Collection of articles on top sport bloodlines
This series is designed to look at selected sport sires (a great mare line also), to determine by pedigree analysis what made them great, and to identify the bloodlines that produce top level sport performance. Why pedigree analysis? Because it is in analyzing a pedigree's genetics that we determine what is actually powering a horse--what it is dominant in. By being able to interpret pedigrees we are empowered to structure lineages in our foals that carry potency in the most desired traits.
The sires we examine will be taken from the component breeds identified in Sport Horse Recipe. These sires (or mares) are not necessarily chosen because they are the best performers of their breed, but because their genetics have demonstrated that they hold something valuable for the sport horse breeder. A good sire is not necessarily the best performer, although good performance is an indicator of genetic potential. Great performers can also be great sires; Man O' War and Nearco come to mind. but just as often the bloodline that lasts is a horse rated 'good' in their performance years, not maybe the best of his era.
Also, this series is open to outside contributors if you feel the urge to share with us a particular sire or bloodline that you admire for its ability to confer sport success, then no matter the country of origin or the sport breed, feel free to contact me so we can include the horse. This series is for the benefit of all sport horse breeders, racing, jumping, dressage, eventing, reining, driving etc. and there is no way I personally can cover all of the good lines. I am starting this off with modern lines, but eventually will include foundation lines. This page will serve as an index to the articles.
[American Hunter Horse, selectively bred and performance tested for the sport of hunting in America since colonial times. This wood engraving by Alexander Anderson shows participants in a point-to-point was made around 1800.]
Before we start this series, let me clear up a common misconception about sport suitable breeds and bloodlines. There is a narrative currently active in sport horse circles that a breed is not an acceptable component for Olympic style sports unless it has a separate section in the studbook specifically set aside for breeding for those types of sports. This teaching has arisen from the Warmblood section of our breeding culture. And the European warmblood sport breeds all have dedicated studbook sections specifically aimed at this type of horse production. The success of the Warmblood marketing of their products and philosophies over the last 30 years has superimposed their methods on other organized sport breeding. This has resulted in a huge misunderstanding of our own American breeds, most of which were made pure-bred populations long before the European warmblood sport breeding ever gained traction. This new narrative now has many equestrians and breeders thinking our sport breeds, which for centuries have been active in all manner of sports: racing, hunting, cross country, saddle disciplines, jumping etc., now somehow are not suitable for our modern versions of these sports. All this came about because the European product arose from a farm horse base, and so it did indeed need to create a separate breed section to create sport stock, while here in America our horses have always been sport horses, they have no need for a separate studbook section. That means, your Saddlebred, Morgan, Standardbred, Quarter Horse, Tennessee Walker, Thoroughbred etc., are all born with top bloodlines suitable for the Olympic style sports, just as they are. The irony in all this propaganda is that it is those same breeds and their ancestors that gave the draft based stock of Europe the ability to become 'sport' breeds. You can see this clearly in the article written on the Groninger Horse, a rock solid base of the wildly successful Dutch Warmblood.