Sex Balance

How to Revitalize those Power Bloodlines

Before we get started, let me say that first I will present the simple sex-balance, and after the example used I will just outline some more complex extensions of this. If you are just starting out learning Tesio Methods, start with the simple sex balance, it will indeed revitalize your power bloodlines. It takes some time to really learn all the ins and outs of this new knowledge and practice. For a full explanation with step by step instructions I direct you to my first book: North American Sport Horse Breeder.

The big breakthrough in equine breeding theory that produced measurable and repeatable results was when a few Thoroughbred breeders discovered the power of the female. These few breeders: Hall-Walker, Lord Derby-Walter Alston, Marcel Boussac and the legendary Tesio, produced the important lines that the modern Thoroughbred is based on (Phalaris, Swynford, Chaucer, Hyperion, Blandford, Nearco, Ribot etc), by sex balancing the pedigrees. In that era, the mare wasn't considered of any genetic importance, all emphasis was on the sire, so what they did was revolutionary, and it worked.

What exactly is sex balanced breeding? The pedigree experts Porter and Peters state "...the concept of 'balanced breeding' evolved from the statistical evidence that inbreeding and linebreeding to selected ancestors through sons and daughters was far more successful than through sons alone or daughters alone, combinations of brothers, sisters, three-parts brothers and sisters and other genetic relatives being particularly effective."(bold type mine)

The discovery and use of this breeding principle had proven dramatic results back in Tesio's time; and it still will today when we employ it. Sport horse breeders would be wise to make the sex balancing of their important bloodlines part of their practice, if they want potent breeding stock, because without the female part of genetic package that made that superior horse you lose out on all the sex-linked material and the benefits of the transmissions via mitochondrial DNA, and sometimes that is where that extra pizzazz is coming from.

Take the time to determine the bloodlines in your mare or stallion that are important for your breeding goals. Then choose from prospective mates of your mare or stallion, the ones that bring in the sex balance of those target lines. Also, if you find your horse has a strong background strength, that is the 7th generation and beyond, by tapping into and sex balancing that asset you can dramatically upgrade your stock.

Case Study= Teddy

Teddy was born in 1913, and was a good race horse, who became an immortal sire. Even though he was born almost a hundred years ago, his genetic contribution is still huge today. He is found everywhere there are great horses, both racers and sport performers. For instance, his presence is often noted in show jumpers in multiples, but unless the reporter is pedigree savvy they have a hard time explaining why. The key to his lasting influence is in his pedigree.

Teddy 7 generation pedigree

The lineage of Teddy presents a powerful picture of potency. First, he has the 3/4 sex balanced siblings Doremi/Ormonde 2x4, an extremely powerful placement. He has Galopin, close up 5x4x5- once again sex balanced. He has a strong filly factor 5x5x5x4 in Macaroni daughters. He has the full siblings: Voltigeur/Volley 6x6x6 sex balanced. There is much more here, but these strong pedigree placements would guarantee his success as a sire. And if we replicate this pattern in our horses, we too would have a very good horse.

But Teddy was much more than a great sire, he was one of the most important ever. Why?

Before World War II, breeders in America imported two full brother sons of Teddy: Sir Gallahad and Bull Dog, into the US. Their genetic impact was huge, revolutionizing the American Thoroughbred, and it was noticeable almost immediately. This positive genetic outcome resulted in Teddy himself being imported quickly, and then his daughter La Troienne. Teddy while in the US, gave us two other sires: Case Ace and Sun Teddy- the only two who are carrying on his sire line today. But we still couldn't get enough of him, and so you can easily find many more of his sons and daughters in our pedigrees now. 

What made Teddy and his offspring so powerful in our gene pool is that they carried the female side of the strains we were saturated with. Pocahontas, possibly the most significant mare ever, was in all good American horses multiple times, but only through her sons- there were no daughter lines in the US. Teddy, through his sire Ajax, gave us three of those daughters: Ayacanora, Araucaria and the rare Herione of Lucknow. Further, all the good horses carried multiple lines of St. Simon, both sons and daughters, but Teddy brought in his full sister: Angelica. So, besides having the great sire pedigree, Teddy carried the missing genetic puzzle pieces for the US Thoroughbred. The effect on our racing industry was immediate and powerful. Within a very short time the American Thoroughbred began conquering the European Classics, and was soon on it's way to being considered the best Thoroughbred in the world.

But Teddy is found in multiples in jumpers as well as in racers. And until I began tracing the jumper trait back through time I did not have clear picture of why this was so. I found that the majority of jumpers, especially in England and Europe carry critical mass in Birdcatcher and a mare named Clemence, and Teddy not only carries them close up he also provides the sex balance for the concentrated carrie of Birdcatcher: Bay Ronald.

Perhaps you have noticed that in many German based Warmblood pedigrees you will find a strong presence of Dark Ronald's sons: Prunus, Wallenstein and Herold, this is the male Bay Ronald line. Teddy once again comes to the rescue, by providing the much needed female component. His dam, Rondeau is the daughter of Bay Ronald, therefore the sister to Dark Ronald. Sex balancing re-energizes the genetic power of good lines. So he not only brings the jump trait to mating, but he provides a dynamic sex-balance, energizing it and improving its transmission.

Okay, that is the simple benefits of sex-balance, and I am sure you can see its value. But there are more complex variations of this. There is a pattern called a colt factor, which is sons and daughters of sire--very common, most horses have several, and also the presence of a significant mare through sons only. Colt factors statistically were found in the best performance horses of both sexes, and in stallions. There is also a design noted as filly factors  which is the presence of sons and daughters of a significant mare, or daughters only of a important sire, and these are found in the best performance mares and best broodmares, and also in the most potent stallions.

Then there is something else called a 'remote sex-balance' and that is a design when there is only sons present of one important sire but along side is  just daughter lines of another sire--the thinking is they balance each other out. It appears if they are close in genetic power it works better. See Understanding Pedigrees for an outline and of course North American Sport Horse Breeder more in depth explanation. 

Breeding theory is not easy to master, pedigrees can be difficult to grasp, but the result can be world changing- the history is there. What could you do with your breeding stock if you balanced and reinforced the important lines?

[A note of sex-balance: performance horses may or may not be sex-balanced, and sometimes a performance star will have a very male leaning pedigree, of course many are sex-balanced. The performance star that is sex-balanced is the one that normally will have a successful breeding career, the non sex-balanced one will usually be a dud at stud. That is one reason so many of you have been disappointed in breeding to a star performer, if it is loosely bred or does not carry balance in its lines it can rarely pass on the talent. However, there is an exception to this, if you have a mare that carries a huge sex imbalance in an important sport line and you find a stallion that carries a dominance in the other sex component of that line you may create a masterpiece--its possible.]