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each of their mares, and those decisions can be based on a lot of factors: marketability, trends, convenience, cost, performance, etc. The intent of this column is to add yet another factor into the decision process: what physical traits should be sought in the stallion in order to best compliment/improve the mare’s traits? If we hope to produce an offspring that becomes


Corner O


a useful competition horse that adds value to the mare’s produce record and builds our reputation as a breeder of quality stock, then matching more than the pedigrees is vital. It is in our own best interest as well as the interest of breeds, registries and the gene pool at large to seek a stallion that potentially cements the superior traits of our mares while strengthening any areas of weakness the mares may exhibit. As usual, we will use sample mares to illustrate some of the evaluation points.


Horse #1 Our first mare was presented at the initial FEI Veterinary Inspection for dressage at the 2018 World Equestrian Games, but, since the number is not visible, it is unknown whether she competed at the Games or was a travelling alternate. Regardless, her mere presence at the jog proves that the horse is/was a qualified grand prix competitor. Physically, there are areas that could be improved along with those that one would want to reproduce.


1


By Judy Wardrope Stallion Selection


ne of the biggest decisions during breeding season is that of stallion selection. Breeders have to decide which stallion to mate with


The lumbosacral gap (LS) appears to be just rearward of where a line drawn from top of hip to top of hip would be, meaning within athletic limits, but not spot on. Selecting a stallion that could keep or improve this placement would be the goal. The rear triangle shows an ilium side (point of hip to


point of buttock) that is slightly shorter than the femur side (point of buttock to stifle protrusion), which is a dressage trait. Again, selecting a stallion that could keep or increase this trait would be the goal. Stifle placement is just below where the bottom of the sheath would be on a male horse, which is also a dressage trait and something one would seek in a stallion. The pillar of support emerges well in front of the withers and into the rear quarter of the hoof, which adds lightness and soundness, both traits worth cementing. The humerus shows good rise from elbow to point of shoulder for more lightness and does not appear to be tight to the ribcage at the elbow. Again, traits worth keeping. One area where the right stallion could make


significant improvement is in the positioning of the base of neck. More distance from point of shoulder to base of neck would add more lightness to the forehand. Yes, a fair number of the readers would try to change the angulation (or lack of angulation) in the hind legs, but in reality, one should do this in increments rather than select a stallion at the opposite end of the scale.


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62 March/April 2019


Conformation


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