The Importance of Bloodlines

  • Added:
    Aug 30, 2012
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How to breed a racehorse is a question that has been around for centuries!  Breeding a thoroughbred is easy, but racing horses, now that is quite a different thing.  Just as betting on a race is a gamble, so is running the gauntlet of picking the right sire and dam who might produce the next elusive, legendary racehorse.  Many theories have been written on how to breed a champion varying from careful and statistical analyses, guess work, luck and superstition.

An old book many years ago was what first took my interest in the racehorse; it was about the Godolphin Arabian, one of the three founder stallions of today's race horses.  It’s self an intriguing story which also highlights how difficult it is to predict what will breed a champion.

When we look back at the bloodlines of the modern thoroughbred we find three stallions, the aforementioned Godolphin Arabian, the Burley Turk and the Darley Arabian these are said to be the founding stallions of today's racehorses.  However, other people believe it is through the dam line that the winning gene’s are carried.

The best way to trace the bloodline is through the distaff or female line, dating to the beginning of the General Stud Book (GSB).  Sheer practicalities promoted this as mares produce far fewer foals than a stallion.  Therefore thoroughbred stud books throughout the world trace ancestry through the maternal line and not the parental line.
And let us not forget that the racehorse is but one type of racing horse. Let's not forget the trotters, pacers, Arabians, Mongolian ponies and the flapping ponies to name but a few.  The trotting horse is bred to develop a specific gait where diagonal pairs of legs move at the same time with a moment of suspension between each beat the best tend to show this as their natural gait and the same is true of pacers. But when breeding to win, we look not only the performance of both the sire and dam, but at their pedigree as well.  Most societies have blood stock records from which you can study bloodlines and with the internet to hand it is relativity easy these days to find a performance record of your desired potential parents.  But even when you pair the perfect match as in anything to do with racing you must still run the gambit, the birth, the training, illness, injury and the final result.

But one can only dream of breeding the perfect horse and it is this that keeps the true horse lover going. To breed a racing horse, we pair the best and just pray for the rest.

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George is an avid traveller that loves writing on all topics for Interesting Articles.


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