TB bloodlines for dressage?

I did a bit of searching but wondering if any new (last 20 years) TB bloodlines are known as good dressage producers?

Just starting to shop - got my last OTTB almost 20 years ago, hunter type, but nice enough for dressage if I’d started sooner. Paternal grand sire Deputy Minister, maternal grand sire Peak Value by Blushing Groom. Not committed to another OTTB, but if I could find one like her….

I’m approved to adopt from Secretariat Center and spent some time looking at the bloodlines vs the RRP Sporthorse bloodline tracker, but very few focused on dressage in the database. Thanks!

for me TB arent dressage producers at all… as they are not bred for dressage… only for going running fast, stay flat in motion, they are not collecting and using their movement to fo fast, flat… and for dressage it is collection, the movement comes from behind and not going fast and flat.

so they dont have the type, you need for a dressagehorse.

here in the netherlands, TB xx stallions are maybe for jumping interesting, but for dressage breeding a nogo.

Id rather go look on a trakhener, they have AA, tb and ox blood. they are better for dressage, if you want TB blood…

Here in the netherlands, germany belgium.

the xx stallion stravinsky xx, was accepted in 2001, and put on hold at 2002 for KWPN breeding and died in 2009. cause he didnt breed the quality that kwpn wanted.

he was accepted for trakhenen studbook as well, … as that is AngloArabian studbook, so they can use TB AA and OX stallion.

The trakehner is a noble and high-blooded warmblood breed, in which only crossing with Arab and English thoroughbreds, Anglo-Arabs and Shagya Arabs is allowed.

You could ask this person: https://mobile.twitter.com/ridgmont1
He knows a lot about Thoroughbreds and dressage (breeding). He bred this Thoroughbred stallion: https://youtu.be/iPIvlol0wjc

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You could ask people here, some are riding their Thoroughbreds at very high dressage levels:


The Hanoverian verband has historically sought out quality TB blood to bring in to their dressage breeding programs. Less so in recent years as the addition of TB achieved the results they were looking for in breed improvement over the last several decades. Most notably, Lauries Crusader xx was actually named Hanoverian Stallion of the Year in 2006, producing not only several offspring that competed to the Grand Prix level but also licensed sons such as Longchamp, Londonderry and Lancier. Another TB line brought in for dressage improvement but that has also been very successful in eventing is that of Sunlight xx, whose son Silberschmeid still has semen available for breeding. There aren’t a lot of full TB in use right now, but they are present in all of the lines we use today. You just need to look real close at the pedigrees if you’re wanting to use a high percentage of xx blood.


I think a lot of the answers you are getting are more geared to breeding dressage prospects and not geared towards shopping the OTTB market.

My two cents: If you are looking for an OTTB dressage prospect, you are better off evaluating the horse in front of you than seeking certain blood lines for dressage. Look for horses who are built like dressage horses.

Another good source would be to check out the RRP results (not the tracker) for dressage over the past few years to see what patterns you see. I would bet money you are going to see a lot of Bernardini, El Prado/Sadlers Wells, Nijinksy, maybe some Dynaformer… not because they are superior dressage horses, but because they get sporty horses in general.


It is for an OTTB, and won’t buy off bloodlines alone, but thought if anyone had TB mares or anything, wouldn’t hurt to get inputs on TBs producing nicer movement. I’m also looking at Saddlebreds and found a few articles about sporthorse lines. With any “off” breed, the fact that only a few “make” it doesn’t necessarily prove the bloodlines would do so consistently. But interesting to see the RRP results! Thanks!

If you are looking for OTTB’s, I recommend looking at Jessica Redman’s facebook page and also her ‘Benchmark Sport horse website’. I have been following her listings and she has some really nice movers listed. She has lots of conformation shots and video’s of each horse. If I was looking for another TB I would buy from her.

Like Texarkana pointed out – breeding for a dressage TB, and shopping for a dressage prospect TB are two different things. I won’t even bother to respond to the first post of this thread.

What is your competition goal? This will shape what kind of TB to look for.

In general, the TB of today is a lot better suited (IMHO) towards dressage than it was 20 years ago. Several very popular, high quality stallions of recent years have saturated the gene pool with their quality.

You want to look for a specific type versus bloodline, as Texarkana pointed out – although certain stallions truly stamp in terms of their offspring and if you spend enough time looking at these TBs, you’ll start to pick out who is sired by who in a crowd.

I am seeing consistently good dressage *types from El Prado and his son Kitten’s Joy, Giant’s Causeway and sons (Freud, Stonesider, etc), Congrats or Flatter, Stormy Atlantic, Shanghai Bobby (Harlan’s Holiday), Repent, Wicked Strong, Seville, Berstein, Say Florida Sandy, Go For Gin, Dixie Union.

The above list is by no means exhaustive. Several of these sires (El Prado, Harlans Holiday, Repent, GC, Flatter, SA) have mares approved for breeding in WB books…

Regarding their history and starts… this can be very nuanced and my experience after two decades of doing this is that there is no hard and fast single answer. There are horses with 70 starts that retire in better condition and shape than those with 5. The number of starts is not always meaningful - the connections are much more important. Some horses have brilliant connections and going to a sport horse home is a significant downgrade in terms of therapeutic access and feed; other times, changing hands or career can be good. Finding someone who has connections that you trust can make your shopping experience much easier.

Some things that I tell anyone who takes a horse from the track :

Fix their feet ASAP. These horses get plenty of farriery attention, they are not neglected. Their angles for the track are not in line with sport horse angles. Many come off the track with long toes for the assumed benefit in breakover – fixing the NPA up front and behind is important.

Just about every horse that raced will be backsore. Give them time, good farriery, great forage/roughage, and as much turnout as physically possible.

Most retire with ulcers. Racing is hard work. It doesn’t hurt to start them on a course of Nexium and taper down. It’s cheap and OTC.

Most do not need a break or to be “let down”. They can be put right into work if they are not being retired for physical reasons. In fact, most will acclimate better to their new normal if you keep them in a routine.

Most will come to you knowing the basics: W/T/C, single tie/clip, load, farrier, vet. You may need to teach them to cross tie but they should know how to be tied in their stall. Most will have some exposure to being tack-walked around the property.

Give them as much hay or even alfalfa as possible. They are used to hay in front of them nearly 24/7.

As far as bumps, bruises, knocks, or jewelry… If they raced successfully jewelry is not uncommon. Set osselets are usually fine for lower level careers. Same for bowed tendons and non-suspensory-involving splints. Assess how the horse moves versus how their legs look. Most vets can tell you whether an injury is career limiting. Some jewelry after a successful career is normal; but make sure to look closely at their pelvis. A little variation is normal as all horses have a dominant side, but any obvious asymmetry is a significant finding and may be something career limiting.

If I think of more, I’ll post. :smile: Hope you have fun on your search.


@beowulf - much appreciated! I rode for sales barns over 15 years ago, retraining over 200 OTTBs before buying my now 21 year old mare as a late 3 year old to sell. Lol. She’s a Deputy Minister granddaughter and has Blushing Groom, Tom Fool, and a few other notables in her breeding. She’s double line bred Miss Disco:).

I just haven’t kept up with TBs since I wasn’t on the market until now. As I’m older, I’m taking advantage of the program at Secretariat Center as I start my search, and after talking to the director, she bought horses from barns where I rode! Excited to shop, but not in a rush. And most likely getting a TB, but also looking at ASB and not ruling out any breed. Goal is dressage but brain to enjoy hacking or low level jumping as well for fun. Thanks again!

there are a lot of german en dutch bred sporthorses with high percentage of TB blood in it, but that are the TB used 25 - 50 yrs ago.

And the best TB stallions in european breeding Ladykiller xx, Anblick xx, cottage Sun xx, Marlon xx, Manometer xx, Abendfrieden xx, Ferro xx, Rittersporn xx, 50 +years ago, such stallions arent there anymore, and due to linebreeding, a lot of european horses have 40 till 60 % of XX blood in their pedigree, only further away. and the horses we have her for breeding sporthorses, dont need a TB stallion cause they have nothing to offer, there are a lot of stallions with percentage XX blood in their pedigree that are way better.

and the breeding dressage prospect is different in europe then in the USA.

i breed dressagehorses in the netherlands, and this is my experience with the TB…

so you can read it, and do with it what you want. i know lot of people dont bother to react on my message… cause they think a 100% TB using for a dressage/jumping/ allround prospect is the way to go. fine by me, we all put messages here, out of our own experience…

and if the TB is the best horse for breeding dressage of jumpers, and North america has the best TB horses, why import sporthorses from europe? I havent see the last 20 yrs that TB stallions have better dressagetype, then the stallions 50 yrs ago?

My 3 horses have 49,6 % xx, 40,3% and 35,7 % TB XX and OX/Shagya blood in their pedigree. ( The xx percentage is higher then OX shagya percentage. ) and that blood comes from

cause on horsetelex, the blood percentage is combination of TB OX and Shagya blood,

The Netherlands doesn’t really have a horse racing industry and TBs are not going to be widely available. The USA, UK, Ireland all have numbers available which makes the question of a TB for dressage reasonable.

My sport is Eventing and everyone is obsessed with the “% of blood” simply because the very top horses are TB or near full, even if registered as WB. Heraldik, Czech bred TB and widely used in Germany was leading European eventing sire at one point. Even the Dutch riders are looking for blood. Many top quality KWPN running around xc with a lot of blood. TBs seem to be a ‘dirty little secret’ in many WB breeding programmes.


With all due respect the Netherlands has some of the poorest examples of TBs in the world. The highest caliber/quality TBs will never set foot in the Netherlands. And they will certainly never demean themselves by being available to WB mares for WB stud fee prices.

You will notice the OP is not asking for breeding advice or even upper level TB advice. It sounds like they are looking for a riding partner/lower level competitor foremost. This was clear in their first post.

In that case, it is absolutely reasonable to be asking after the bloodlines of TBs, as the lower levels are replete with full TBs being ridden by amateurs in just about every competitive disciple there is, because TBs are readily available to most in the US/UK/NA, easily trained, tractable, and do make good competitive partners at the lower level.

If you are at all interested in educating yourself, I suggest taking a look some time at the USDF year end awards, or even picking a region and looking at their year end schedule. You will see TBs, even up to PSG.

More importantly to me, you will see people earning their USDF Bronze/Silver on Thoroughbreds. For a breed that is under-represented among a sea of Warmbloods purpose bred for the sport, that is a statistically significant finding.



Sounds like the OP is looking to buy an off the track horse to retrain for dressage.

There’s a considerable budget difference between buying an OTTB prospect and a purpose bred dressage prospect.

If I have 3k budget, it really doesn’t matter how superior anyone believes a WB is.


Let’s not forget about Hilda Gurney and Keen!:grinning::heartpulse:

There’s definitely some truth to this. Over here in Germany, France, and the Netherlands, the TBs are quite small and built rather poorly in comparison to many in NA and the UK. They’re typically quite different from the NA TB, even if some do have some NA TB’s in their pedigree.

*with the disclaimer that not all TB’s over here are smaller, built poorly, or otherwise unsuitable for dressage…because apparently it wasn’t clear that I was making a generalization and that not all fall into this category.

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My Thoroughbred by Libertarian out of Nether the Lady.


I don’t know where the movement came from exactly in her pedigree, but this mare moved outrageously well:


She unfortunately had an ankle chip from the track that limited her and she passed away young unexpectedly but her trot was unbelievable. I had a lesson once with a local dressage trainer and the big name trainer she worked with with her horses was out at the farm and when I picked up the trot I heard him say “oh wow” from across the arena. She moved a little flat and huntery when she was sore but when she was feeling good you could see how exceptional she could have been without the injury and with enough time and strength. It’s a shame she didn’t get a chance to do more, she was a wonderful mare. She had one foal before she died who is out eventing now.

My current TB is by Congrats and out of a Kris S x Quiet American mare. https://www.pedigreequery.com/eckersley

I love Congrats and every one I have seen has had a great mind and a lovely canter, but most I have seen are more huntery. I do think he gave my gelding his super mind and rideability. My guy is the spitting image of his mother and his half siblings (and their offspring that I have seen) all look very similar too. All tall, dark, leggy, gorgeous necks, and just float at the canter. We’re just starting out on our dressage journey but the two GP dressage riders I have lessened with absolutely love him and I was told in a clinic last summer he has “endless potential”. He’s 10 and had a long racing career so I don’t know where we will end up but he is pretty special and I’d love another with his breeding. His canter is exceptional, his walk is good, and I think his trot is going to be nice enough. His trot is pretty lofty but it isn’t as huge as the mare’s was. The collected work comes really naturally to him though and he does clean, back to front tempi changes for fun in the field.

If I were shopping again, I’d definitely look for a horse bred similarly to those two, if I could find one. I am currently stalking my gelding’s half sister’s in the hope I can get one of their offspring one day, but right now everything is young and selling for 6 figures so not likely to happen soon!


Page on Facebook in the Uk: TBdressage

I currently have a Quality Road gelding out of an AP Indy dam who has a fantastic canter. So as one mentioned who has a Congrats (by AP Indy), maybe the AP Indy line. I also had a TB gelding sired by Alert Again; (back in the 90’s) who had the same fantastic canter and he would ‘passage’ all the time when we would be out trail riding. He was never trained Dressage just did it on his own and was so floaty and fun to ride.

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