The article on how to pick a broodmare was well received, so it seemed only fitting that I follow it with how to pick a stallion to breed her to. So here we go.
I am a bit biased on the stallions that I choose, because they have to be something that will fit in the reining market today. But, remember I am also looking for the same things that you should be looking for in your discipline. No, not just a reiner, but a stallion that is going to compliment the mare that I have. It has to be something that will be marketable.
How do I know the stallion that I pick is going to compliment my mare? Well, my first stop in finding this out is to do some quick research. The best place for me to do this is the Quarter Horse News annual Stallion Registry, Equistat or the American Quarter Horse Association website. In the Stallion Registry they do most of the dirty work for you by not only giving you statistics on the different stallions, but also give you magic crosses. Magic crosses? Yes, magic crosses! They have compiled data and will give you what kind of mares out of a certain stallion cross best with a certain stud to produce the most money in the show pen. There is a load of information in these publications that can assist you in how to cross your mare with the perfect stud. At worst it will provide you with an educated guess.
Let’s play a little for instance. OK, lets say that I want to breed to Smart Chic Olena, but do not have the $25,000 to breed to him. Yes, that is right, he is now $25,000 to breed your mare. But, I want to breed to a son of him, and I am not sure if my mare is one that is going to cross well with this horse. In the stallion registry you will find that own daughters of Doc’s Oak have crossed the best with him when considering the amount of money earned in the show ring. Here are the statistics: average earnings on daughters of Doc’s Oak is $46,503; number on money earners is 14; gross earnings are $651,045. This is according to the statistics in the 2004 Stallion Registry. So it seems to reason that if you have an own daughter of Doc’s Oak, you should be breeding to this stallion. But wait, I forgot that we do not have $25,000 to blow! Not to mention, I have a mare that is Peppy San Badger bred and another that is Colonel Freckles bred. Well the statistics also tell us that these mares will cross well with Smart Chic Olena. The gross earnings on Little Peppy bred mares is $240,410, and the Colonel Freckles bred is $189,784.
Now that we have found that my mares will cross well with Smart Chic Olena, how do we pick which son of him to breed? Well, for me there are two things that I take into consideration; first, the stallion of my choice has got to be proven to perform in the arena. To be more specific he has to have been proven in an association that reports his statistics. What I mean is that he has to have a proven record in the show pen. The bigger the show pen the better. I do not want to just see that he has an ROM ( record of merit), but that he has qualified for a world class event, or that he has won a substantial amount of money. That proves to me that he was not just a one hit wonder, but that he is a horse with outstanding ability and has some staying power. Staying power in the pen means longevity to me, and also converts to solid minded and built to last. For example, I have a stallion in training that I have shown for sometime and will be qualifying for the USET ( United States Equestrian Team) events this next year. He is a son of Smart Chic Olena and is 11 years old, but he still shows like a five year old. He has a record of winning over $16,000 in reining and has qualified for the AQHA World four times. I want to breed a mare to him, because he shows me that he can do things very well and can last in the pen. Plus, people that have seen him in the pen, remember him. This in turn helps me when I want to sell his offspring. Not to mention, that his fee does not break my pocket book. Which brings me to my next point of consideration.
The price of the breeding fee is very important. If the price of the breeding fee is way out of the league of the mare that I am breeding, then I am going to loose money at the time I want to sell her offspring. You still want to breed up with your mare, but not so far up that the quality of your mare narrows your profit or makes it non-existent. Instead look for a stallion that has a proven show record, but possibly does not have a lot of offspring on the ground. This way you get in on the ground floor, so to speak. For example, Smart Chic Olena’s breeding fee was once $750. If you had breed to him back then his offspring would be worth a considerable amount more now.
There is a lot more to this breeding thing than point and pick. There is a difference between a guess and an educated guess. It is worth your while to do the research, and get the best bang for your buck. You are going to be spending the money on the breeding, why not make it the best breeding available to you?