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Lord Norbit

How do I learn about breeding?

28 posts in this topic

Pick some horses that you really like that are racing now. Look at the traits of the these horses from observation and reports from trackside and papers. Then start reading ... their families and relatives ... There is a fabulous amount of information on the net nowadays and a lot of different sites. If it was easy then Sunlines progeny would themselves be champions. I started really looking when Balmerino and Battle Eve (two of my favourite horses) produced the reasonably mediocre King Delamere. In my teen eyes King Delamere was going to be an Arc winner!

I find it fascinating but no longer have the cash to dabble. No longer have the time to read as much as Id like to either. Good luck

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Life's too short Lord Norbit, don't wait, learn as you go!

Keep an eye out for a mixed sale and pick yourself up a mare in foal or with one at foot. Avoid first foals. Don't get hung up on the breeding, just choose something you like.

Give that foal a Ready to Run prep and try and get some cash back. you won't compete with the big boys at the yearling sales.

Basically the best thing you can do is reconcile yourself to kissing goodbye a wheelbarrow of cash, but if you can afford it, it's well worth a crack - heaps of fun!

I bred a couple off mares I raced, lots of highs and quite a few more lows. Bought a mare in foal and it was just born on the weekend, a healthy chestnut colt by Bachelor Duke who will get a RTR prep. Next up she goes to Castledale and I will race that one.

Good luck!

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You are spot on Catalano - you can read books and listen to advice till you're blue in the face and probably have no more success than if you leap in, follow your instincts and buy something you like.

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You are spot on Catalano - you can read books and listen to advice till you're blue in the face and probably have no more success than if you leap in, follow your instincts and buy something you like.

Just like Don Ha did... ???!!

"Fools rush in where..."

only if you've spare cash burning a hole... Norbit! :)

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Perhaps that should read 'a foolish millionaire and his money'. The rest of us know the value of a dollar, and you don't have to spend alot to have an interest - I picked up my pregnant mare for $4000.

The arcane practises of the breeding industry are largely meant to stupify the fools and separate them from said money.

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Come on guys...these responses are bollocks. If you are really interested, call me 021 687 417. There's a ready to run sale on in Auckland next week and that would be a good place to learn. I will put you into some hands that have selected and raced over 30 group one winners and they can start to teach you the ropes. If anyone else is interested feel free to call or text me. It's meant to be fun

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I'm sure there's been a heap of champion first foals, but on average they'll be smaller than their later siblings. Also if you can pick up a mare that's had 2-3 foals, then you've got a couple of chances that one could perform and raise the value of your mare and her later progeny.

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Research - statistical and practical. berri claims a very good record but how many unsuccessful horses were involved? He might be right. Read books by Jack Glengarry and Peter Pring as they relate to local situation. Analyse any theory or opinion with statistical proof. "Convential" wisdom is that the top-selling yearling at Karaka is the best buy. Although I haven't done the research myself, I would suggest that maybe 4 of those in the last 20 years repaid their purchase price. Glengarry's book will show that this is common throughout major racing countries. Seton Otway, of Trelawney Stud, attributed his success to "95% luck" Have you heard of Palomides - stallion in Australia? Check if the numbers prove the theory against first foals. Try to limit your failures but everyone will have them.

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First and foremost. Have you horse handling experience and a property suitable to raise your intended foal? If you are planning on agistment it is pretty expensive and adds up for every horse you acquire. Check out prices with suitable agistment farms. May broodmare and weanling sale is a good place to start and choose a mare with a strong damline and good conformation. Ask the bloodstock agents for advice in this area - if possible buy the best you can afford and make sure the foal is by a stallion whose progeny are fetching good prices (usually a proven stallion) NZB agents will help if you know what you are after. This is a good sale with something for everyone. Join NZTBA and get their 2012 book of stallions standing - has lots of statistics in it at the back which is helpful. Join a breeding group - lots of ideas flow about at discussions which will enable you to hear a lot of different theories to help you make up your mind. Read good books - Ken McLeans I thought were the best. Jack Glengarry's is a good starter and if you can get any of Clive Harper's, even better. Clive is recently deceased and was one of NZ best pedigree analysists. He was a member of the Levin Breeders Forum. Keep and open mind and keep learning. You never get to know it all, always something new to learn. Best of all, GOOD LUCK

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Come on guys...these responses are bollocks. If you are really interested, call me 021 687 417. There's a ready to run sale on in Auckland next week and that would be a good place to learn. I will put you into some hands that have selected and raced over 30 group one winners and they can start to teach you the ropes. If anyone else is interested feel free to call or text me. It's meant to be fun

berri,

What conformation fault would you be prepared to overlook when buying a horse at ready to run, eg back at knee, small chip, apple jointed , offset knees etc, as I am sure there will be a lot of these at the sale.

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That's particularly hard to answer as there needs to be a balance in these....and I suppose the response is "subject to". Back at the knee can be accepted if the horse is not too heavy and doesn't have long sloping pasterns. Small chips depend on where they are and how small is small. Apple jointed wont do on a heavy type with long pasterns with closed knees as sometimes apple jointed horses are simply immature. If the knees aren't immature then you know you might have a problem with the fetlock joints. Then again, if you dont mind racing a wet tracker, sometimes you can get away with it. Off set knees is the same. Really depends on how off set and what the fore leg action is like. Sometimes you woukld forgive slightly offset knees because the balance and co-ordination is there and with a bit of time you can forgive. This is how you can sometimes buy bargain horses because many people right this stuff off but with a good bit of management yoyu can overcome the problems. Being at the sales with an experienced horse selector can give you a few pointers. Experience is the best teacher of all.

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With all respect (really!) Berri, aren't we a little off-topic? We're talking about breeding a horse, therefore if you pick-up a mare with a reasonable racing history, in foal, and with a couple already on the ground, anything other than glaring conformational deficiencies of the mare (that may be passed on to foals) are a little irrelevant?

It's all sounding a little too hard and it doesn't have to be.

Of more interest is what Lord Norbert has at his disposal - cash-flow, capital, and facilities - will he breed to race or sell?

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The key to understanding breeding, without playing a game of lottery, is to eliminate the probability of failure. In racing the factor of uppermost importance is conformation and the ability to hopefully create conformational trends when mating two horses. Understanding pedigrees is one thing but of uppermost importance is predicting the effect of mating two horses together based on what their conformation trends are (ie what does the sire produce and what are the mare's family traits). This can only be truely learned by sudying conformation and one is able to study this at race horse sales. It is where I would consider one cuts one's teeth.

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http://justracing.com.au/

In summary:

• - Whilst there are many thousand genes involved when every horse is conceived not every gene or gene-combination contributes towards superior racetrack performance in the individual

• - The expression of genes and gene-combinations is most frequently influenced by environmental factors and internal ‘on and off’ switches within the DNA sequences

• - As a consequence of the “closed” Stud Book policy, genetic variance within the thoroughbred breed is diminished and selective breed improvement is therefore restricted

• - Thoroughbred breeders are best advised to identify traits or characteristics in their broodmares and breed to stallions which have complimentary traits for these mares. Unless the breeder is breeding for commercial purposes, they should not be unduly influenced by the service fee of the prospective stallion and should pay greater attention to the progeny performance of stallions and ensuring that the progeny of their matings receives the best of environmental treatment during their development

• - Due to the large numbers of genes involved and their interaction with other external factors, the selection and purchase of superior racetrack performers, based solely on the parentage of yearlings, is a most risky business – similar to buying tickets in a lottery

• - Every horse has the same number of genes and parents – unfortunately the genes are ‘hidden’ whilst the parentages are exposed – hence breeders and buyers tend to place their emphasis on the parentage of yearlings as a guide to future racing merit

• - The parentage of a yearling should never over-rule the physical assessment evaluation of the individual

• - Progeny-testing indexes, of both the sire and dam, should be the genetic selection method of choice for breeders and buyers when deciding on the potential racing ability of yearling thoroughbreds

• - In the absence of progeny-testing data an assessment of desirable traits should be made of both sire and dam (size, speed, soundness, temperament, determination etc) and then an assessment made of the resultant yearling to confirm those traits which may have been passed on through the parents

• - The influence of the genetic component of the horse on their ultimate racing performance (as indicated by race stakes earnings) is relatively small compared to other ‘environmental’ factors influencing performance

• - Major improvements in thoroughbred race track performance are most likely therefore, to come from selection pressure on environmental factors - nutrition, training methods, racetrack surfaces, reduced injuries, stake-race placement and jockey riding skills. Owners, breeders and trainers need to place more emphasis on these factors in their various enterprises

• - Breeders need to ensure that a full environmental and management appraisal is made of their various enterprises. Soil tests, pasture tests and concentrate feed analyses are essential and any deficiencies and/or excesses corrected for. Soil and pasture nutrient levels are always changing over time and according to seasonal growth conditions and constant monitoring is required

• - The relatively recent identification of specific genes and gene combinations and their interaction with environmental factors offers potential for the early identification of superior racetrack performers but will probably not result in any overall improvement in the thoroughbred breed.

Footnote: The author of this article is a retired agricultural researcher who has published over 50 peer-reviewed scientific articles, many in the area of thoroughbred nutrition, growth rate and pasture management. He has acted as consultant to leading NZ thoroughbred stud farms and advisory agronomist for various racetracks, including Ellerslie and Te Rapa. He has bred, owned and trained thoroughbred winners both in NZ and Queensland. His son Geoffrey is currently a leading SE Queensland apprentice jockey

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If you're free on Thursday 20 December, come to the Otaki races

The Levin Thoroughbred Breeders Forum are sponsoring a race, and have a marquee.

The late Clive Harper was one of our most staunch supporters, and we're always keen to welcome new members, be they beginners or seasoned experts.

We meet in Levin on the second sunday of the month, to discuss pedigrees of group winners worldwide, analyse breeding trends and gossip about our love of the thoroughbred.

Annual membership is $50, gets you a monthly summary of the past meeting. We have members all over NZ.

For further information email me at lloyd.chapman@inspire.net.nz

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