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It's Raining Stallions(and Mares)!

Posted Wednesday March 4, 2009 8:46:32 PM EDT

This is a good subject as it begs a very good question that seems very apropos in light of the present ecomomic downturn that seems to be ruining many people financially.  While the value of horses is falling dramatically, and with less people around that can actually afford to feed them, the racehorse rescue organizations are being inundated with calls and requests to help. This makes us wonder if there are simply too many horses?

When we look at the pedigree pages and race records of many stallions and mares, we wonder why the breeder actually bred the horse as a racehorse to begin with! It is almost certain that in many cases a first time breeder will breed as a fall back position to recoup monies lost or perhaps just out of an attachment to the horse itself. We see many first time stallions with no credentials whatsoever. Some have suggested that a criteria be set for stallions to have to qualify in order to service a mare to produce a foal that would qualify to be registered by the Jockey Club. We disagree with this but wouldn't mind seeing the individual States put some type of criteria to qualify a foal into its breeding fund. We think this would discourage bredding for the sake of breeding as it would take the "lottery" effect out of the equation. Many just breed in the hopes to get some awards without realizing the cost to get the foal to the races! States would then be able to actually build a breeding program that would benefit the breeders as well as the racing in the State itself. A good product is always the key to a profitable business! 

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Comment by racingtothering
We need to look past racing and get our thoroughbreds more involved in life after the track as show horses. Please go to this new web page to learn how this will benifite breeders owners trainers and give a place for the horses without the talent to run or the horses that have gone through there contiditions at the track. Check out the web page racingtothering.com
Monday March 30, 2009 3:30:48 PM EDT

Comment by beauty
I think that alot of stallion that didn't race shouldn't be give the right to breed any mares. I have see alot in the stallion book that didn't race and has been breeding for years and never produce a good foal. I think that breeding everything and anything is why we have so many horses. I have rescued 5 thoroughbreds because of problems they have. I am also breeding 2 mares for the sale of the foals but they both have nice breeding and did every well on the track. Also I think that there are to many foals by one stallion and if the foal does well, you can't breed the foal because it is realated to the other big stallions. But also everyone is breeding the bone out of the horse today. It is all about speed and not distance in the long run, Look at Big Brown and Curlin. Big Brown has bad feet and Curlin has the best feet for a racehorse,
Wednesday March 18, 2009 7:22:14 PM EDT

Comment by citation
states should definatly have a guideline for stallions, not mares. its a free country so anyone should be able to stand a stallion without having to meet any specification. but, for the state to pay awards, it should try to persuage better stallions to come to the state by making more mares available. this would happen if some stallions had to first prove their eligiblity, either by pedigree or race record. a graded stakes placing should be the very least regarding race records. if a stallion is good looking and well pedigreed, but never was a racehorse or not a successful one due to an injury, than let the owner take the financial undertaking of supporting the stallion until he proves himself and takes mares away from other stallions that may benefit from thel arger mare pool.
Tuesday March 10, 2009 11:06:59 PM EDT

Comment by donnah81652
When considering whether to keep a horse a stallion or not you must first ask yourself a few questions and answer them honestly. No. 1, will anyone else want to breed to this stallion besides myself? Take a close look at size, conformation and breeding and then answer. Does he have a great race record? Made lots of money? It is very hard when you are attached to them. Who is his sire? Is he a sire of sires? Who is his mother, is she a multiple stakes producing mare from another producing mare? Keeping a horse as a stallion is a very lonely life for these herd animals so REALLY consider it.
Tuesday March 10, 2009 2:34:06 PM EDT

Comment by donnah81652
In the past, it was normal to take an unraced mare or injured mare that didn't make it to the track and breed her. With the economy the way it is I think that we will see natural culling of herds because we just cannot afford to put all the mares in foal. We cannot afford to raise all the babies. This is probably a good thing. We will have to consider each mare that we are going to breed and hopefully she will be the best that we have. With the stallion season costs being more negotiable, it should be easier to get to a better stallion for this mare and therefore produce a better individual.

What happens to the culled mares is more of a problem. I'm not sure what the answer is but starving them or selling them for meat isn't the answer. Turning them loose in a State Park, or some such place is not the answer either. Those that can be useful for riding have hope but those that were injured and have some kind of problem, and I've seem many of these, will have a tougher go. What might be considered, is someone providing assistance to the owners. Let the owners keep the horses and the thoroughbred retirement provide the feed and hay to keep them on the owners property. The could be enrolled in a "on farm" program with would help the horses. It would take a roving person from the retirement facility to check on them but the retirement facility would be able to handle and help more horses. Just an idea.


Tuesday March 10, 2009 2:24:39 PM EDT

Comment by walkinthepark
I have a Stallion in North Carolina "Justawalkinthepark". He is by Ecton Park,with excellent pedigree all the way around . Excellent conformation. With great speed. (4/100ths off the Monmouth Park track record and could of broken it easily). . Retired due to injury. Stakes placed twice. Didn't make a ton of money due to injury. Your saying I shouldn't breed this beautiful animal ? I think he would be a credit to improve the breed and give him a nice life. I also know he is steroid free.
Tuesday March 10, 2009 2:19:20 PM EDT

Comment by doctormagnet
I think the criteria should lie with the mare even more than the stallion. Too many owners who have a mare who cannot race due to injury which often is because of conformation, decide to breed her. This is due to the fact that SOME non-racing mares do produce winners. However, the highest percentage of winners are foals of dams who have won.

The second problem I think is the way that OTTB's are trained. Rescues often are hard pushed just to feed, worm and trim feet of rescued mares. Rarely are OTTB's trained in a way that they are viable pets or show horses. The biggest problem I see with race horses is they are not socialized enough as foals to make good pets. Sending them to a trainer to learn to be show horses or pets doesn't work because they actually need time to get to know and trust their new owner. Unfortunately, when the new owner doesn't bond with his OTTB mare they often end up back at the breeding shed even though they have no credientials to be bred. I've especially seen this with the new PA bred program. People who have raised quarter horses and have a few TB mares breed them to mediocre stallions in the hopes of producing a race horse and making a quick buck. Then they feed the foals like quarter horses and the result is a stunted TB that no one wants.

Sunday March 8, 2009 8:24:07 PM EDT

Comment by bigdogontheporch
This may be a good idea. Too many bad horses that can't make their own way end up in terrible situations so breeding a suspect mare with no page to a noname stallion is a lose lose situation in most case. I think that setting a criteria for a stallion is next to impossible to mandate unless done by the State as part of their awards program. This would actually strengthen most state breeding programs, which is a good thing.
Wednesday March 4, 2009 10:25:07 PM EDT

Comment by krhansen
It all Sounds good to establish a criteria but it could get quite involved. would the horse have to have a certian
level of winnings ? or would it be based on runners. if it where to be base on winners
then no first year stallion or first bred mare would qualify. if it where base on winnings
there is still no garantee that the horse can produce a winner. there are a great many winners
that have never produced a runner. is it that the horse cannot produce a winnter or is it that
the right combination has not been found ?

Wednesday March 4, 2009 8:46:32 PM EDT

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