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Category: Breeding News Archives

Breed All About It! Equiery Reader Breed Survey Results

While foal photos kept rolling in representing a diversity of horse and pony breeds, The Equiery wanted to know what is the most popular horse or pony breed among our readers! We put out a survey through Facebook and email in early July asking our readers to tell us a bit about their horses. In just a few days, over 200 readers took our survey, making for some interesting results! Although the majority of our survey participants are Maryland residents, our survey reached far past the Maryland border with responses from Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Kentucky, Delaware, New Jersey...

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The History of the Godolphin Barb

Hot-Blooded Horse Conquers a Cold Climate – The Godolphin Barb’s English Home by Laura Harrison McBride (December 2008) One has to take the good with the bad, as every rider knows. It was just so with one of the three Thoroughbred foundation stallions, the Godolphin Barb (or Arabian). Legend has it that the stallion once pulled a water cart through the streets of Paris before being shipped to England where, eventually, he hit his stride as a sire of champions in the middle of the eighteenth century. In fact, the horse probably never pulled a water cart, having been given to the King of France by the Bey of Tunis. The horse was known, then, as the Belgrade Turk, possibly indicating the route by which he was shipped from the Asia Minor to Europe. According to, the Godolphin Barb was foaled in what is today called Yemen, so he would have acquired the Belgrade moniker on his way through Asia Minor and into eastern Europe before moving on to western Europe, France and finally across the channel to England. That the horse is also called an Arabian, rather than a Barb, is also somewhat confusing. But then, the terminology of that part of the world is confusing. The Wind of Heaven… Yemen, by the sixteenth century, had become part of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire included, then,...

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Breeding Horses Responsibly

by Katherine O. Rizzo (August 2010) Economic uncertainty has touched all parts of the horse industry, but perhaps the hardest hit have been the breeders. When the mortgage meltdown began several years ago, breeders immediately dialed back, and we have seen dwindling foal crops ever since. Vets who specialize in breeding and foaling have reported record drops in business this past spring. Mare owners have wisely decided to postpone breeding for a year or two (or more) until the economy improves. While this reduced demand has made it difficult for some stallion owners, it has also provided many with the opportunity to reevaluate what they are breeding and how they are breeding it, to analyze the influence of top lines versus bottom lines, performance versus pedigree, to tinker with their breeding formulas. In the meantime, we hope there will be some long term benefits to the reduced foal crops: fewer unwanted horses in the future and, once demand returns, higher prices for those few horses on the market. Top Line vs. Bottom Line The stallions seem to get all the attention, the marquee billing, the “top line” on the pedigree charts…so it is understandable when those who don’t breed assume that the stallion is more important than the mare (whose name appears on the bottom line in pedigrees). But serious breeders know differently. Alain Seheut of Olde Country Farm...

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Finding Unipol

by Judith Robinson (August 2011) It is time to write about Unipol. This is unexpected, for the life story of this little gray Orlov Trotter is still unfolding. But what a tale so far! And how to recount it? Perhaps it should start on a summer day at a fabulous estate in the suburbs of Russia’s Capital City, Moscow, when a covey of equine experts rated the sports potential of Russia’s fanciest German-line warmblood stallions, Trakheners and Hanoverians, and Russian Saddle Horses too – and one quiet, serious young Orlov Trotter, my Unipol. My little horse walked obediently towards the start point to a chorus of muttered comments by the skeptical breeders of those warmbloods. He checked with the young girl leading him that this was indeed what was wanted – then spurned the land with a flying trot and a canter like music, and soared into the stratosphere and over the moon – the only perfect 10 of all the ratings. Or perhaps the tale should start with a dark stall in a stifling centuries-old barn at the Moscow Hippodrome, and the ungainly little horse who’d given his all for nothing, and only wanted to be left alone to die. Or perhaps this story of Unipol rightly starts with Socoros Equine Center in downtown Moscow and its owner, Alexander Pavlovich, who “couldn’t figure out where they’d put your...

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The Rise and Fall of the Arab Market

Arabian Gold Rush (first appeared in The Equiery August 2011) The April 29 seizure of 136 malnourished Polish Arabians from Canterbury breeding farm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland has brought an uncomfortable spotlight on not only the equine breeding business in general, but on the Arabian business in particular. Horse owners not familiar with the crazy 40-year rollercoaster ride of the Arabian market have scoffed at the estimated value of $30,000 for some of the horses, a figure tossed out by welfare and rescue organizations involved, as well as some breed enthusiasts. For still others, an estimated value of $30,000 is not impressive. If anything, it is modest. All of this speculation about the value of any individual Canterbury horse is just that: speculation. There is one foolproof way to determine the value of any horse at any given moment, and that is what someone is willing to pay for said horse at that given moment. At The Equiery, as at all horse publications, we see horse owners and dealers play the “my horse is worth” or the “my horse will be worth” game every day. “I bought my horse for $5,000 three years ago, but now he is worth $20,000 because I have three years of board, training and vet and farrier expense into him.” “I bought my horse as a three-year-old for $2,500 four years ago, but now that...

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Investing in the Thoroughbred’s Future

The Thoroughbred Alliance Show Series by Jennifer Sponseller Webster (first appeared in the May 2013 issue of The Equiery) Whether you or your Off-The-Track Thoroughbred (OTTB) have ever been to a horse show, whether he just finished racing last year, or whether you have been competing at recognized hunter/jumper shows with your OTTB for years, there is a Thoroughbred Alliance Show Series (TASS) show for you. From leadline to cross rails to speed classes for jumpers to hunter derbies and hunter trials to dressage and event horse classes, TASS has it all. Generous sponsors for each show have helped management keep costs affordable. This is not a series designed just for the top 1% of wage earners. The Thoroughbred Alliance Show Series is for everyone; anyone who ever cared enough to rescue a Thoroughbred horse from a bad situation or to offer a pensioned runner a second chance at a new vocation. This is your chance to give back to the next generation of racing Thoroughbreds who still need rescuing, adopting, and retirement opportunities. So, Go Baby, Go to the Thoroughbred Alliance Show Series! Brand new this year for owners, riders and fans of the Thoroughbred horse, TASS is the brainchild of Beverly Strauss, Executive Director of the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Rescue, together with Maryland Racing Secretary Georganne Hale and Thoroughbred advocate Fran Burns. The series offers a first-time opportunity for...

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