Would you breed this mare and to what stallion?

I have a chance to get back the first horse I ever bred - a 15.3 HH Canadian Sport Horse mare by Popeye K out of an appendix TB mare. I sold her when she was 12. She will be 19 in July. Her owner is retiring and has sold her farm and is looking for a good home for the mare. I could have her for an extremely good price. She has had a couple of injuries since I sold her (tendon a couple of years ago) but apparently is sound and can still jump small courses. She did eventing and dressage with me and now has a hunter record a mile long including at Tryon and Wellington (2’6" as her rider didn’t feel comfortable doing bigger). She was a First Premium mare at her CSHA inspection and had two foals by Banderas, both went on to be very talented hunters. The second one was the national champion of a Young Horse series in the U.S. a couple of years ago. The first will show in the 3’6" ring this year. I have another mare now I ride but she can be difficult and I am considering selling her. So, if I got my ‘firstborn’ back, I could ride her only or ride her and breed her for my next keeper (I’m experienced though 60 so have to ponder whether I want to take on another youngster). I am small so want something 14.3 to 15.2. I’ve had a German Riding Pony before and loved her. So I’d look at GRP or a Connemara in Canada. Would you take a chance on breeding a 19-year-old and if so, what would you choose? Mare is super laidback and not ‘hot’ at all.

Do you feel she is breeding quality? Has she been inspected? What are her strengths/weakness? What are your priorities with a stallion?

I don’t know how much guidance anyone can offer based off of “should I breed a 19 hear old maiden horse”.


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Before getting excited about breeding and picking a stallion, have a breeding exam done, including biopsy, culture and cytology.

No point in getting super excited about possibilities if she’s got a terrible biopsy, for example (unless you’re willing to go the embryo transfer route?)

There are plenty of successes breeding 19 year old mares that have had foals before. Her age alone shouldn’t shut the door for you. She sounds lovely!


I have successfully bred maiden mares aged 18, 20 and 21. It depends on the condition of their uterus (vet should be able to help with that), but each of mine settled after one AI shipment (two cooled semen injections per shipment as I recall), carried without a problem and handled delivery and their foals like pros.

Your mare isn’t a maiden, so just talk with your vet for that info. She sounds lovely. I think a Connemara cross or a Welsh cob cross would be interesting, but I really don’t know a great deal about the smaller stallions. Best of luck…

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My apologies. Somehow I overlooked that line and was quite confused.

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No worries! These things happen to all of us

No problem. Of 135 mares inspected the year she was by the Canadian Sport Horse Assoc., there were less than 20 First Premiums and she was one. Her first foal was the national Canadian Reserve Champion Sport Horse Foal as a weanling and is also a First Premium. Both of her previous foals are talented athletes with excellent temperaments. Her daughter, now 10, has won several 3’ children’s hunter championships and reserve championships in Canada. Her son, now 8, was the U.S. national jump chute champion for a warmblood Young Horse Series when he was four and he’s now a successful adult amateur hunter. As for the mare, she can use a little bit of blood, perhaps a typier head, slightly longer neck and as I ride dressage now, a bit more hind leg suspension.


She sounds lovely. Would you try to catch her in foal this year? Lots of the Popeye Ks are great movers. With a bit more uphill stallion I bet you’ll have a miniature AA dressage machine. Consider yourself enabled.

Thanks for all your feedback. I decided to pass on the mare given that her age makes breeding her a bit of a gamble but a friend of mine has taken her and is going to try to breed her.

Just saw this…I might look at Topper Harley for a small dressage horse…