Phenotype and genes - just for fun/curiosity

This is purely curiosity and while hard evidence and science are welcome, I’m really just curious about anecdotes and people’s experiences and thoughts.

I was reading an article about Zirocco Blue and in it was the following quote:

“I always say if you buy a wine that is a Sauvignon, you want it to taste like a Sauvignon, if you want to buy a Mr Blue, you want it to look like a Mr Blue, or it does not carry the genes of Mr Blue.”

That got me thinking about the horses I know, especially the ones I know both parents of and whether that seemed to be true. It can be harder to compare when you don’t know the dam and can’t look her up as easily as the stallion.

So I’m wondering, do you find or do you think that the most successful stallions produce horses that look most like them and “stamp” them significantly? Are the ones that look most like them the most successful? (Thinking of the Mr Blue head context).

Tongue in cheek- if you crossed Mr Blue with a mare with a beautiful head, whose foals always had her head (thinking of my mare’s dam who had a beautiful head and all of her foals have the same head, regardless of sire) would the resulting foal not jump like Mr Blue?

Interested in hearing anyone’s thoughts on the matter! I do think that there is probably a lot of truth in the statement, even if it isn’t a hard rule (or maybe it is a rule for some stallions), but I’m curious to explore it further.

Can’t answer this at all as I’m not even a holiday inn expert on this topic.
but I think it’s interesting where you have full brothers at stud.
Wolkentanz I vs II
Escudo I vs II

Do breeders pick the one that phenotypically best matches the mare? Or do they go with the more convenient option (for example, one is standing in Europe)?

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We have 2 full sisters at my barn. They look nothing alike. They also don’t act very much alike or move similarly, although they are both great movers. We have 5 by the same stallion and they’re all pretty different but they all dunk their hay - none of the horses not by this stallion do this. They’re all being trained by the same person, so the nurture part of the equation is similar, so I would love to see how the nature component fits in.

I certainly don’t have THE answer; but, can speak from experience and preferences. First, I’m not going to keep or stand a stallion that doesn’t stamp his get. For me, a former breeder of a specific breed, I want a stallion that is prepotent and an excellent example of the breed standard who is going to pass on those traits. I expect to be able to go out and look at my youngstock and immediately know who the sire is. I also don’t breed mares that aren’t kid tested, mother approved types (ie, they must have a performance record) but I still expect the sire to improve on the mare. I have bred full siblings which have all looked very similar but I will say that the last of the 3 came out ‘the best’ in terms of overall conformation (though none had major faults). All 3 have phenomenal movement for the breed - very much a like in way of going, coloring and balance as well as talent. All three are close in height - literally ranging from 14 hands to 14.2. All three demonstrate ‘habits’ characteristic of the sire as opposed to the mare; but, to be fair both have good temperament. I hear back occasionally from those who’ve purchased my youngstock and the stories I hear definitely can be attributed to sire and dam…which I just chock up to my program focusing on breeding like to like.

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Just wanted to mention, horses can learn to dunk their hay simply by watching another horse do it. I’ve had it happen several times where it’s not inherent but after them being kept with a dunker, they watch and then dunk. I don’t really mind it as it’s mind boggling how much dirt, sand and mud gets rinsed off hay after dunking.

My sister and I had full sibling TBs (by Stoic Spy out of Darmellow).
They LOOKED very similar (same color,same conformation strengths and weaknesses), but their personality and talent was very different.

The mare had very much a “make me!” “you on what army?” attitude, but once she was “on your side” she was a very brave and talented jumper (Prelim Eventer, 3’7"). She was defintely the alpha mare in turnout.

The gelding was VERY anxious to please, but was also very timid. Jumping did not come to him naturally. He was topped out at Novce (2’11") . He was bottom of the pecking order in turnout.

I have 2 full siblings (Trakehners)
#1 15.3 zappy, not for an average amateur mount, clever, looks like a jumper, wonderful jumping ability and aptitude, trots like a pony
#2 16.3 very chilled, could be ridden by anyone the most wonderful paces huge scope in movement, built like a dressage horse, jumps fine but definitely not a high level prospect, trot is amazing and very uphill

they are headed for very different careers

Breeding is such a gamble and I always find it interesting. On the other side of things I have a mare who has had 3 foals to 3 different stallions and all 3 foals are very similar to the mare (which is in this case is a good thing) and you can pick them easily as siblings

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