them and hear from them of their potential prospects for sale rather than buy new flashy baby bred from stallion of the month by unknown breeder.

                                      Once you know the breeder, trust the breeder, you get the valuable inside scoop on the individual characteristics of each horse bred. Don't just buy flavor of the month x popular mare line of the moment in glossy magazines and stallion testing.

                                      IMO, forget the whole Europe vs. USA battle, relationship with breeders in tune to your needs is key to finding the correct horse no matter the geography.

                                      There are some overlooked hidden virtues of dealing with a knowledgeable breeder
                                      no hoof, no horse
                                      no head, no horseman. just wear it.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        From the conversations I've been having lately, if a lot of us bred what we wanted to ride instead of what the market dictated we never would have left the TB's.
                                        http://www.tunnelsendfarm.com

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Love this thread. I love to breed to the older proven stallions AND the new stallions. The stallion has to fit my mare AND my breeding goals. I breed for both dressage and jumpers and it starts with a good mare and the quality stallion that fits the mare to get what I want. Of course full siblings can vary just like you can see in your own brothers and sisters.

                                          There are many stallions I'd love to breed to but they just don't fit any of my mares. And when I find a stallion that produced what I wanted, I keep doing that cross if I can.

                                          Full siblings can vary of course too. Some breeders also in Europe that I've talked to, keep breeding to the same stallion as they want to get just the right selection of the genetics they believed in the first place.

                                          Kathy
                                          Majestic Gaits-Dutch Warmbloods,#1 USEF Dressage Sporthorse Breeder. #1 KWPN-NA Jumpers.Standing Navarone,Schroeder,Dante MG.VDL Frozen. Approval KWPN Han OLD RPSI BWP Canadian SWANA sBs SF Holst

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