About the Files

Female families… patterns of inbreeding… sire line nicks… what really influences the strength of a Thoroughbred pedigree? How do conformation and class factor in? The Five-Cross Files explores bloodlines old and new, analyzes Thoroughbred pedigrees, tests breeding tools, and simplifies the science (and art) of successful Thoroughbred breeding.

    The Five-Cross Files looks at topics that concern Thoroughbred breeders and pedigree enthusiasts.  We examine the bloodlines of successful race horses and test the tools that are available to bloodstock professionals.  Some of the material we cover is data-intensive and "serious" research; some is just for fun.

     Regular followers of The Five-Cross Files will, I hope, be introduced to fresh approaches in the study of Thoroughbred pedigrees and bloodlines.  We'll look at new tools that claim to improve the chances of success.  And occasionally, we'll delve into novel concepts and ideas that lead to new avenues of research and understanding.

    Readers of the blog have an everpresent opportunity to respond, to argue, to scoff, to applaud, to correct -- and in a very real way, to help shape the direction of The Five-Cross Files. This is one of the first areas of BloodHorse.com where readers can interact.  I hope you'll feel a sense of community and will actively take part in the discussion.

    In the course of my writing, you'll occasionally read about my horses and my breeding theories -- and I'll try to share some of the mistakes I made along the way so maybe you can avoid repeating them!  To introduce myself briefly here, I'll give you some of my background in and out of the Thoroughbred industry.

  • At Blood-Horse Publications: I started out as data coordinator for our Audience Development office and learned a lot about what our customers are really looking for. (It pretty much comes down to this:  readers of The Blood-Horse want to find answers, to see the bigger picture, to have an insider's edge.)

    Moving to an interim position as an editor for The Horse: Your Guide to Equine Health Care, I worked with veterinarians and equine management experts to present technical health information to horse owners and professionals. The Horse reports each month -- and daily online -- on the best practices for raising, feeding, breeding, maintaining, and treating the horses we're responsible for, and is therefore probably the most important product of Blood-Horse Publications.

    In my current position as research editor, I work with our data providers to ensure accuracy and comprehensiveness of our resources. As product developer for TrueNicks and as a team member on other data services projects, I am involved with several unique products that benefit Thoroughbred professionals. As a contributor to the Stallion Register Online, I try to find innovative ways to present the myriad statistical data about Thoroughbred stallions to breeders and investors.  And as an editor and a pedigree geek, I also get to read our experts' pedigree analyses before the rest of the world! 

  • Horse ownership:  My Thoroughbred involvement thus far has been as a small, "hands-on" breeder.  I have sold a couple of foals as weanlings or yearlings to go on to their racing careers, and currently have some young stock that I will race as homebreds. My small herd includes a couple of broodmares that don't have much commercial appeal but whose bloodlines ensure hard-knocking, successful offspring. In addition to my own horses, I run a small Thoroughbred broodmare boarding facility, Mare Croft, for breeders who wish to take advantage of Kentucky's breeders' incentive programs. I also take care of several riding and harness horses, ranging from 2 to 28 years old. 

  • Previous experience:  My background includes a decade of political consulting and several years as the compliance coordinator for a university surgical residency program.  While those jobs don't sound like they'd relate closely to Thoroughbred breeding and racing, they do share an important connection to my current position:  all of these positions have been heavily dependent on obtaining, organizing, and using large data sets to improve products and workflows.

    The best choice for commenting on any topics that I discuss is to use the comments feature. By doing so, you'll reach me as well as your fellow readers, so that we can all benefit from your feedback.  To reach me outside of The Five-Cross Files, please use the following particulars:

  • e-mailsgillies@bloodhorse.com
  • snail mail:  Please address to:
                      Scot Gillies
                      The Blood-Horse Building
                      3101 Beaumont Centre Circle
                      Lexington, KY  40513-1886
  • phone:  859-276-6832
  • fax: 859-276-6875

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