Sex Balance

How to Revitalize those Power Bloodlines

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)

For sport horse breeders the "selective ancestors" mentioned above should be superior examples of sport transmitters, along with their brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. For example, a significant ancestor could certainly be the Trakehner stallion Abglanz. A horse so pre-potent that he established a sport line in both Hanover and Trakehner. As he is a proven genetic gold mine, if you found him in your horse, you might want to look for a mate with more Abglanz lines, particularly the opposite sex of the one your horse contains, or his sister.

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. The potence of Abglanz himself is a result of the sex balancing of the Tempelhuter bloodline in his lineage, 3x4 through the daughter Technik and the son Pirat. Sport horse breeders would be wise to make the sex balancing of their important bloodlines part of their practice.

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.

It is ironic that born just 4 years before Teddy, but in America, was another stallion who provided similar genetic benefits, but in Europe. This is Tracery, bred by August Belmont, foaled in Lexington, KY, but raced in England and spent most of his stud career in Argentia and England. (You may read more about him on the Sibling page- link below.)

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.

Teddy continues to give sex balanced genetic gifts. 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.

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?

Asher- a stallion with sex balanced inbreeding to the elite mare Abiza
Noteworthy-A stallion with sex balanced inbreeding to Ramiro
Bratt Z-A outcross stallion with sex balanced bloodlines. And provides the sex balance for the male Corde line.
Ramiro- sex balanced linebreeding

Read about Tracery on Sibling page