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Using young stallions?

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  • Using young stallions?

    Has anyone ever bred with a young stallion that has not yet got any stock on the ground? If you did what were your motivations for using that stallion and how did it turn out?

  • #2
    Quite frequently with great results. When I do it, I use mares that I know well as there is no production information yet for the stallion. My motivation is the process of continuing to breed forward.


    • #3
      Reasons I have done it for
      1) he was my colt!
      2) the stud fees are cheaper
      3) the stallion had bloodlines not readily available
      Providence Farm


      • #4
        I did when I was breeding racehorses, and like camohn, I did it when it was my own young stallion.

        A Fine Romance had a very good response from mare owners in his first couple of years, before the offspring hit the ring.
        The mare owners were generally people who had seen the horse himself. They came to see him at home, or they had seen him in training, showing on the line, or at his first shows.
        He was in the early days of his performance career, but they bred to him based on his conformation, pedigree, and the athleticism and good temperament they could see.
        I remember one woman who saw him at a show, and immediately sought out and bought a mare in foal to him in his first year.

        It is a bit of a leap of faith, but if people are knowlegable, and know what they are looking for, and what they are hoping to produce, not such a huge gamble.
        I was gratified by the nice response to him, and grateful that mare owners 'took a chance' on a young, unproven stallion.
        A Fine Romance. April 1991 - June 2016. Loved forever.


        • #5
          If the family is a known quantity helps too. For example when I had Boomer his first year at stud it was tough because he was also from the first foal crop of HIS young sire who was just beginning to do something under saddle/only had a few foals on the ground himself. Sadly we lost Boomer at only 5. I have his last son intact who will be test breeding next year at 3. Since Boomer died when he was just getting established there are already about 6 folks that bred to the father or wanted to and did not get to before he died and are expressing and interest in breeding to the son next year already.
          Last edited by camohn; May. 3, 2009, 12:21 PM.
          Providence Farm


          • Original Poster

            You're all making me feel a lot less jittery about stallion choice. Thankyou. The only hiccup is that I have a maiden mare so don't know what she will throw either but the stallion does have a fabulous temperament, I like his conformation, he's done extremely well in dressage from very limited outings and has bloodlines I cannot get (Fidermark and Dodona) in another stallion with fresh semen.

            There are photos of him here although they don't really do him justice. I won't post his name or ask for critiques as that isn't fair on the stallion owner (but please say if you like him LOL!)

            And this is the mare. She's got a super jump on her, has cleared 5'6" many times out hunting and is currently competing at PSG.

            The mare has a work ethic second to none but is a hot, tense horse. She is ID x TB (O'Sullivan x Top Star xx). What do you think about these two making a foal?


            • #7
              One heck of a gamble

              It is one heck of a gamble to use a young, unproven stallion. There are pros and cons of it.
              On one hand you may get a stud fee very reasonably, you may jump on a trend before anyone else does and you end up with a very sought-after baby. If you breed for sale, lots of times the owners of the young stallion will go out of their way to publicize the first offspring, so your foal will get more exposure.
              On the other hand the problem with an unproven stallion is the lack of information. You may not even be able to anicipate how this stallion will cross with your mare. A lot of people make final judgement about a stallion or a stallion/mare cross based on one offspring, the one either they, themselves, or someone who they know have bred. I Europe, a young stallion is bred to 20-30 mares with known bloodlines and performance record, the offspring is raised and trained fairly uniformly and the judgement on the stallion's prepotence can be judged with decent accuracy within a few years. In the U.S. stallions are bred to mares with very diverse bloodlines and quality - and the quality of training differs widely. Also, lots of breeders lack the experience, education and ability to determine the true quality of the offspring. For them, their only foal is the next Olympic champion, even if the underlying quality is not there. Unfortunately a lot of people base their judgement on less than accurate information. Further complicates things tha even if a particular cross "should work" and would pass the scutiny of "experts", you don't always get what you breed for.

              I have been breeding Holsteiners and Belgian Warmbloods for 15 years...and because of one, young Trakehner stallion I also used to be a very active member of the ATA. I liked his ad, video, but I made sure I saw him in person before I made my decision to breed to him. I used this young, unproven stallion, Veneziano, for 5 years and had 7 babies by him out of 3 different mares. They were all gorgeous, very nice quality with good brains, they trasined well and I was very successful selling them as dressage horses. However, they could not jump to my standard. Despite this fact, I was very, very pleased that I used him in my program.

              I have also bred to a very popular, highly touted, imported Premium Holsteiner stallion, had 7 offspring, out of the same mares. Although the babies were all premium, they lacked the temperament, personality and personability what I was accostumed to, and when they grew up, they were difficult to train and they were not the most athletic either. When I tried to share this, pretty accurate and objective information with other "breeders" and the owner of this stallion, they yelled bloody murder. Unfortunately these "breeders" only had one ro two offspring by this stallion and they were not able to bring these horses up to top levels - they were just defending their "prestige".

              I also know the situation fron the stallion owner's side. I bred and raised the Holsteiner stallion, Lotus T. He looked quite good and behaved very well as a 2 and 3 YO, so I didn't geld him. I did not advertise him much for the first two years of his breeding career - just bred him to a few, cheap, questionable quality TB mares - while I was breeding my proven, high quality mares to expensive, German premium stallions. Only when I started working with Lotus' forst offspring did I begin to think that I might have something really good in the making. And it took me another few years and only after seeing his offspring out of my good mares and seeing his offspring out of dozens of different outside mares to be able to objectively talk about his true breeding value.

              Last edited by szipi; May. 3, 2009, 10:07 AM. Reason: not compleate


              • #8
                I have done it several times with young stallions with no foals or just one or two on the ground. I based it on their pedigree, stallion approval scores and stallion test scores. I also looked very closely at the DAM side breeding of the stallion.

                We only used our proven mares in these breedings.
                Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
                "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"


                • #9
                  I am doing it for the first time this year. What is important to me is that the stallion have a very proven pedigree, especially on the dam side. I also only would do it if my mare was a known quantity; i.e. I know what she produces, strengths and weaknesses, etc.
                  Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!


                  • #10
                    I have done it as well, my one mare taught no less than three young men the 'ways of the world.' God bless her.

                    She is a Xerox machine. Her foals are soooo predictable. So it was less of a risk for me.

                    In your case stolen, I think the mare's performance record probably offsets the risk of maiden + unknown a bit.

                    You research bloodlines, you look at conformation, then you look at it again, and then you pray for 11 months.
                    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

                    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


                    • #11
                      Assuming the cross works there are a couple things to consider;
                      If you are breeding to keep than it is not an issue. If you are breeding to sell the foal may be more difficult to market/take longer to sell from a newbie sire. When I was breeding multiple mares I would usually breed 1 to an up and coming young un I liked and the other 2 to well known/marketable sires....that way I was hedging my bets that I would probably sell a couple of them easily and maybe have to hang onto one of them.
                      Providence Farm


                      • #12
                        I think like Showjumper said it's good to breed forward. It's a little risky but you could be ahead of the curve and breeding to the next big thing. I remember reading an article about a famous German breeder and he bred a percentage of his mare band to new stallions, it was like 30%.
                        www.grayfoxfarms.com Home of Redwine, Aloha, Federalist, Romantic Star and Rated R.


                        • #13
                          My favorite mare (TB) is now out at acottongims farm being bred to her young stallion Tatendrang (TK). I was at his inspection in October and was amazed with the quality and talent of this young horse. (he was coming 3 at the time). He is very talented, beautifully put together, and has a great personality and temperament.
                          When I took my mare out there last month, the stallion had really filled out and developed very nicely and was much more mature looking.

                          (note to anissa: put some new pics of him on your site, he is gorgeous in the ones there now but they don't do the current Tate justice)

                          acottongim and I have been friends for many years, we discussed it, and my mare is playing "Mrs. Robinson" for her boy to learn the ropes. I think they will compliment each other nicely, and if this foal turns out half as nice as that mares now 6 year old daughter by Reputed Testamony I will have another very very nice horse.
                          As someone else said, stallions have to start somewhere, and by the time your baby is going that stallion could be the next big thing. Either way, a nice stallion is a nice stallion. There were many bigger named stallions that I looked at one point that I could not afford because their get were doing so well etc.
                          "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by stolensilver View Post
                            Has anyone ever bred with a young stallion that has not yet got any stock on the ground? If you did what were your motivations for using that stallion and how did it turn out?
                            I think it's essential they've proven themselves in the sport so I have to say no. I have friends who have done it and found themselves with a new born with a no longer approved father since they didn't complete their second stallion test as they should at the age of four.
                            In riding a horse we borrow freedom!

                            Photography by. Eventing Photo and my fun farm at YouTube


                            • #15
                              Or suddenly you find that he has been gelded!
                              Sakura Hill Farm
                              Now on Facebook

                              Young and developing horses for A-circuit jumper and hunter rings.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by stolensilver View Post
                                Has anyone ever bred with a young stallion that has not yet got any stock on the ground? If you did what were your motivations for using that stallion and how did it turn out?
                                My mare produced the second ever foal by Rubino Bellisimo. He only bred three mares the first year he was in the States, my mare being one of them.

                                But I'm not sure this really counts -- his bloodlines are impeccable, Rubinstein was known as a stallion producer as well as a great sire himself, Rubino placed highly in his stallion testing AND finished the 11 month Celle testing well (in addition to being barefoot)....so I didn't really consider it much of a risk.

                                The resulting filly ended up looking more like her dam in many ways, but with THE sweetest personality ever (which did NOT come from her dam). And she has turned out to be a fantastic broodmare, producing really high quality foals.

                                I've also bred to some fairly untested stallions in terms of produce (Werigo, who was 18 when he finally started his breeding career, and I'm buying a stud fee to Eldewise B.), but I don't consider those stallions as risky, because they have a long, successful performance career behind them AND their pedigrees are very solid.

                                In all 3 cases the stud fees were very, very reasonable, which is why I took the risk(s). So far been happy in all cases.


                                • #17
                                  The only one I can remember is Idocus. He had been licensed by the Dutch (no small feat) and won at Devon.

                                  $1,000 for the first season.

                                  A friend of mine bred to a newly approved GOV stallion only to learn later that he had been gelded the next year. Fortunately she sold the resulting colt.

                                  If it had been a filly, THAT situation would not bode well at all.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by equestrianism View Post
                                    I think it's essential they've proven themselves in the sport so I have to say no. I have friends who have done it and found themselves with a new born with a no longer approved father since they didn't complete their second stallion test as they should at the age of four.
                                    Ditto. I have no problem breeding to a young stallion, but lacking offspring for me to judge, the only way to evaluate him as a sporthorse sire is from his competition record under saddle - while this doesn't confirm he can pass it on, it does say the bloodlines he carries have at least passed to him. A discounted stud fee would not override lack of performance.
                                    Owner of ATA and Verband-Approved Trakehner stallion, Tzigane *Pb*, breeder of ATA-approved Semper Fidelis



                                    • #19
                                      Thanks Jaeger... I think Tate and your mare will produce a very nice baby (btw - her personality has changed in the last few days so keep fingers crossed it is indicitive that she is preg).

                                      As for a young stallion - obviously I'm doing it this year. BUT every mare that he is booked to is either a proven broodmare and/or a proven sport/performance mare. They are also top mares (I've been very lucky that there are those that are willing to chance it on Tate). His book is pretty close to full for the season (I am keeping it to 10 or less).

                                      There are pros and cons to every situation and you, as the breeder/mare owner have to weigh all the pros and cons and work out what is best for you so that you are happy in the end.

                                      Personally, with the right stallion and the right mare I don't have a problem with breeding to an unproven stallion (young or old). As for performance - while certainly the performance aspect is very important (either the stallion or what his get has done) for resale, I don't think that just because a stallion has competed he will produce offspring that are competitive. I'm sure we can all think of several stallions of all breeds where the stallion has gone to top levels but the offspring don't live up to that stallion's record, or vice versa where the offspring FAR surpass the sire's competition record. I think that a stallion that consistently out produces himself and his "kids" are doing great in the ring regardless of the mares he is bred to is more important than his own competition record. Just my 2 cents for whatever it is worth.
                                      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!


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Thankyou all for your replies. It is interesting to hear people's perspective on breeding to a young stallion when they have already been there and done it.

                                        The stallion I am going to use (paid the studfee... gulp) is fully graded having passed both his first and second grading. Although bred for dressage he is carrying on with his sire Fidermark's ability not to blunt any jumping talent and scored 9/10 for jumping at his grading. He has also done very well in dressage. In 3 outings he qualified for the National dressage championships. He has also placed 5th in the National Potential International Dressage Horse against all the megabucks horses ridden by the very big names. I can't see him being gelded as he lives in a barn with mares and geldings and is as good as gold. One of the reasons I liked him. His owner is a professional dressage rider and his primary job will be to be their competition horse. So fingers crossed he might be a big name in a few years time.

                                        Reading the replies I probably should have chosen a more proven stallion but I guess it's too late now. The foal will hopefully be one I'm going to keep. In an ideal world it will follow in Mum's footsteps and go the whole way to GP. Only time will tell