Bloodlines in the event horse
Breeding Gina is something I think about very seriously and very frequently. She has many good qualities worth passing on to an offspring; her conformation is good, her bloodlines are good, and I firmly believe most of her personality quirks are due to nurture, not nature.
In breeding her, I’d ideally like to produce something that I could successfully compete as an eventer. One day, I’d like to compete at Preliminary level- maybe even higher, if I can dedicate myself to a lot of time, travel, and money. It would be great if Gina’s offspring could do that.
With that in mind, I’ve been doing some reading on the way bloodlines can influence a sport horse’s performance. If I really wanted to produce a sporthorse, I’d clone Moe and keep the clone intact to breed to choice mares. Moe’s pedigree contains a lot of Turn-To, who appears in the bloodlines of many excellent event horses. That’s a bit further than I’m willing to go, as appealing as the idea of Moe #2 is.
Warmbloods Today recently ran an excellent article analyzing the bloodlines of the 36 Rolex finishers with verifiable pedigrees; it’s super interesting. Here are the main takeaway points:
- Of the 40 finishers, 15 were 100% Thoroughbred
- 24 were at least 50% Thoroughbred
- Of the top 10 finishers, none were 100% Thoroughbred; each had some amount of warmblood or Irish Draught in their pedigrees.
- Jumping bloodlines appear far more often than dressage bloodlines
- Most of the Thoroughbred ancestors were direct descendants of successful racehorses
I thought it was interesting that there wasn’t one specific breed of warmblood that showed up; rather, there were Holsteiners, KWPNs, Westphalens, and Hanoverians sprinkled throughout the horses’ pedigrees.
So, which stallion to breed Gina to? There are a couple of nice Hanoverian stallions in the area that are worth looking at, and a surprising number of Oldenburgs. I’m interested to do some more reading on warmblood lines- I’m woefully ignorant of what’s jumping, what’s dressage, and what’s pretty but produces ill-tempered or badly put together offspring. If you have any advice on where to look for this information (aside from simply combing through pedigrees), I’d love to hear it!