A friend forwarded me a sale ad about this horse, but I am in no way set up to house a stallion at the moment. However, I think his bloodlines might make a good addition to someone’s sport breeding program. He’s got good conformation; I really like his shoulder and he has soft, kind eyes. And he’s going for practically a steal of a price.
Thoughts on his pedigree? A friend of mine purchased him, and he has been at the barn I board at. So far he has been super sweet and totally uninterested in the ladies. Not that that won’t change tomorrow. He is very fancy. Keeping him intact is always being evaluated. Thanks for any insight!
What’s the criteria being used to stand this horse at stud? Will it be used for race breeding also? Has it done anything and have a show record? Proven soundness? All that is much more important than the pedigree. Pedigree looks fine but nothing stand out.
@WB_Mom please, please let me know how things go with him! I really, really like him. Even though I am in no way set up for a stallion at the moment, I actually contacted the seller about a week ago but never heard back. Now I know why
AWESOME news!! Please keep us updated on him, does your friend have COTH? Does she know there is a little fan-club for her boy here? Would love some photos…
A lot of eventers like MdO. I prefer his sire El Prado for big, tall, expressive movers. Usually great canters. MdOs have a staunch fan club in flipper circles since they tend to be classy and well put together. I don’t always like how MdO offspring move, I think his sire is much more consistent (IMO!). The damline is very sport oriented, that double to Halo and by proxy HTR would make any eventer paying attention to TB pedigrees turn their head. I would imagine with a damline like this, this horse can really move, but it is just a guess. More Than Ready has several horses that I’ve seen go onto sport careers but in terms of sport his impact is still relatively young, though he passed away this summer. I always liked the type he passed on, seen more than a couple advertised as “WBs in a TB body” - a term that annoys the crap out of me but, applies. And of course, Rahy is worth mentioning too as he has shown up now several times (usually on the damside) in TBs that compete at UL.
Not to be a curmudgeon, but Medaglia D’Oro and More Than Ready have sired more than 5,000 foals worldwide in the past 20 years. Rahy, Blushing Groom, and Nureyev appear in numerous current pedigrees. There isn’t a single aspect of the stallion’s pedigree that isn’t easy to find in today’s TBs.
Its the absence / minimal influence of some very popular lines that I find appealing here. I look at a LOT of TBs for retraining and those lines tend to be built more downhill, have a lower tied in neck, have less bone, longer softer pasterns and often have that one funky front foot. And it’s easily 90% of what’s out there in the US at this point. It’s hard to find horses without that.
I wasn’t going to reply until I reached your assertion that your description applies to “easily 90%” of Thoroughbreds in the U.S. at this point. I cannot imagine where you’re looking for horses if that’s all you’re seeing.
Sure, compared to the average warmblood, TBs usually have less bone. And they’re more likely to be level than uphill. But long, soft, pasterns and one funky front foot (I don’t even know what that is??) are not the norm in today’s TBs.
For reference, I also see a LOT of TBs. I saw about 50 yesterday, and that was an average day. As someone who breeds and races Thoroughbreds, it pains me to hear the entire breed characterized as something it’s not.
Generally speaking (not intended to mean you) people who are looking for TBs to retrain tend to visit the lower end tracks looking for horses that are free or cheap. Most horses that race at those tracks aren’t good enough to succeed elsewhere. They’re the low end specimens of the breed and often they look it. The model for today’s TB can be seen at tracks like Keeneland, Belmont, Del Mar, Gulfstream, etc. It’s a very different look.
Well then I think making those bloodlines available to the sport horse community is extra worthwhile because yes 90% of the horses I see in the US advertised as off-the-track in the last decade are not well conformed for sport. I have one contact who gets amazing horses from a couple of farms and I know the breeding they use and I’d like to see more of it. This guy interests me, I’d definitely go see him in person and I won’t even bother for most TBs anymore.
I looked at about 75 horses last year and almost every single one had one or more of downhill build, light bone, poor feet, weak toplines, soft pasterns, uneven development in the front end and/or a crooked left front leg. Very few were truly sound in the limbs and back, even after a long letdown. There is plenty of research being done in inherited cervical deformities and kissing spines in TBs and at least one of those researchers life was threatened due to the prominence of the sires involved so while I absolutely I love TBs the direction the breed is going in is not great. And I think plenty of other people agree with me.
ETA: I feel exactly the same way about Appendix QHs too. 25 years ago when I was a pro junior rider half the horses in the barn were Appendix. We had quite a few junior jumpers and plenty of hunters. I loved them, the head trainer loved them they were amazing horses. Nowadays good luck finding a nice one with good bone and feet and a nice conformation for sport. Temperments are still amazing though.
We have to remember too that TB bone tends to be more dense, so what they may lack in physical circumference, they make up for in density.
The “one funky front foot” actually is quite common, it’s the whole high/low scenario which, IME, is found much more in TBs than other breeds. That often gets compounded by poor farrier care, where the farriers just say “well that’s the way he is”, and don’t do enough (or anything) to manage the foot that’s more upright, or that tends to run forward with crushed heels.
But no, long soft pasterns? Not a common, or accepted trait in TBs
Lower neck tie-in? Compared to WBs, absolutely! But it’s because WBs have been bred for Jumpers and Dressage and those require a higher neck connection do the upper levels well. Purpose-bred TBs for those sports also have higher neck connections. A Hunter-bred TB will not.
An anatomist published some papers about how Northern Dancer passes on congentical cervical vertebrae malformations and was allegedly met with death threats from the TB industry. It has also been said it goes as far back as Diomed. So basically every TB ever.
“Generally speaking… people who are looking for TBs to retrain tend to visit the lower end tracks looking for horses that are free or cheap. Most horses that race at those tracks aren’t good enough to succeed elsewhere. They’re the low end specimens of the breed and often they look it. The model for today’s TB can be seen at tracks like Keeneland, Belmont, Del Mar, Gulfstream, etc. It’s a very different look.”
Speaking of-- There are several factors that make the colt I originally posted about unique. First: He is very well bred, by Goldolphin. Second: He was offered for sale at a very reasonable price, one which made him available to the wider sport horse market. Third: He is still intact, not gelded.
It’s very rare to find a thoroughbred with all 3 attributes, with so many of the bloodlines coveted by sport breeders. Which is why I think it would make him an excellent addition to the market as a sport stallion.
And if you are in TB breeding you must know that some very popular and common sires are well known to throw crooked front legs. And many young horses now have those sire sin their first-five 3-6 times. The prevalence of stripping in young TBs is incredibly high and none of it is ever disclosed upon sale off the track.
I can’t imagine a current day TB pedigree with a sire appearing 6 times in the first five generations. Or even 5 times. I don’t believe I’ve seen either one (which is not to say they don’t exist.)
Stripping stopped being done probably 6-8 years ago, when breeders realized that although it appeared to work initially, most foals later “outgrew” it. You probably won’t find this any more palatable but now front leg deviation is usually treated with screws. In most cases, the connections at the track are unaware of these corrections which are usually made in the first 12-15 months of a horse’s life. The intent is twofold: to make the yearling look correct for a sale, and to enhance the chances of long-term soundness. Unless you’re planning to breed the horse, whether or not the procedure was done shouldn’t make a difference.
Sometimes you see European or Australian horses with Northern Dancer 4 times in the first 5 generations. Yet Americans love to hold up the European and Australian breeding as superior to our own American horses.