Should we always breed the best to the best?

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  • whoodler you never mince words lol

    Is there anyone hoping for a colt from Into Mischief? hahaha
  • Stop The Music is in Rachel Alexandra's dam line through Cure The Blues. Has he (or his sons?) been known to be a tremendous influence behind mares before? (I had a lightbulb "moment to learn" flash, sorry! haha)
  • sarinne said:

    Is there anyone hoping for a colt from Into Mischief? hahaha

    Well, his most "standout" runners seem to be his colts, so yes, I think that would be a reasonable thing to hope for on the track haha. But it would make sense if they are trying to capture two of their best in a filly for future generations.

  • Zenyen said:

    "Proven" in horses (and I imagine in other areas of breeding I don't know I've only ever been around horses) doesn't necessarily mean 'proven to sire/produce winners.'

    A stallion can be proven on the strength of when his first foals are born.

    To date, with the exception of the War Front duo, what Zenyatta has proven as a broodmare is that she is not prepotent. With Cozmic One, he looks more like his grandmother V and the delicate attitude of his sire Bernardini. Ziconic is almost pure Tapit type in terms of physical conformation, though he appears to have his dam's attitude.

    Princess Z appeared to be the best balance of War Front with the best genetic traits of grandmama V's female line. But the War Front/grandmama V seems to be the best cross to V's daughters: at this time.

    Z16 we never saw enough to know how he was balanced out.

    Z17 looks like Cozmic One in that she appears to be of the classic MdO type, with a lot of V expressed as well.

    This is why, at this point, if I were choosing Zenyatta mates, I'd be looking for stallions who crossed well with grandmama V and stallions who are showing that they improve their mares by being prepotent in terms of what they throw through their get. American Pharoah is proving to be prepotent, Tapit, War Front, maybe Mshawish will be as well (don't know yet).

    Grandma V crossed best with Street Cry. Her daughters who could be sent to Street Cry, produced THEIR best runners on the Grandma V/Street Cry cross. The next stallion crossing well with her daughters is War Front, but the Mosses took a break from that pairing, even though that mating gave them their best looking individual to date.

    Interesting fact about the Into Mischief breeding, since we're all kinda scratching our heads here. Into Mischief, on his dam's line goes back to the stallion "Stop the Music". It goes Leslie's Lady --- > Crystal Lady and Crystal Lady was sired by Stop the Music. Stop the Music was the sire of the Mosses personal "blue hen" mare, Set them Free. So if they luck out and get a daughter out of the Into Mischief breeding, they will have built a complete female tail line legacy that combines their best race mare, Zenyatta and their best broodmare Set them Free.

    I just freaked out.
    You are wonderful...Set them Free
    That's magical
  • Wow... apples and oranges? I see them as Red Delicious and Granny Smith.
  • An entire lifetime...
    Cozzene...on whom I put a 5000.00 dollar win on just to get one half over.
    Fappiano...see it and listen
    Gallant man and the doctor...dr. fager....
    Doctor Fager....
    The witch died at 102 years old, with final chapter being an apt name for his last horse.
    One hundred years...this is what one person accomplished.
  • Do you think the Moses plan on ever selling any of Zenyatta’s offspring? Or could they be planning on keeping ever single foal she produces?
  • Zenyen said:

    "Proven" in horses (and I imagine in other areas of breeding I don't know I've only ever been around horses) doesn't necessarily mean 'proven to sire/produce winners.'

    A stallion can be proven on the strength of when his first foals are born.

    To date, with the exception of the War Front duo, what Zenyatta has proven as a broodmare is that she is not prepotent. With Cozmic One, he looks more like his grandmother V and the delicate attitude of his sire Bernardini. Ziconic is almost pure Tapit type in terms of physical conformation, though he appears to have his dam's attitude.

    Princess Z appeared to be the best balance of War Front with the best genetic traits of grandmama V's female line. But the War Front/grandmama V seems to be the best cross to V's daughters: at this time.

    Z16 we never saw enough to know how he was balanced out.

    Z17 looks like Cozmic One in that she appears to be of the classic MdO type, with a lot of V expressed as well.

    This is why, at this point, if I were choosing Zenyatta mates, I'd be looking for stallions who crossed well with grandmama V and stallions who are showing that they improve their mares by being prepotent in terms of what they throw through their get. American Pharoah is proving to be prepotent, Tapit, War Front, maybe Mshawish will be as well (don't know yet).

    Grandma V crossed best with Street Cry. Her daughters who could be sent to Street Cry, produced THEIR best runners on the Grandma V/Street Cry cross. The next stallion crossing well with her daughters is War Front, but the Mosses took a break from that pairing, even though that mating gave them their best looking individual to date.

    Interesting fact about the Into Mischief breeding, since we're all kinda scratching our heads here. Into Mischief, on his dam's line goes back to the stallion "Stop the Music". It goes Leslie's Lady --- > Crystal Lady and Crystal Lady was sired by Stop the Music. Stop the Music was the sire of the Mosses personal "blue hen" mare, Set them Free. So if they luck out and get a daughter out of the Into Mischief breeding, they will have built a complete female tail line legacy that combines their best race mare, Zenyatta and their best broodmare Set them Free.

    Interesting you bring up that Into Mischief has Stop the Music in his pedigree as does the Mosses best producing mare Set them Free @Zenyen. I noticed that a while ago and had thought that maybe that was the reason they chose Into Mischief (among other reasons as I'm sure being out of Leslie's Lady helped too.)
  • Have always been wondering this: how is it that Rachel Alexandra only had 2 foals, and both winners? As far as genetics go? Obviously Curlin is a GREAT stallion, Bernie, IMHO, never liked him. So, that means it was something in her to be 2-2? Even thought I've been in the racing bus., I never got into that genetic, and nicking, we let someone do that for us, but it is quite interesting. One thing I do hope: is that they do not keep breeding Zenyatta over and over IF...IF she continues to not get winners. Not her fault, she has done enough herself without having to breed her constantly to try to get a repeat of her. Not going to happen. thanks
  • Genetics, and therefore, breeding, is a crapshot.
  • edited December 2017
    Even if she doesn't produce a top racer, there is nothing wrong with breeding Zenyatta as long as she is healthy. Especially if she has daughters, which we are all hoping for. It could be a daughter that produces the next standout runner. Zenyatta's legacy may depend on/fall to a daughter. I just hope that legacy wasn't lost with Z Princess.
  • I agree with you, Especially_Horses. She seems to do well in her pregnancies and enjoy her foals, and as long as that's the case and they want to keep breeding her, I think that's fine. And while I would never suggest that she's about to foal a champion, I do want to point out that Secretariat's full sister, born the year before him, was an even bigger dud at racing than Cozmic One. So, I echo whoodler: "Genetics, and therefore breeding, is a crapshot."

    I've been following this whole discussion with interest. I've been traveling and don't like trying to type on my phone, so I've just been reading. The one question I have, for breeders of horses and dogs and anything else, is "how do you determine what 'best' is?" Because it seems to me that a lot of mischief has been done to horse and dog breeds by people who were trying very hard to breed the best to the best. I worry about gene pools being overly constricted by breeding only to the same small number of stylish stallions. I don't think the TB breed has been improved in all these years of trying. Quite the opposite. Too much focus on precocity and speed, and not enough on soundness and endurance, in my untrained opinion.
  • @jen_bloom -- whooder is a dog breeder, and she nailed it: no matter the species, breeding is a crapshoot. I can't really address anything but dogs, but genetics is genetics. And when breeding that, take it for what it is. Whoodler has been breeding a lot longer, than me (so she might disagree with everything I say here lol) -- my first homebred litter was whelped in 2001, though I'd been involved in Irish setters since 1995. Paramount IMHO, when breeding dogs (in my case for conformation, though my dogs do hunt and compete in performance events), is always considering soundness, temperament, health, and structure to allow correct movement for your breed. After finding that in a stud dog, look for breed type. So no, in dogs you don't always necessarily breed "best to best". Or I guess it depends on your definition of that......

    I'll share my experiences, hopefully I'm not too long winded that I lose you. You may be sorry you asked! :wink: Way back yonder in this thread, I noted a bitch that I bred who was sound as a dollar in all areas, but lacking in breed type in some areas. She had an exquisite head, and while balanced, her angles were quite straight for a setter, and she dropped in the croup. I kept her for that amazing temperament, and, within reason (genetic testing), health, for what I was able to determine at grading age (ten weeks). She was already a true mover, so I knew I had something I could work on in my breeding program (vs her four sisters, who while not bad by any means, but Sandy had that eye-catching movement and look at me attitude). It served her well, and she finished both her AKC and UKC championships (breeder owner handled). Knowing that, particularly her sire, had the phenomenal front assembly I wanted back, I linebred back to him when I bred her. Did I sacrifice things? Yes, coat color and eye color, and her head piece. (But never her health or soundness!) Was it worth it? Yes! The daughter I kept from that litter had amazing angles, loads of bone and substance, a rock hard topline and tailset, and went on to produce that herself, not to mention be healthy, and win at a much higher level than I ever expected, novice co-owner handled by my uncle.

    I do choose to linebreed, and I know a lot of people take exception to that -- you have to know your pedigrees inside and out, and select very carefully, it's not something you take lightly, but it's the best way to predict what you will get. Outcrossing is pretty unreliable as a method when looking to improve. I breed for quality, not quantity. I'm just a hobby breeder, looking for my next show dog. I go all over the country showing, including to national club breed shows, looking at potential stud dogs and their get, and putting my hands on. Following pedigrees similar to mine and those that appeal to me to add to mine. When I can't see these dogs in person, I talk directly to their owner and/or breeder, and study video. There is a website www.ofa.org where we can research heath clearances (like hips, elbows, eyes, thyroid). You can look at detailed pedigrees with clearances in a dog's family, as well as it's offspring, and rule out/in dogs, starting there. Breeding is very expensive, so you have to be picky.

    My profile pic is an example of a dog where fairly tight linebreeding (his COI is 14.7%) can go right AND wrong (and thankfully we kept his sister, who everything has gone RIGHT with!). He finished his AKC championship at 17 months, was a grand champion at 18 months, and an all breed AKC group winner at 19 months (that's the pic and why he's so "naked" lol). He was in the breed Top Twenty at twenty months, because of that, not an easy accomplishment with a baby. However, in between road trips, we tried to freeze his semen, and three different collections resulted in only one poor unit. Finally, we decided to wait to try again until after a break from showing, about three months later. At that collection, all the sperm in his collection was dead, and the repro vet advised that it was highly unlikely that we would ever be able to get anything usable from him again, or that he would be able to get a bitch in whelp, even though he had nothing medically wrong with him. We did try one more time unsuccessfully. This dog was conceived using twelve year old frozen semen, and had a very old, but very desirable pedigree on top from his sire. I talked to a number of breeders about having fertility issues with their boys and was able to finally find someone that knew my boys' paternal grandsire, while a very well known and prominent, ISCA register of merit stud dog, was hit or miss as an individual and had a couple long periods where he couldn't get bitches pregnant. And they had had similar issues with boys they kept when they bred to him (so half-uncles, if you will). So there it went, and I'm still clinging to our crappy frozen unit of semen from Tristan. BTW, it's his sixth birthday today, hence the idea to share the long story and intro to him (and as well to his sister, Alice who's champion daughter is competing for a space on my lap with the laptop right now lol). Happy birthday, baby boy -- I sure had a blast with him in the ring! :) :heart:
  • Great comments Sarinne. Can you PM privately regarding your assessments of breeding and confirmation for April? She certainly has beautiful movement and a great temperament. I know she is too big for breed.
  • KMM said:

    Great comments Sarinne. Can you PM privately regarding your assessments of breeding and confirmation for April? She certainly has beautiful movement and a great temperament. I know she is too big for breed.

    Sure @KMM, give me a few. BTW, Tristan's sister, who I mentioned, Alice, is the bitch that nursed and raised April after her dam rejected her, although they are only very very distantly related. There is something to say for a good brood bitch! :) And yes, April is too big. Taller than Tristan. :wink:
  • jen_bloomjen_bloom Member
    edited December 2017
    Thank you for that reply, @sarinne. Not too long-winded--I'm finding the discussion interesting. People are looking for different things when they decide to breed their animals, and your weighing of the pros and cons of your decisions adds good detail to the conversation. I'm a complete layperson when it comes to questions of breeding, but my personal instinct is for outcrossing--I get excited when I look at a horse's pedigree and see no little colored squares, and all my favorite dogs are mutts :) --but I know that linebreeding can be a very effective way to get good traits and eliminate bad ones when it's done carefully.
    Your dogs are beautiful, by the way.
  • jen_bloom said:

    Thank you for that reply, @sarinne. Not too long-winded--I'm finding the discussion interesting. People are looking for different things when they decide to breed their animals, and your weighing of the pros and cons of your decisions adds good detail to the conversation. I'm a complete layperson when it comes to questions of breeding, but my personal instinct is for outcrossing--I get excited when I look at a horse's pedigree and see no little colored squares, and all my favorite dogs are mutts :) --but I know that linebreeding can be a very effective way to get good traits and eliminate bad ones when it's done carefully.
    Your dogs are beautiful, by the way.

    You bet, @jen_bloom! :) I love this discussion too -- it's my passion and desire to learn more about breeding, so I'm fascinated by Zenyen and others when they share pedigree and structure insights when breeding for TB racing, etc. :) I gobble up all posts! I'm so glad I didn't lose you. haha I completely respect your preference to outcrossing and loving your mixed breed babies. I love all dogs, really, so please don't think I'm in there "dog snob" department. Thank you for the compliment on my dogs. :) One is on a dog bed, one is on a recliner and one is on the couch currently, all three sound asleep. Cuddling them, no matter what the breed, is the most important thing when it comes down to it. :heart:
  • S
    well said and very clear.
    I am definitely in the line, close line and IN-breeding camp. You HAVE to know your stuff and that means seeing and admitting to the bad, even more than the good. Everybody can see the good, if you're talking about conformation. When it comes to health and temperament, you pretty much have to rely on what you are told. about other people's animals... until you have your own experience with them. In other threads there's been talk about Tapit's bad temperament. JUST for that reason, I would not breed to him, no matter how much I like what he throws. Every year we have very promising 2 YOs who fall apart or suffer minor disabilities one right after another. I would probably not breed to their sires either, especially if it seems to happen often in their get. The biggest difference in breeding TBs and dogs in general is that dogs... around the world... are seldom working animals any more. TBs are bred to race. Yes, they are used for other things, but their main job is to race. Therefore, sound structure is of paramount importance. And it is losing ground to good looks and early size.
  • Thank you, W.

    Yes, absolutely -- if you look at the breeding I described, I was being the absolute worst critic of my bitch (and trust me, I was even more nitpickier than it seems, I was just trying to be brief, believe it or not lol). You have to be objective when planning matings, or you aren't going to improve on your line at all. In dogs, people are known to be "kennel blind", not a good thing. I have no idea how/if that translates to horses.
  • Of course it does.
    The opposite approach MIGHT be the Ramseys. Not sure how they decide who gets bred to KJ, their own mares as well as outsiders.
    Or for that, with any stallion, but particularly the "name" ones. How many mares are turned down, regardless of who owns them? How many stud owners have the "to approved females" line in their ads? Legally, unless things have changed, if you advertise stud service at a set fee, anyone with the fee has the right to breed to your guy.
  • Not sure if this fits this discussion but I found this to be a very interesting read. Broodmares: your buying guide: https://ownerbreeder.co.uk/columns/broodmares-buying-guide/#.WivMVAVY0PU.twitter
  • Zenyen said:

    Set Them Free was a much stronger and more consistent broodmare than V.

    So is a pedigree like this worth taking a chance on? Sold for $9,000 last month (2017 Keeneland November Breed Stock) and is entered right back in the upcoming Barretts 2018 January Mixed Sale. A young mare, with what appears to be a very good pedigree, selling for only $9,000 last month. Her conformation must be cause for pause, or what???


  • No produce record. She may have difficulty getting pregnant or slips foals.
  • Says "believed to be pregnant" to Macho Uno.
  • edited December 2017
    I thought about that too, that maybe she has proven to be difficult to get in foal/or stay in foal.

    "Believed to be pregnant", is standard catalog language for all mares supposedly carrying a foal.
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