Wednesday, 15 September 2010 08:20

Stable Talk

Written by  Bruce Roy
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Two classes draft horse publications report–those for a Get of Sire and Produce of Dam–will often fail to name ribbon winning sires and dams. The information publications receive from exhibitions will most often only give the exhibitor's name, which tells prospective buyers little. Is this the exhibitor's fault?

Often draft horse exhibitors fail to include this information in their entries. This I know from experience, for I have had occasion to review the entry forms Belgian, Clydesdale, Percheron and Shire exhibitors have submitted to exhibitions. In many instances, they fail to inspire confidence, which I feel is unfortunate.

Draft horse breeders show breeding stock to promote their stable's name. This includes stallions, females and geldings, and siblings to the horses shown. Breeding programs that achieve success are headed by powerful sires, which head a prolific group of brood mares. To capture a market for their younger stock, these draft horse breeders ensure their stud horses and brood mares are well-known. This is achieved by campaigning home-bred horses in the show ring and ensuring correct show results are seen by the buying public. No means of achieving this goal offers greater rewards than having a stud horse's offspring win a class for Three, Get of Sire, or having a brood mare's progeny win a class for Two, Progeny of Dam.

If money is no object, championships are easily won by skilled horsemen who have an eye for the right horse. However, those breeding programs that field a Get of Sire and/or Progeny of Dam that is a ribbon winner, will capture greater confidence with prospective buyers. These two classes offer a wealth of information. If you are a breeder interested in marketing horses, it is important that the show string you campaign contain a Get of Sire and a Produce of Dam. Equally important, ensure the name of the stud horse and brood mare are included in the entries for those classes to maximize the publicity available to you. Show results exhibitions release to the publications that print them are more likely to include these names. Said information will serve you well.

Judges focus their attention on those horses in a breeding classification which become their champions, giving less time to the selection of a winning Get of Sire or Progeny of Dam. This is unfortunate, for these classes are basic in a breeding classification. When evaluating a breeding program, the colour of the ribbons won is important. Likewise, buyers in search of breeding stock find them important. Entries which are uniform in excellence, from a given sire or out of a given brood mare, will inspire greater confidence with prospective buyers, than will a purple ribbon winner which has no siblings of known account.

At least this is how I see it.

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