When choosing a mare...TrueNicks or conformation?

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Ridan_Remembered
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Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:48 pm

Retrospectiv wrote:Agreed with others. Chrome is built like Daffy Duck. He's crooked from his knees down. Always has been.
Take it for good or bad, it's just how he is. Knocking other horses won't change that fact.
What an unfortunate comment. (1) Are you unable to do a compare and contrast exercise? That's all the above is. Doesn't knock any horse. Not Chrome, not anyone. (2) Daffy Duck? Overly harsh much? I'd love to have such an "ugly" duckling as Chrome. $14,752,650 won, 2 time horse of the year, 7 grade 1s, wins on all surfaces, 27 Starts, 16 Wins, 4 Place, 1 Show.
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Retrospectiv
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Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:58 pm

I didn't knock his overall looks or his race record. Simply stated a fact that no matter how much you happen to love him, correct he's not....
I'm not going to argue the point with you. You've already made up your mind on him. I hope he throws some correct foals from the mares chosen.
"It's been my policy to view the Internet not as an 'information highway', but as an electronic asylum filled with babbling loonies."
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Treve
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Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:16 pm

Ridan_Remembered wrote:@Treve, I'm truly sorry to have offended you. That was not my intent. My original question had to do with what value to place on the TrueNicks score vs. a mare's conformation. Somehow the conversation turned to Chrome's conformation which, overall, is really very good. Here is a link to where you can see Chrome's conformation video from the Taylor Made Stallions website. Make up your own mind. http://www.taylormadestallions.com/hors ... 24702.html
I'm not offended, no worries. You asked about truenicks vs confo, I gave my initial opinion which is "truenicks to be taken with a grain of salt", and that I'd place confo above truenicks, but I'd place bloodlines over confo. And commercially confo over bloodlines. However you can't really create a rule of thumb for something that has so many variables which is why I added the caveat with regards to conformation; i.e. it's not just a question of whether or not a mare has good confo, but rather how does her confo complement the sire's confo... I might pick a mare that has slightly less good confo overall if the stallion's best qualities compensate for her flaws, than I would a mare that has better confo overall but whose flaws aren't as well compensated by the stallion. The goal of breeding is always to improve on the curent generation. In this case Chrome's confo is relevant if one is making a choice between mares that he's been bred to, based on conformation.

I've stated time and time again that he's handsome and he's got a lot of qualities. His front angles aren't part of those, in my opinion, and if I were to choose a mare bred to him, I'd choose a mare with straight front legs to compensate, and wouldn't worry about a lot of other aspects cause he has several qualities that would improve on a less well conformed mare.

I don't know why TM uses that photo though it really doesn't do him justice, especially compared to the other stallions.
A filly named Ruffian...

Eine Stute namens Danedream...

Une pouliche se nommant Trêve...

Kincsem nevű kanca...


And a Queen named Beholder
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Honor Code
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Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:16 pm

So, now that the fireworks have calmed down a bit...

Genuine question here. How would a breeder/prospective breeder judge whether a horse has genetically crooked legs(like Curlin and his mother) or somatic crooked legs(Chrome in the womb? Haven’t see his mother)

I also hear a lot of foals have corrective surgery for leg defects. Are stallions required to disclose whether they had surgery for such corrections?

Thanks for anyone who can tell me.
TBird
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Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:30 pm

Honor Code wrote:So, now that the fireworks have calmed down a bit...

Genuine question here. How would a breeder/prospective breeder judge whether a horse has genetically crooked legs(like Curlin and his mother) or somatic crooked legs(Chrome in the womb? Haven’t see his mother)

I also hear a lot of foals have corrective surgery for leg defects. Are stallions required to disclose whether they had surgery for such corrections?

Thanks for anyone who can tell me.
It's rare to see a perfect stallion. So most breeders are looking either for faults they can live with, or faults that don't double up on what their mares might have that needs correcting. Looking at a horse, you often can't tell what has caused the crookedness--for the most part either genetic or race related. In my experience, crookedness problems that occur in the womb usually straighten with time. The vast majority of foals are born with some degree of crookedness--that's a lot of leg to squish into a small space--which goes away as they mature.

There's no requirement for anyone to disclose anything. But a stallion manager will often disclose prior surgery when asked--if he knows. By the time a stallion gets to a stud farm, he will likely have passed through several sets of hands and information like that gets lost along the way. Fwiw, corrective surgery isn't nearly as popular as it used to be. Many breeders now feel that what is corrected when a foal is young would have fixed itself naturally, given time.
BaroqueAgain1
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Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:07 pm

TBird: By the time a stallion gets to a stud farm, he will likely have passed through several sets of hands and information like that gets lost along the way.

One more reason why it would be good to have a set of nationwide rules to insure that a horse's medical records - from foal to breeding farm to pasture ornament - travels with the horse through his/her life.
TBird
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Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:18 pm

BaroqueAgain1 wrote:TBird: By the time a stallion gets to a stud farm, he will likely have passed through several sets of hands and information like that gets lost along the way.

One more reason why it would be good to have a set of nationwide rules to insure that a horse's medical records - from foal to breeding farm to pasture ornament - travels with the horse through his/her life.
I'm curious, are you talking about all horses or just racehorses? I can imagine very few horse owners who would be in favor. Not because they're trying to hide anything but because it would be a bookkeeping nightmare. In any given year, depending on how many states we race in, we are dealing with 7-10 vets, sometimes more. What would be the mechanism for passing the records along? Who would vouch for their accuracy? (Trainer? Owner? Multiple vets?) Most of our vet records are for small stuff: vaccines, bute, banamine, etc, but those pages add up. Not to mention that vet records (bills) come with prices on them. I doubt many vets would like the idea that horse owners would soon be able to compare costs between their own vet and every previous vet their horse had ever seen.

What we really need is nationwide, consistent medication rules. But without a national governing body, that won't be happening any time soon either.
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Honor Code
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Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:51 am

TBird wrote: It's rare to see a perfect stallion. So most breeders are looking either for faults they can live with, or faults that don't double up on what their mares might have that needs correcting. Looking at a horse, you often can't tell what has caused the crookedness--for the most part either genetic or race related. In my experience, crookedness problems that occur in the womb usually straighten with time. The vast majority of foals are born with some degree of crookedness--that's a lot of leg to squish into a small space--which goes away as they mature.

There's no requirement for anyone to disclose anything. But a stallion manager will often disclose prior surgery when asked--if he knows. By the time a stallion gets to a stud farm, he will likely have passed through several sets of hands and information like that gets lost along the way. Fwiw, corrective surgery isn't nearly as popular as it used to be. Many breeders now feel that what is corrected when a foal is young would have fixed itself naturally, given time.

What we really need is nationwide, consistent medication rules. But without a national governing body, that won't be happening any time soon either.
Thanks for answering!

I had heard that it wasn't as common any more. It's a nice trend, surprising in light of how the sales emphasize perfect conformation etc. Anyway, in your own opinion/experience-would you describe any current kentucky stallions as having "perfect" or maybe "almost perfect" conformation?

It would be nice if we had a national governing body. Re: requiring disclosure: The European Horse passport idea seems like a good one-recording owners, major health issues, and so forth. Doesn't/wouldn't cover drugs, but like you say, a uniform drug policy would make most of that largely redundant.
TBird
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Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:49 am

Honor Code wrote: I had heard that it wasn't as common any more. It's a nice trend, surprising in light of how the sales emphasize perfect conformation etc. Anyway, in your own opinion/experience-would you describe any current kentucky stallions as having "perfect" or maybe "almost perfect" conformation?
The most "perfect" stallion I've ever seen is Bernardini. For me, he just has everything you would want in a gorgeous, correct horse.

But as far as racehorses are concerned, great conformation is a side issue. It means nothing if a horse has no talent or heart. And of course, with stallions the most important thing is whether or not they have the ability to pass along their good qualities. Correct conformation often means that a horse moves with efficiency. It gives him a better chance of staying sound. But it doesn't provide speed--or help a horse win races.

Aside from the disciplines where horses are only shown on the line, no one breeds to a stallion because he has good conformation. They chose a horse that excels in whatever they want their prospective foal to be able to do.
Moms Command
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Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:37 pm

I realized this has been thoroughly hashed out, but, I thought I would throw in my two cents. I breed commercially, and I pay little or no attention to true nicks. For me, conformation is key, because, that's what the buyers are looking for. I don't have the money to buy it all, so I get as much pedigree as possible, without losing conformation. Ive been breeding for 10-12 years now, and this year my 3 yearlings and 1 weanling averaged $103,000, with moderate to low stud fees. The mare you talked about with the C+ true nicks would definitely be the most appealing to me for several reasons. She has the best conformation, she's pregnant to a first year horse (always the safest when breeding commercially on a budget) and she has a Tiznow in the pipeline. Those are all huge pluses when breeding to sell. Breeding to race is a whole different beast. I wish it was not, but, that's the way it is if you have limited funds. When the market gets off a horse, they're off, even if it's a consistent race horse sire, like Afleet Alex, or Midshipman.
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Sparrow Castle
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Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:10 pm

I think this is an interesting discussion. I really don't know much about European horse passports, but weren't they intended to keep horses treated with certain medications out of the food supply? And once a horse is declared "not for human consumption," which is irreversible, there is no more need to record every vaccination/medication that a horse receives? I never thought of the passports as medical records per se, recording major health issues as well as medications, but I very well could be wrong. I guess I need to do some research, when I have some time. I would love to hear from some of our racing connections that breed and race in Europe as well as the USA as to what is required of them. It would be a good topic for one of the round tables to discuss. Although this may not even be put on an agenda as a topic for discussion because it's a pipe dream without a national governing body. I think that, even if all the passport did was keep more horses out of the slaughter house, I'd be in favor. The current prohibitions against slaughtering racehorses for human consumption don't see to be working. I'm intrigued by the idea of having more disclosure of major medical issues though, and how that could be accomplished.

Justin Zayat Verified account @JustinZayat
2h2 hours ago
We should adopt the same policy in American racing. #Transparency
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Ridan_Remembered
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Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:23 pm

Ladies and gentlemen, I present for your viewing pleasure the $14,000,000 Daffy Duck:

Image

Image is from Taylor Made Farm Twitter feed.
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Honor Code
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Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:47 am

TBird wrote:
Honor Code wrote: I had heard that it wasn't as common any more. It's a nice trend, surprising in light of how the sales emphasize perfect conformation etc. Anyway, in your own opinion/experience-would you describe any current kentucky stallions as having "perfect" or maybe "almost perfect" conformation?
The most "perfect" stallion I've ever seen is Bernardini. For me, he just has everything you would want in a gorgeous, correct horse.

But as far as racehorses are concerned, great conformation is a side issue. It means nothing if a horse has no talent or heart. And of course, with stallions the most important thing is whether or not they have the ability to pass along their good qualities. Correct conformation often means that a horse moves with efficiency. It gives him a better chance of staying sound. But it doesn't provide speed--or help a horse win races.
Moms Command wrote:I realized this has been thoroughly hashed out, but, I thought I would throw in my two cents. I breed commercially, and I pay little or no attention to true nicks. For me, conformation is key, because, that's what the buyers are looking for. I don't have the money to buy it all, so I get as much pedigree as possible, without losing conformation. Ive been breeding for 10-12 years now, and this year my 3 yearlings and 1 weanling averaged $103,000, with moderate to low stud fees. The mare you talked about with the C+ true nicks would definitely be the most appealing to me for several reasons. She has the best conformation, she's pregnant to a first year horse (always the safest when breeding commercially on a budget) and she has a Tiznow in the pipeline. Those are all huge pluses when breeding to sell. Breeding to race is a whole different beast. I wish it was not, but, that's the way it is if you have limited funds. When the market gets off a horse, they're off, even if it's a consistent race horse sire, like Afleet Alex, or Midshipman.
Thanks for the different perspectives! Sort of brings home how different it can be to breed for sales vs. breed to race.
Sparrow Castle wrote:I think this is an interesting discussion. I really don't know much about European horse passports, but weren't they intended to keep horses treated with certain medications out of the food supply? And once a horse is declared "not for human consumption," which is irreversible, there is no more need to record every vaccination/medication that a horse receives? I never thought of the passports as medical records per se, recording major health issues as well as medications, but I very well could be wrong. I guess I need to do some research, when I have some time. I would love to hear from some of our racing connections that breed and race in Europe as well as the USA as to what is required of them. It would be a good topic for one of the round tables to discuss. Although this may not even be put on an agenda as a topic for discussion because it's a pipe dream without a national governing body. I think that, even if all the passport did was keep more horses out of the slaughter house, I'd be in favor. The current prohibitions against slaughtering racehorses for human consumption don't see to be working. I'm intrigued by the idea of having more disclosure of major medical issues though, and how that could be accomplished.
In my mind, it's an excellent idea hampered by the same problems as having a uniform drug policy. It all still needs to be unified together as one else we'll have much of the same problems we have now.

But assuming I can wave a magic wand: my ideal would be "horse passports" detailing breeder info, change of ownership, tattoo/microchip/other identifying info, and major health issues/procedures. From personal experience, buying a horse (for pleasure riding!) is full of minefields of unknown and/or lost info. It would greatly simplify things and probably help re-home/track horses as they drop through the claimers/slaughter, administered by some sort of national governing body which could simultaneously oversee violations and drug policy. /sigh We can dream, right?
Ridan_Remembered wrote:Ladies and gentlemen, I present for your viewing pleasure the $14,000,000 Daffy Duck
Fortunately for you all, Taylor Made has anticipated your passionate argu-*cough* I mean discussion. Here is a link to a conformation video they have kindly provided. It includes walk-up, side shots, and a few walking side shots. And yes, he does toe out a bit. That being said, he's also not Daffy Duck.

http://www.taylormadestallions.com/hors ... confovideo

Why on earth aren't we discussing the merits of any other horse's conformation to this extent? If I recall correctly, wasn't Arrogate's conformation recently criticized as being unattractive? What's the reasoning for that? While he doesn't seem to have the greatest shoulder, he doesn't seem much worst than any other stallion.
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Ridan_Remembered
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Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:34 am

Thank you Honor Code. I also posted a link to that confo video as a way to let people see the truth for themselves. Didn't help as later he was called "Daffy Duck." Hence my "ladies and gentlemen" retort.
TBird
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Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:37 am

Ridan_Remembered wrote:Thank you Honor Code. I also posted a link to that confo video as a way to let people see the truth for themselves. Didn't help as later he was called "Daffy Duck." Hence my "ladies and gentlemen" retort.
Nobody disputes that California Chrome is a handsome, extremely talented racehorse.

I'm not sure why you are so defensive about his front end. It is what it is--and claiming it isn't won't change that. If you're interested (and I fully realize that you are probably not) when you watch the part of the video where CC is coming toward the camera, the important thing is not to look at his front feet, but rather to watch what his knees are doing relative to his front feet.
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