I’m no breeding expert. Breeding Gina this year has been my first foray into the breeding world, and I don’t know if I’ll do it again. After all, Gina isn’t young, and I don’t have another mare waiting in the wings. Horses aren’t my primary occupation or source of income, and while I’d love to have a sporthorse breeding empire, I’m not sure that’s realistic!
However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t put a lot of thought into the stallion I chose. There were a few things I was looking for:
- Oldenburg N.A. approval; Gina is already entered into their main mare book, and while I’m sure she could be approved for other warmblood registries, I don’t particularly want to go through the process of doing so. Additionally, Oldenburg N.A. inspections are held locally.
- High percentage of Thoroughbred blood. Since I want something to event on, I want it to have plenty of stamina.
- Offspring performing well in jumping/eventing careers
- Reputation for siring amateur-friendly offspring
Avalon Equine’s stable of stallions was already on my radar; they’re here in Oklahoma, and they have a lot of nice stallions at stud. I’d met a Mannhattan offspring through foxhunting and another through eventing and been impressed with their ability to jump, so when Avalon Equine advertised their Black Friday stud fed special, I jumped at the chance to buy a discounted breeding.
Mannhattan checks all of my boxes:
- He’s approved for Oldenburg NA
- He’s ~49% Thoroughbred, meaning a Gina offspring will be ~74% Thoroughbred
- He has several offspring performing well in dressage, hunter/jumper, and eventing careers
- His offspring are reputed to have great minds (at least according to Chronicle of the Horse forums and the two I’ve met personally)
- Mannhattan himself competed at USEF Level 8 jumpers and scored well in jumping ability, cross-country, and character at his stallion inspection.
As an added bonus, Avalon Equine has a reputation for being easy to work with; my own experience has proved this to be the case.
My ultimate goal for a Gina/Mannhattan baby is to have an amateur-friendly horse that I can even at least through Training level, foxhunt on, and be relatively competitive on the local dressage circuit. However, if it turns out to be gray, I’ve told Johnny that it’s his horse, because I have zero desire to keep a gray horse clean for shows… 😉