, , ,


Pedigree afficiondoes will not stop at a racing pedigree. Nor a catalogue pedigree but shall seek a very good ‘pioneering’ breeding pedigree which spells out S-U-C-C-E-S-S.

Distinctive pedigrees of superior racehorses are not mere popular nicking patterns. They yield deeply to the breeding-heart of the thoroughbred.

The sweet spot is to yield the breeding – not just for racing performance, but breeding for sustainable development.

Since times shifted to commerciality and somewhat reformed ‘ability’, it seems punting fastest horses alone, speaks prospect.

Whatever has it for you…. I only want to encounter opportunities to obtain the old, and the good: old knowledge from old-stock breeders of pedigree. This maybe through cattle, sheep, dogs or horses – all have application at finesse breeding!


Because the old-school have watched the several generational cycles of breeding ‘family’ and learnt genetic ‘patterns’, perhaps peculiar to nature herself and with variance, the factors of throw-backs, out-crossing and as observed by experiment.

In recent conversation, one old bloke mused it took only two families and through his historical juxtaposition, I wowed ‘eureka’ where wizards like Federico Tesio & wife Lydia mindfully, may of themselves researched also where ‘Origins’ equal pureness and concentration.

“Many of the great horses of our time do indeed proceed from these two great individuals, (Newminister, b.1848 by Touchstone out of Beeswing, by Dr. Syntax and Stockwell, ch. 1849, by The Baron out of Pocahontas, by Glencoe),  as without them there would be no Tracery, Hyperion, Pharos or Teddy…..” Typology of the Racehorse – Franco Varola

Origins, purity and even, bastardry are antiquity breeding terms which ‘air’ a thin clue: elite ‘patterns’ keep knitting over and over.

‘there is another breed got by crossing, as we have said, a large mare with a small stallion, and vice versa, which have been hybridised and are therefore called bastard horses”- The Royal Studs Bloodstock – breeding winners in Europe and America by James Gill

Many contemporary theories have trundled in: some good, some bad. Statistics became theory and theory became remedy and remedy became trade n’ commerce. And that became peddled on ‘better’ productivity, for better commercial stock for improved returns where chief economies took the ‘reins’.

And ever so gradually the animal became lesser, became somewhat ‘expired’ and prodigious breeding in itself went misplaced.

The genes however went, wily: they search survival, to retain the species. True, transposing genes jump!

Welcome to the Thoroughbred Link, (About)where I attempt to retrieve peculiarities of thoroughbred breeding. I observe pedigree shades n’ tones: you shall get to know these as strain factors.

Strains as Principles, examine strong female affinity relationships between co-family blood-lines which pool distinctively and return again, to arrive as offspring.

Breeding is progeny – living through the collective family .

Are strains new?

No. Strains are unique traits within families and always were realized through traditions of non-Western horse-breeding cultures. The Rasmussen Factor also hypothesizes similar.

Our fair ideas, of what traits n’ strains may be, are from the long-forgotten Bruce Lowe numbers which over time declined due to historical useful, but an un-useful breeding theory.

“female classifications have served pedigree analysis in a manner similar to what the zip code has done for mail delivery” – Inbreeding to superior females by Rommy Faversham & Leon Rasmussen

Unfortunately for Bruce Low, his language- of-the- day met unfortunate interpretations …but how insightful it is, where the Wizard of Dormello, Federico Tesio later, was co-contributor to the Family Tale of Racehorses, Zamoyski, 1953, London.untitled


Later, the tables where updated by Toru Sharai of the Japanese Bloodstock Agency. ( Sunday Silence – his far-reaching ‘value’ upon Japan’s breeding, perhaps due to American obliviousness about ‘lines’, is a story in itself.)

What did pioneer breeders ‘know’ that modernism has not quite grasped about breeding which puts future breeding ahead?

All progeny are ideally produced through male AND female representation to ascend the entire collective bloodline, and to establish a new pattern prototype. This may be recognized as upgrading.

For ‘dons’ of thoroughbreds and pedigrees, a female ‘strain’ factor and affinity complements many utilized practices but also revolutionizes the pedigree to a further unique distinctiveness.

Unique distinctive pedigrees are not all custom-made ‘matching’ bloodlines but where strain-principles and most importantly, integration unlocks the perplexity of better performing breeding lines.



Flaming Page: 8f (strain) sire of Nijinsky and grand-dam of The Minstrel. photo credit: Pin Interest

(Flaming Page….’failed to make her reserve as a yearling. She did change hands but her owner asked Mr Taylor to take her back because she had a slight injury to a hind leg”. Sir Charles Leicester, Bloodstock Breeding.

Female relationships (as co-affiliated families) are commonly overlooked. Yet female families remain the valuable ‘key’ as truer penetration, upon pedigree.

What female strains search to reinforce, ….is the dormant and natural, of her crucial Individuality.

Repeat: crucial individuality. This is not only the tap-root, but what has assimilated into that line to become the dynamic it is.

Don’t refuse the broodmare’s natural latency by crossing in/over, at towards mere duplication of a stallion that sits ‘anyplace’ in the pedigree?

Duplication as a practice by in-breeding or close line-breeding to principal stallion lines may in the first instance ineffectively downside the ‘female’.  However, as ‘cycles’ the generational breeding progresses to genetically ‘soften’ to catalyse unseen potential. They Ping-back!

That is ‘why’ you need to search beyond the closer removes, accessing as best as possible what-is-the-truer-inheritance.

My mentor would often talk of ‘narrowness’, the in-breeding to families too close, as too much baking powder in the cake.  That is to say, the families are too fine and upon the highly nervous strung thoroughbred you have temperament unmanageability.

Equally, he knew of problems which arose of too wider families for too many lines which confuse what precious genes need to find. “It brings out coarseness” he would say. That might also mean slowpokes.

As first step navigating, compatible breeding is to accurately diagnose the storehouse of the broodmare, as she has progressed upwardly from her tap-root breeding.

Her sire’s dam & grand-dam shall represent an important evaluation element as determining how/where/why the ‘breeding’ up-grades for development of genetic pre-potency.

Potential of the stallion should become more distinguishable when his lines are exposed by similar means: the study of his female-family.

Will the stallion elevate desired lines or will the stallion further transmit a DNA helix which transmutes the necessary hybrid-vigour towards stamina and speed.  Chiefly, the stallion must do both. Again, upgrade.

Remembering hybrid factors has the kaleidoscope: genetic movement and mutation.

nature genes

dialling ‘life’


The attention on the stallion towards his maternal sire produces a robust element ‘within’ pedigree, providing where the contributing family lines have proportion and balance. It turns, like a catalyst.

Rather than single assessment of ‘XY’ lines, to peel back a pedigree is to appreciate familial contributors; the highlights & the impetus towards a comprehensive pedigree.

So, will the genotype pedigree match expected phenotype?

An objective assessment of phenotype is crucial but not always has absolute accurateness to tell-it-all. It is majorly dependent on the ‘eye’ & what is obvious or not obvious to the observer’s expertize.

My mentor had that one fixed – ‘picture in your mind, what you want that animal to be like’.

Physical ‘vibrancy’… has ‘yes’ or ‘no’: evaluation needs to be strong.

Via racing successes, many stallions today are appraised on those performances alone. In some small way this assumes stallions are mostly equal in breeding potential. The trouble is, they are not.

It is arguable therefore, to discern what has actual pre-potency.

Of the stallion, there are specific focuses which can be treated with mindfulness as to make the final decision.

From the broodmare, her high performing female line, can make the stallion, regardless. Generally, classis goes with classic.

A stallion, though a high-class racehorse, is not necessarily a ‘solid’ breeder-type to breed/upgrade with. Ask yourself, what is your foremost intention?

Solid breeders breed on, supporting/upholding pedigree: ponder your 3-legged stool!

No stallion is ever lacking – they need the ‘right’ broodmare who complements same.

Great stallions have ability to upgrade and blend into most anything. Peculiarly, the families just blend or balance inclusively.

Correctly, one can deduce just how demanding pedigrees can be. An extremely robust examination pays off where the minimal is to elevate the broodmare’s potential at towards generational ‘value’ and in turn, her progeny can be…up, and coming successful.


The Thoroughbred Link upholds superior racehorses come from prior, proficient breeding as lines have integrated into analogous lines.

© The Thoroughbred Link