“The Thoroughbred World is not a static one: on the contrary, it is evolving at a very fast pace” – Franco Varola.
After decades of stock-farm breeding, it was a casual remark of the old man, where he prudently observed ‘female’ superior performers did not go on… to produce progeny equal to them.
Quizzical as it was then & still is, it remains a cautionary omen to validate or not.
From farming practises at my own account, a high-performer did just that….& was not the at-depth, maternal breeder. She dismally bred. The more or less lesser/sounder type would soundly produce.
This phenomena is complex and upon the restraints of thoroughbred breeding where Tesio thinking had maternal inherent forces – a limitation to nervous energy – life’s battery is to restore: the female-line reaches ‘zenith’ and in natural decline. Other old books mention saturation point – again, the zenith of the blood-lines at their natural completion.
Also take consideration, the most obvious – genetic variation. Whatever science, theory of any application one may wish to apply, TBL believes one thing which is not of scientific research or discovery but ‘limits-to-growth’ – a natural sustainability instinctively enforced. Specifically it is conservation in breeding.
– James (1990, AUS): Selection Limits in Thoroughbred Horses
He reasoned that actual heritability is almost certainly lower than appears, and that it is not certain that performance and time are closely correlated. In his opinion, a positive estimate of genetic trend in performance may not be justified. It is conceivable that limited effective population size and intense selection have led to a plateau in performance, and that the appearance of heritability of perfor-mance is illusory.
James argued, whether it is possible that a selection limit has been reached, since there are clear examples of such limits in laboratory populations, though these may sometimes be surpassed by the provision of new variation through spontaneous or induced mutation or through crossing.
A dedicated conservation in breeding approach targets a long-term strategy: survival of the species, for if breeding to extract only desirable speed traits alone, it upon generations configures at another – the leading principal element declines – lungs n’ heart and physical capacity. Common sense is – one cannot be without the other.
(MY point comes from parallel example where from what ‘was’ New Zealand stock-farm, breeding in-house & uniquely individual breeders crossed over to industry EBV’s: the genetic data-base compiling statistical performances for high-production desired traits and raising probability through ‘select’ superior males with assessed high-quality traits globally. It is a matter of opinion how one references this to each working environment but my general view what has eventuated….is that an individual animal life-span shortened dramatically, more herd numbers for a desired level of production and cross-breeding intensely to have composites as standard breeding raising undesirable health aspects arising to the forefront of the dairying industry. i.e. mycoplasma bovine virus). In effect, over time and generations, a weaker specimen has eventuated.
Perhaps, whilst having gone ‘off track’ a little) – the applications of maternal breeding, let’s just say: the higher principle towards conservation in breeding must aim at long-term reflections upon horse & welfare & environment. That is, fit for purpose.
As global racing stars, they where highly anticipated to breed – the face of glitter and star glamour marketing went crazy upon progeny of world sprinting champions of Black Caviar (AUS) and also, of the siblings to Winx.
Horlicks, Sunline, Black Caviar & alike etc etc etc. are all absolute stand-out performers but curiously will/would not be superior breeders and though one might like to wonder and adore of their racing attributes, they transpire to be after their racing career, physically worn-out identities.
As causes of selection limits – a plateau in performance despite continued selection – he identified several points:
- Selection is not effective;
- the environment is deteriorating;
- natural selection opposes artificial selection;
- additive genetic variance is exhausted
Speculation of equal progeny produced thereafter is pure theatre – unless one is prepared to wait through generational cycles for the genome brilliance to reappear.
Nevertheless it is forever thought-provoking to speculate upon brilliance & the progeny, the campaign of suitable sire, across every *star* correct-pedigree and attempt to see what is, & what-is-not-happening to the breeding genetic template what gave.
For the most part, ‘undoing’ pedigrees of a superior performer is the Must – that is, to go to the structure and hub assessing where the pivotal key strain stages nucleus, dynamic. This is because upon the new pedigree infusion/cross – where each/every genetic dial-up will be either genetic ingression or digression upon the siring broodmare siring infusions.
The two nucleus parentage(s) – sires broodmare siring is upmost specific, crucial and defining….for selection of performance traits, in probability.
To view how lines ‘meld’ is only the beginning….it is to take view where a ‘shine’ in the grain of wood goes; what strain lines ooooomf the pedigree. Vision a pedigree as a 3-legged stool: speed/stamina structure, support co-joining blood-lines as strength, a balance to suggest figured potency.
We have prior analysed the Black Caviar: ‘diamonds’ within a pedigree of family tap-root, 1-P female family.
This 1-P strain has noble history infusing the ancestress Pocahontas, plus the rare sourced (nowadays) of female family 24, exceptionally ‘formative’ transcendent to the bare few & best bred viz. the Thoroughbred.
- the progeny: Oscietra – Exceed n’ Excel (AUS)/ Black Caviar. (as above) I have prior written on Black Caviar (FF 1-P) the double-cross of Vain 3sx4d and upon infusion re: Court Martial (FF 1-P) assimiliation plus, Hornbeam (FF 1-P) through Lunchtime (UK) Attempt to appreciate female strains, as genetic blood transfers (if you will) to the bridge and connection of ‘type’.
- Female Strains / traits / mitochondrial DNA
From within the genotype pedigree, (it must be viewed!) where if to diffuse this crucial element, as ‘strain’, it is to disrupt that star ‘thumb-print’ for Black Caviar progeny.
TBL observation – the essential strains 1-P are not ‘available’ in the stallion Exceed n’ Excel (AUS) pedigree. The sprinting and young siring machine EE is, is not complementary as to say recover genetic endurance: breeding by truer definition is the carefully bred. Secondly, the aspects of EE’s , the Natalma 2-d influences are assigned differing ‘type’. Refer to the ancestry aka Alamahoud. Please do note I/we are not disputing the dynastic quality of the profound Alamahoud bloodline but personally will challenge the overdo melding (concentrations) which alternates duplicity of a ‘cross’.
The Black Caviar colt – Prince of Caviar from Sebring/Black Caviar , genetically suggests same thoughts as above.
It goes where there is an odd and ancient truism practical breeders of all kinds of stock, that the value of the any family is mainly in proportion to the purity of its origin.
- the crucial – in proportion, purity as concentration), origin (foundation, source).)
I always think magnificence arrives in unobvious detail. It is essential to understand pedigree peculiarities present ‘unseen’ opportunity or, point to a genomic trend orbiting to the present-day day & which can be (at best) astutely uncovered.
This is the nature, and conservation of thoroughbred breeding.
(following blog Winx’s siblings…..)