Breed to GRP or Connemara?

I am leaning towards breeding a 15.2 HH Hanoverian-TB mare I have (she is recovering from an injury) and selling her in foal or selling the foal after it’s born. I’m thinking Connemara or German Riding Pony stallion. Which do you believe I’d have a better market for? I’m in Canada, so would choose a stallion here. Mare’s pedigree is Donnegan/Don Frederico/Donnerhall on sire’s side, Pax Nobiscum/Play for Time on mare’s side. Mare is very petite and feminine, liver chestnut, gorgeous head and neck, very athletic and a good mover.

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What are you looking to produce? If your market is a dressage oriented foal ( based on her sire) I think a GRP would have more marketability. If you are looking to produce a lower level eventer then a Connemara would be a good choice. Of course some of the GRP’s are good jumpers too. You may produce something over size with either choice.

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Do you want ammie friendly or high performance?

Ammie friendly.

I think either option is a good choice. Do look carefully at the GRP- as some seem to have excessive flexibility in those back pasterns. If they only show videos with the stallions legs wrapped, I would want pictures or video without wraps so you can see what the horse looks like.

I would also pick an older stallion to breed to, and would want to be able to actually see the horse or get recent video. I want a horse that is going to stay sound and bonus points if the stallion is still sound after a career.

Some of the GRP can be a bit hot. I saw one stallion I liked but once I saw video of his sire, I decided that was probably a lot hotter then I wanted. But the same can be said for connemaras as well.

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For some reason Kilvington Scoundrel came to my mind. Now deceased (2016 at an advanced age, from colic), a British Riding Pony super sire, producing eventers up to 2*, endless show ponies, dressage ponies. If anyone is standing a stallion by him in Canada, I would take a look.

I would go the connie route then. I think a lot of those GRP have a bit of spice and are bigger movers than the average ammie can handle or want.

What registry are you going to pursue? There are not many WB-approved Connemaras out there… GRP would give you easier registration options.

I wouldn’t say either owns the ammie friendly cornerstone. I’ve worked with difficult horses from both. GRP is just essentially a WB in a smaller package; don’t let the size fool you. And connemaras are so clever they can be difficult. Both are super for my discipline of choice (Eventing) but if I had to pick one I’d probably pick connemara.

I don’t know what it is like where you are, but here in Area 1 for eventing, I do see sellers have a hard time moving smaller horses. Even when they are nice, imported, or fancy. There’s one connie that’s been for sale for a few months now at what I feel is a reasonable asking price, and he’s still up.

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Where in Canada are you? I can’t speak for eastern Canada, but out west, there isn’t a big hunter, jumper, or eventing market for ponies, and there is basically zero market for honys. I say this as someone who loves and rides a pony.

From what I’ve seen, most people fall into the trap of ‘ponies are difficult/evil’, and most trainers don’t seem to take ponies very seriously - as evidenced by how their eyebrows hit the roof when they see my pony jump for the first time. Combined with the fact that ponies can be quickly outgrown, most people go out and buy a horse to be their child’s first equine. There are exceptions of course, and some trainers do prefer ponies for anyone that can fit them, but if you go to a show you’ll see many small children on big horses.

I’ve seen young, well-bred GRPs and seasoned event ponies sit for months on the local classifieds. The only ones that seem to move quickly are the dirt cheap backyard ponies (of which there are unfortunately a great many) and seasoned, fancy-fancy hunter/jumper ponies that can pack a child around a course. Even then, the most expensive pony I think I’ve seen in the last couple of years was 25K; most well-trained, papered ponies are around 10K. Anything else is in the 250-4000$ range. A gorgeous, lightly started 4 year old GRP that was for sale for 4000$ recently took the better part of a year to sell.

If you were breeding for yourself I’d say go for it, but if you’re breeding to sell I wouldn’t breed to produce a pony (or, more likely, a hony).

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It may depend on who you ask. :wink: I am in Western Canada, specifically Alberta, and have made my living the last 20+ years selling hunter ponies and dressage ponies. While I agree there isn’t much of a market in Canada for ponies in general, there is a HUGE U.S. market for ponies and nearly all of our ponies end up on the U.S. show circuits. There is also a big market for dressage honys, especially for older adult amateur riders who are tired of pushing the 16.3 HH warmblood forward. :wink: