READER Q&A - Should I Breed My Mare?

Reader's question: My mare Pebbles Delight has an A++ wih Corinthian.  She has been accepted to his book for 2009.  However, since she doesn't have a lot of black type up front, I probably won't make any profit on the resulting foal.  What are your thoughts on this mating? I love the mating, but my pocketbook needs to rule rather than my heart. Sally.

Byron's reply:


Thanks for the email. Firstly, I have to state that I am a big fan of Corinthian (TrueNicks,SRO) as a stallion prospect. A son of Pulpit, like Tapit (TrueNicks,SRO) and Sky Mesa (TrueNicks,SRO) , Corinthian has the royally-bred Easy Goer as his broodmare sire and hails from one of the strongest female lines in the stud book -- a lot to like just on the pedigree page. Of course he was also a talented, if sometimes wayward, racehorse who proved an outstanding miler. He ticks a lot of boxes, if you like.

Without wanting to dishearten you, here is my take on your mare and the mating. Please remember it is only my opinion and you might find others with different opinions. 

Pebbles Delight is, from a commercial sense, a little light on pedigree in both content and structure. With a grade III-placed horse the best performed on her immediate pedigree page, she would indeed find it hard to garner much initial interest unless the resultant foal was an exceptional physical individual. Her sire, the well-related Quarry, is the lesser half-brother to the outstanding Archipenko, her next dam by the well-bred but moderately-performed Gettysburg Address, while her next dam is by similarly well-related but moderately-performed stallion in Roanoke Island. This mare is a classic example of what I would term an "almost pedigree" -- she is by Quarry not Forty Niner, her next dam is by Gettysburg Address not Blushing Groom (FR), and her next dam is by Roanoke Island not Cyane.

It would be remiss of me not to mention that while the mating is an A++ with TrueNicks, there is also a rather clever inbreeding to the sisters Number and Bound (both by Nijinsky II out of Special), but I fear that while that might prove beneficial, typically mares with this type of pedigree generally (not absolutely) find it hard to overcome the limiting quality of their immediate ancestry. While a good mating based on sire line affinity, this cross commercially is a stretch for the mare.

The TrueNicks algorithm requires what Alan Porter likes to refer to as "intelligent interpretation."  Part of the process of selecting the best stud for a given mare is to match them in class and quality. If you are sold on Corinthian -- and I can understand exactly why -- I would look at upgrading your mare. If you are sold on your mare, then you are probably stretching her commercial appeal just a shade. Perhaps a similar cross to a less prominent representative of the Pulpit line would produce a foal that you would be proud to race yourself.

I hope this helps.

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