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Author Topic: Breeding matches  (Read 273 times)

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Offline willagreyTopic starter

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Breeding matches
« on: November 09, 2017, 01:07:42 am »
So in light of Shelbie's "let's get the board more active" post, I'd like to pick people's brains about how they select which stallions to breed their mares to.

I'm a newbie, and while I did search the forums extensively in my research, I'm still not entirely sure what changes may or may not have been made. (Because impossible to keep up with those since this game started)

Right now, I've kind of been relying on what my broodmares have produced previously. So if they have a foal that was a winner/stakes winner/MSW/etc from a certain stud, I go there first. Sometimes that leads me to a dead end (retired stallion/no stud qualified offspring, etc), which leaves me with little ideas what to do.

One thing I did do for the mares I bred this year (for a 2022 foal) was look up mares from the same sire as my mare, and see what they well crossed with.

I don't expect deep dark breeding matching secrets to be revealed but some guidance would be amazing! I made a small spreadsheet of my mares and their racing preferences (if any) and if they had a SW/MSW by a certain stud. This has helped if I'm familiar some studs, but after buying 3 yearlings from Sunday Paper and finding out he's a later blooming SC guy, I obviously have a TON to learn LOL (Also, not complaining because I don't mind waiting with the 2yos but ahaha had I known, maybe I wouldn't have bought 3!)

Any tips?

Offline ivycreekfarm

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Re: Breeding matches
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2017, 01:35:31 am »
I do a lot of different things, and each year my method seems to evolve.

Originally, I looked up a mare's family line (mostly mare lines) and looked for the most successful racer from that group. Then I tried to find the stallion most related to that stud if the sire wasn't still available. I had a lot of luck with that, and my runners were very diverse in talent - sprinters, hurdlers, long distance, early-bloomers and late-bloomers, etc.

As my stable grew out of control, I decided to specialize more. I started screening my broodmare herd based on abilities that I hoped might someday help me breed a Derby winner, i.e. speed records over flat Derby-like distances, peaking around age 3, etc. I then try to pair them with a stallion who will enhance these and fill in any gaps (example: a mare that peaked age 2-3 to pair with a stallion who bloomed later like age 3-4). Now that I have so many stallions of my own, I've been trying to keep their books fairly full with high quality mares, so I haven't been seeking as many outside boys as in previous years. I still utilize this method, though.
Alyssa
Ivy Creek Farm

Standing in 2021: NCh. Allinvain | NCh. Bear Witness | NCh. Bellagio {S} | NCh. Ducati | NCh. Exit Poll | NCh. Fight The Twilight | GCh. Zadar
Home to future stallions: NCh. Franco Classico, 2019 3YO Colt & Classic Horse of the Year

Offline imagine

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Re: Breeding matches
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2017, 05:25:27 am »
Emma @ Generous Bloodstock
Anything is possible with a willing heart

Standing at stud in 2020:
NCh Golden Text, ICh Quarren, WCh Sionnach, NCh Lasting Spirit, GCh Mantle of Power

                                      

Offline Hilda with Clicker

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Re: Breeding matches
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2017, 09:27:53 am »
Ooh my favourite topic! The breeding game seems even more fun to me than the racing game sometimes.

First of all, I'm trying to breed the horse that I'd like to have - versatile, one that recovers quickly, and can stay competitive for more than one season. I don't know how much they inherit those features but I select to breed horses that raced quite a lot (ideally at least 40 races in their lifetime and at least 10-15 races in one year), were at allowance level on all tracks and had no injuries. Of course not all my breeding horses are like that, but the ones that don't meet these requirements might have other nice features - interesting bloodlines, or simply a high breeding ranking already.

So for example, my stallion Al Mundhir ran 17 races as a 3yo and 4yo, and then 13 races when he was five. His Hypothetical Mating usually shows that his offspring will be at least allowance level on all tracks. Space Chips had a similar career, and he also raced as a 2yo. I like to search for interesting damlines, and both my stallions are out of mares that also produced another stud qualified son; Space Chips is half to NCh. Call To War and Al Mundhir is half to NCh. Hidden Destiny.

I also like it when both parents have the same number of past generations in their pedigree, because the foal's pedigree looks nice ??? ;D but I did breed a created mare to a stallion that had a four generation pedigree so that's not a rule.

When searching for outside stallions, I like to dig for rare bloodlines. I do inbreeding only if it's an ancestor that performed really well; Chef-de-race, Reine-de-course, gold or platinum ranking, etc. However, last year I inbred quite a lot to Octagonal, and sometimes it's as close as a 2x2 inbreeding; something that I would never do in real life (not that I'm a breeder in real life... I used to study whippet pedigrees like a maniac but then I adopted one from shelter...), but hey it's just a game :P
So I bred Ch. Lointaine and Ch. A Sweet Melody to NCh. Quintet, and they all have Octagonal as a sire so the foals will be 2x2 inbred. I raced these two mares myself and they were both stakes level, so I think Octagonal might be really good as a sire but he got retired quickly.

Offline Shelbie

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Re: Breeding matches
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2017, 12:32:45 pm »
You've seen my spreadsheet! I try to match racing preferences between stallions and mares but start with going through dams, granddams (top and bottom) and seeing what stallions they crossed with. If that same stallion isn't there I look for sons and grandsons whose racing preferences are still similar. If I don't have much to go by I look through the mare's sire's other daughters and see what stallions they crossed well with. Dirt/turf I will often mix but I try to keep flat runners and chasers separate with an emphasis on matching distances or maybe crossing a classic distance horse with an endurance runner, sprint with medium, etc. to sort of create a mix of the two. If I have a mare who failed to run straight until 5 or older I will try to find a stallion who peaked earlier in hopes of a solid 3/4yo runner. I also have this weird thing about height and will try to keep all minimal height predictions at 15hh+. On very rare occasions I will breed a mare back to the same stallion for one of three reasons: 1) Stillborn, 2) First foal I either never owned or sold and wish I hadn't, or 3) It produced a color I didn't like (I've only done this once! Haha).

Like Imagine, it's sort of pot luck when deciding what mares to send to my own stallions. Mostly this is because French Ruby is from rarer/unproven lines and Yes It's Paddy is created -- on one hand, I can send ANY mare to these guys! On the other hand, I'm throwing all sorts of darts at the board and hoping to find a pattern. My flat classic dirt/turf mares tend to visit Paddy, as his foals seem to swing that way, and chasers or sprinters to Ruby for similar reasons. I also send some of my tallest mares to Paddy since he's just 15hh. I TRY to send about 2/3 of my mares to my own stallions then the remaining third to outside stallions in order to bring in new blood, but as I only have two boys to rotate through some of my mares have already visited both. I avoid crossing half sibs (top or bottom) and the closest I'll do for inbreeding is 3x4 (just feels icky otherwise, haha). Created mares I'll send to anyone but I have a personal preference for game-bred stallions just to beef up the resulting foal pedigree a little.

One thing I also do is I choose 2-3 mares to keep in specific locations abroad: a batch in Australia and a batch in England so I can tap into those stallions without paying the mass shipping fees each year. Not BREEDING related in terms of crosses, but it has worked well for me in saving dollars while not relying solely on auctions and claiming races to obtain ENG/AUS-stallion foals.
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there will be fireworks tonight
Standing NCH. French Ruby & NCh. Nobly Regal

Offline Hilda with Clicker

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Re: Breeding matches
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2017, 01:29:41 pm »
One thing I also do is I choose 2-3 mares to keep in specific locations abroad: a batch in Australia and a batch in England so I can tap into those stallions without paying the mass shipping fees each year.

Me too and I wish we could search stallions by location!

Offline faedar

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Re: Breeding matches
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2017, 03:18:03 pm »
Seeing as how this is the first year I've managed to figure out how to get my horses to run straight, I can't comment too much on quality breedings. Certainly, it's been very interesting and enlightening to read everyone else's posts. One thing I did this year, though, that I have not seen in any of the other posts is that I have recently started tracking my horses' racing times. I've created a sheet containing lists of the various times different distances have been won at, and then I compare those times to my horses' results and those of the studs I'm looking into. One thing I've noticed is that some horses win races without actually running very well (i.e. all the runners in the race were having a hard time running that day). This can make their race records a little skewed as to what they actually did well on.

Some of the older horses are more difficult to judge, since the oldest races only listed the win time of the winning horse, and for those that ran after the implementation of time results, they still seem to have run slower on average than horses are running now. In that case, I've been looking at foal results, which stallions are proven to produce despite lacking race records and which ones aren't. From there, I try to match surface, distance, and maturation rate when choosing the stud. Still an unproven method, but the goal was to see if I could breed horses that were both high quality runners and easier to predict in terms of preference. We'll see how it goes.

Other than that, I do a lot of the same things everyone else does. I try to look at the damlines, see which stallions seem to be good crosses with them, and match them accordingly. Breed rankings are always a factor, though for the young stallions especially, I give them some leeway since they don't always have crops that have been run long enough to prove their quality. I also try to leave different mares in different locations to cut down on shipping costs (especially places like Australia!).

Offline Shelbie

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Re: Breeding matches
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2017, 03:27:47 pm »
When I first joined and just had a tiny handful of broodmares and zero breeding knowledge I would go through the major stables and just see who they were sending their mares to, haha. It did get me my first SW!
~ Black Storm West ~
there will be fireworks tonight
Standing NCH. French Ruby & NCh. Nobly Regal

Offline faedar

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Re: Breeding matches
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2017, 04:29:46 pm »
Now there's a good idea! XD

Offline Hilda with Clicker

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Re: Breeding matches
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2017, 04:33:27 pm »
Quote from: Sakura Springs
One thing I did this year, though, that I have not seen in any of the other posts is that I have recently started tracking my horses' racing times. I've created a sheet containing lists of the various times different distances have been won at, and then I compare those times to my horses' results and those of the studs I'm looking into. One thing I've noticed is that some horses win races without actually running very well

That sounds like a cool thing to do. Sadly I don't have the time... so I just tend to prefer horses (especially stallions) that raced a lot, because it's not fun to wait months until your horse has its energy back... this makes studs like FFCh. Black Cherry my favourites; he ran 20+ races each year for three years, and only had two minor injuries. When we could have a look at FF Beta, there was an option to view horse's individual statistics... like how many times it finished in the money, each year. That would be cool to know as I do tend to keep entering my slow ponies just because they won once by accident... and then never again :P which is not exactly what I want to breed ;)

Offline faedar

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Re: Breeding matches
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2017, 05:18:50 pm »
I understand how that goes. The only reason I have had time to work on it is because I work for my uncle, so on slow days I can do personal stuff at work.

Offline willagreyTopic starter

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Re: Breeding matches
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2017, 01:37:30 am »
Ahhhh I love this discussion! It's been helpful for me, and it seems I'm on the right track.

I started screening my broodmare herd based on abilities that I hoped might someday help me breed a Derby winner, i.e. speed records over flat Derby-like distances, peaking around age 3, etc. I then try to pair them with a stallion who will enhance these and fill in any gaps (example: a mare that peaked age 2-3 to pair with a stallion who bloomed later like age 3-4).

I hadn't really thought of this! Might need to add on to my broodmare spreadsheet what they did.

Me too and I wish we could search stallions by location!

Yes! I keep some mares in a couple different locations in England & Australia just to tap into those lines. I actually need to send more I think, because right now I have like 1 in ENG and 1 in AUS.