A short while ago, a $A1.5 million yearling sales result came through and cheering the achievement of vendor and purchaser it was a fantastic result for all concerned.
Uncovering the pedigree, examining the tail-female line, it was one of m’ Dad’s favourites AND his point of discussion at breeding towards genuine lines/genuine families.
Though Dad was a reputable breeder of stud Friesian cows, 40 years +. And, with the few thoroughbreds to play around with, he was perfectionist at heart: the familial breeding technique where his MAJOR BIG thing was endlessly screening for ‘purity’ – is it ‘direct’, near as possible to the ‘root’ at origin?
Understandably the reader may wonder what his experiences & dairying cows has to do with thoroughbreds but just, hang-in there……The TBL blog is about where/why/how breeding dynamics is a natural thing, contained within the artificial/domestic/business environment.
Dad was a diligent bastard. There he was without technology – reading 1000 times over ‘good’ history quality breeding books & other.He would go over and over diagrams, snippets of information, read-between-lines, deduce and came upon ‘why’ the 13 family was not only Good, but THE – One.
He came out with the proverbial ancestral, at to reinforcing, where ‘ALL’ goes back…. to Rachel, Highflyer, Regulus.
Like the ol’ boy, many theories come n’ gone, fade, forgotten. Its the yarning over the back-fence where many ‘unscripted’ understandings towards breeding ‘right’ for the sake of the superior animal and its bred-purpose and performance.
And, awkwardly the sort of stuff which the old Harry’s shall keep to themselves & store away; the observing eye, to develop an astute understanding towards animals & Nature.Existence. Survival. And, onwards strength as species.
Some years ago, when the thoroughbred Link blog was created, a Uruguay bloodstock analyst contacted TBL and interestingly, he also raised the undying Regulus strain. An ancestral strain to salute the pedigree…..
Whilst tricky to ‘know’ definitively what individuals ‘host’ the (R) strain where certain lines spike pedigree… the clues are enough through family-lines. It is to follow the trail….https://thethoroughbredlink.com/2017/11/01/breeding-dynamics-put-the-helmet-on/
One must comprehend & deeply that the thoroughbred is still hybrid – has composite bloodlines ( a mix).
To my mind, there are definitely numerous ‘family’ bands, which appear to stay truer, stronger to themselves. TBL thinks of these as the ‘top’ tier in the thoroughbred population.
However as it goes, amongst any breeding of bloodlines, if there is a selection, to an inappropriate mating-sire, which then becomes broodmare sire and that which inappropriately shall merge incorrectly (to the cycle/passage of breeding), I, TBL ‘O’pinionize and say yes, this is a horse…but will it race(?) and I shall say ‘ just very averagely.’ It will not be a superior performer. ( if my memory serves me right…Sir Patrick Hogan said something like where breeding-is-not-racing, racing-is-not-breeding.) Thoroughbred Breeding: A MASTER OF TIME
Often, Dad would take me out to the paddock and say “what a magnficient striking animal …(muscle and large bone) but for breeding he is a disaster down the track. You’ll get into trouble with the likes of these.”
And more recently, I head a lady commenting on tour, that the mares have gotten too big, too much bone. I mostly agreed but had to walk away and think, reverting to dad’s farming alchemy and animal management with my own past stud-stock experiences where chewing-the-gum upon todays racing & working through … where is-the-breed-going….?
To breed ‘perfection’ is not to only aim at genetics but the best optimal phenotype, & constitution, the ‘gait’ and its flexibility or elasticity to move ably, fleet-footed. Multi-faceted criteria’s which must take heavy consideration into a scheme of what-is-racehorse ideal. Yet furthering to that examination – 1) 2 year old speed-machines or 2) stayer shall mean sharp energetic distinction from the pure anaerobic to aerobic.
Such has been the improvement in the anaerobic capacity to todays thoroughbred and the total absence of aerobic improvement or it may even be decline of aerobic performance. These change of the last 30 years must be appreciated in any scientific study of todays thoroughbred. Because the thoroughbred has changed, the training and breeding management may no longer be applicable. The anaerobic horse is better, but as a consequence more physiologically fragile.
credit: Australasian Thoroughbred Science Review Jan. 1987