Viva Carlos Blog Hop: Let’s make a baby!

Yea, verily, and the Unicorn and L. Williams did ask us:  If you could/were so inclined to breed your horse WHO would you breed your horse to and why?

I’ll only address Gina, as she is a mare and the thought of crossing a female Moe with anything else makes me shudder. He’s so weirdly put together that I wouldn’t want to pass any of those traits on, and I think a lot of his personality comes from a lifetime of good handling and training. 
So, Gina.
Gina is a basically well conformed mare who moves nicely. Her personality definitely leaves something to be desired, but some of that is mare-ishness and some of it might be due to time spent as a lesson horse. 
If I was going for something super flashy, I’d breed her to Blue Eyed Streaker at Echo Hill Farm in Louisville, KY. 
Most of his offspring have color and he’s produced some sporthorses that are competing successfully. He’s a Thoroughbred, so with this stallion, Gina’s offspring would be registered with both the Jockey Club and the Pinto Horse Association. The PtHA World Championship is right here in Tulsa, so Baby Horse and I would be, of course, doing the dressage and jumper classes there. 
If I wanted to get a big, fancy warmblood I could eventually resell, I’d breed Gina to Wradar. He’s a terrific Oldenburg stallion who lives just down the road from me. 
Wradar is fancy as fuck, and so are his offspring. Colter was a Wradar son (out of a Thoroughbred mare); while he was really goofy and kind of a pain, I think that had more to do with sitting in a field for the better part of 11 years. Gina is an ISR/Oldenburg approved mare, so this baby would be a registered Oldenburg. Gina’s already had at least two foals by Wradar in her previous life, and I feel confident their breeding would produce another good-looking, good-moving baby. My only problem with Wradar’s offspring is that they are massive. Colt was out of a mare about the same size as Gina, and he was 17.2 hands. The two or three other horses by Wradar I’ve met are equally large. I feel comfortable with smaller horses (around 16 hands or so), but since this baby would be for sale to some dressage enthusiast somewhere, I guess that’s not a big deal.
Just for giggles, I asked my friend and Thoroughbred bloodline expert Holly what stallion I should breed Gina to for a successful racehorse. After all, Gina’s an approved Oklahoma-bred mare, which means her foals are eligible to compete in special races for Oklahoma horses. And once her foal is done on the track, I will turn it into an eventer. Duh. Holly recommends a stud with Northern Dancer lines, like Toccet:
Other options include Tactical Cat and Service Stripe.
I’d most likely breed to one of the last three, as their stud fees are the cheapest, they’re local (for live cover!) and I like the way Tactical Cat is put together! 


What To Do With The G

Since big, goofy Colt entered my life, Princess G has sort of continued to be on vacation (which started in about November). I ride her now and then, but I just don’t have the motivation I once did. She’s a super horse, but since she really, really hates jumping, she’s not exactly the best horse for someone who’s looking to reenter the eventing arena. I’m not terribly keen on the idea of only showing her dressage; I am going to take her foxhunting in the fall. (She was definitely not fit enough this spring.) I will probably take her to a couple of dressage shows this year, and possibly the spring hunter pace. But my main focus for showing and eventing will be Colt. 

So that leaves me with a question: What am I going to do with Gina?
Well, I certainly don’t want to leave her in the pasture to continue her already way too long vacay. So…what, then?
I could sell her. She’s a beautiful horse who definitely knows her dressage. She’s not super old and is athletic enough to move up to higher levels. She has a good personality, has good manners, and is an easy keeper (especially for a Thoroughbred). Sounds like a plan! Except, well, I live in Oklahoma, which isn’t exactly dressage central. And she’s not a horse for a total beginner. And somehow, I don’t think everyone loves her as much as I do. Before I got her, she’d been through 6 homes. I’d be concerned about where Gina would eventually end up. If she throws all of her idiosyncrasies at one owner who isn’t as understanding as I am, they might get rid of her. And people here are totally okay with selling their horses at unsavory auctions. Gina doesn’t deserve to be beaten or killed.
That leaves me with something I’ve been considering for a bit- I could breed her. Now, before anyone goes crazy and starts leaving nasty comments about horse overpopulation, let’s take a moment to think about it. Gina has excellent conformation, good breeding, and great movement. She’s sound as a dollar, easy to handle on the ground and under saddle (as long as show jumping isn’t involved), and has produced good foals before. I firmly believe all of Gina’s negative behaviors toward jumps are a product of poor training, not some sort of innate hatred of them. The G is already ISR/Oldenburg approved, too. There are undoubtedly a number of cons and generally uncontrollable things about breeding, but it isn’t looking like a terrible option. 
That said, let’s pretend breeding IS the best idea and do the fun part: stallion selection!
Gina has been bred to Wradar before and had at least two foals by him. He is a very successful Oldenburg stallion and has accumulated a whole pile of honors in the dressage ring. I feel like I can have an opinion on his ability to produce nice offspring; he is Colt’s sire. He is obviously a gorgeous, awesome horse. My only concern? I still don’t know how much I like riding warmbloods. 
Now here’s a good looking Thoroughbred stallion. Tactical Cat is right here in Oklahoma and has produced a number of successful racing offspring. His progeny are athletic and fast. While I wouldn’t be breeding Gina to get a racehorse, I’ve had a lot of success with Thoroughbreds in the past and like them for their heart, intelligence, and athleticism. 
Let’s ignore Goldmaker’s freaky coloring for a moment and focus on the positives: he’s a fairly well conformed guy and according to his page, has a great personality. Other pictures of him under saddle indicate he’s good on the flat and over fences. As an added bonus, he’s a Thoroughbred. Even cooler? His unusual cremello color means that he’d probably produce an interesting looking offspring if mated with Gina. (Not that color’s important, but it is a neat bonus.)
Now, I just need to find a few extra dollars to put into a stud fee to one of these guys…

Good Breeding

The program added a couple of new horses this week, and one is a super-cute chestnut Thoroughbred gelding. I took the liberty of searching for him on Pedigree Query, as I am wont to do with all TBs I encounter. His parentage is nothing spectacular; it’s better than sweet, inbred Moe, but not as impressive as Gina’s. Take a look:
Click to enlarge!
That’s Mr. Prospector on top and Affirmed on bottom. In my limited research, it appears that neither of these lines are known for producing anything but astonishingly competent racehorses. Which brings me back to my original mystery: why was G sold to a sporthorse breeder in Oklahoma as a two year old? 
Both G’s sire and dam were decent racers. Her sire, Look See won over $100,000 on the track and sired numerous stakes winners. Her dam, True Brilliance, earned a respectable $23,000. Gina has two full siblings, both mares, with no race record. Some of her half-siblings on her dam’s side have been fairly successful racehorses. The half-siblings on her sire’s side are too numerous to list (but you can see them here, if you want), but believe me when I say many of them are very good. 
Gina isn’t much of a lean, leggy Thoroughbred; she’s of the stout variety. Did her breeders see this in her as a two year old? Did they ever get her out on the track? Was she a giant, horrible brat they wanted to unload ASAP? How did I end up with such a mysterious horse?

Gina Has Babies!

G’s former owners finally mailed her Jockey Club papers to the equestrian center last week; I received them Thursday and spent the remainder of the week puzzling over them. The papers certainly shed a bit of light on G’s past- she came to Oklahoma as a two year old in 1999. Over the next ten years she went through four owners before winding up at the program. 

The most curious thing to me about the papers was a stamp on the front bearing the words “International Sporthorse Registry/Oldenburg Registry NA”. A quick Google search turned up the official website of the organization, which maintains stallion and mare books and coordinates inspections and performance tests for sporthorses (like Oldenburgs, Hanoverians, Holsteiners, etc.). Apparently, G is registered in the ISR’s main mare book. Hmm. I figured this meant she definitely had some foals out there- why else take the time and money to register her?
I found an outdated website (we’re talking 2006) of the sporthorse ranch G had been sold to as a two year old; lo and behold, there’s my horse listed on the “Our Broodmares” page (she’s Kimberly K). And just look at that wittle bitty baby pony pony at her side! Awwww. 
After a little more clicking around, I found some pictures of G’s foals as four-year-olds. There’s Kassandra (the foal pictured above), a pretty chestnut mare with a big floaty trot (just like G!):
Just like mama!
I also found Koko, who is the spitting image of Gina. 
Exactly like mama.

Both of G’s daughters are by a gorgeous Oldenburg, Wradar. Weirdly, he lives about 5 miles away from me. 

It’s my belief that the sporthorse place was breeding G and Wradar to produce dressage horses. G has beautiful movement, and Wradar is some kind of super-champion who holds about a zillion titles. (Seriously…go check his page out.) I’d be curious to breed her to another Thoroughbred and see what comes out- maybe a super eventer!
It’s been fascinating looking into G’s past. I hope to uncover some more pieces to her puzzling life by researching information on subsequent owners, but this is a pretty rad start.