So your dream is to breed a racehorse, but how do you go about selecting a broodmare? What do you look for and what questions should you be asking?
Horse breeding can be extremely fun and rewarding, but it is important to remember that it is also a long-term investment, and one that warrants considerable thought and research.
Firstly, you need to ask yourself, what should we be looking for when picking a mare?
It’s not just looking at the physical type but also doing research on her breeding history and pedigree as well to ascertain if she is the right mare for you.
Below we have listed a few things to take into consideration when selecting a broodmare:
- Pedigree and breeding – look back through her pedigree you will want to see well performed horses listed, its good to know you are buying into a family that has had previous success on the race track.
- Race Record – is the mare a winner herself? It is preferable to have a mare that you know has be able to race well herself, though it’s not always necessary. There could have be many reasons she did hit a racetrack and she could still be a successful broodmare.
- Temperament – Does she have a good gentle nature?
- Physical type/conformation – ideally you would like a mare with reasonably correct conformation as some faults can be passed onto her foal. However, more importantly does she have good breeding conformation, and this is probably best checked out by a veterinarian who can advise you on this, there are many things that can prevent a mare from carrying a successful pregnancy
- Breeding History – Is she a maiden mare or has had foals in the past. Has she been successful in previous years at stud to produce a nice healthy foal?
- Previous progeny – has she produced winners, are her previous foals’ nice types?
There are also things that should be avoided when selecting a mare for Breeding
- Substandard breeding – Whether breeding to race or sell you don’t want to select a mare that doesn’t have a reasonable pedigree.
- Age – you don’t want a mare that’s too old, they can have difficulties given their age. A maiden mare can have its downfalls as well, sometimes a first foal from a maiden mare can be a bit on the smaller side.
- Poor breeding history – it is important to do your homework here. You don’t want to choose a mare that’s difficult to get in foal or struggles to carry a pregnancy to full term. Check her history, how many times has she been to stud, has she lost any foals or aborted before making it to term.
- Poor physical reproductive conformation – This is where you probably want to seek the advice of a veterinarian, to do a vet check on the mare and make sure she is physically capable of having a foal
- Infertility – Has she been to stud several times and not produced a foal or struggled to get in foal?
Whether breeding to race or sell its important to do your research, purchasing a nice broodmare is a big investment and warrants taking the time and effort to pick the right one for you?
Finally it’s always helpful to have a second opinion so don’t be afraid to ask the experts for help.