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Re: [RC] Breed standard - Heidi Smith

Thanks again, Charlotte, for summing up this topic so well.

Won't prevent bad breeding--even two approved individuals can produce
godawful progeny if they are not a suitable match. And once more, I think
am a better judge of the strengths and weaknesses of the lines in which I
have an interest than some random judge chosen by geographic location.

If anything, the process of having an outside party "approve" horses in
many cases acually encourages bad breeding, by giving the impression that
the horse is of breeding quality because it "passed" (or "won" or whatever),
causing the owner/"breeder" to have the false impression that no more
homework need be done.  This has been all too graphically illustrated by the
overuse of some of many show "champions" and the subsequent disillusionment
of people who see all those "famous names" in pedigrees of horses that
aren't worth a plugged nickel as riding animals, and conclude that pedigrees
"mean nothing."  When all you personally know about a pedigree is that those
horses met with some particular person's (or group of people's) ideas of
what "quality" is (instead of YOU personally studying those horses to know
exactly WHAT qualities and faults they possess), you can be in for some
really rude shocks.  Actual genes and traits breed on--opinions and
inspection scores (and ad campaigns) do not.

I know that many people out there know when to breed certain horses, and
when not to. But there are also those who just breed if they have the

So? While it may be a stupid move, I don't feel that I have any inherent
right to regulate that. Some people ought not to have children. Are you
going after them next?

Never mind the group that think that anything that passed an inspection or
won a championship should breed on to the exclusion of all else.  It's just
as bad.

That was the original intent behind breeding classes at horse shows, and
look what damage *those* have done to various breeds.

What happens with inspections (be they traditional "inspections" or show
judges opinions) is that they lend an aura of "approval" of the animal as
breeding stock, whether the horse really has any business reproducing or
not.  I've done a bit of judging in both horses and dogs, and I can tell you
flat out that there are often animals that I would score high or place but
would not under ANY circumstances use for breeding!  There are "good apples
in bad barrels" just like there are "bad apples in good barrels."  I've seen
FAR more awful individuals produced by one good representative from an
otherwise faulty line than I've seen from the occasional faulty individual
from a very strong line.  Granted, breeding the latter is a good way to
bring a good line down.  But the former is the very type of mating that
"inspections" and "show wins" encourages, that experienced breeders with
actual knowledge wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole.

No; you just IMHO haven't looked deeply enough into the whole
thing.  Unintended consequences, and all.  I am against narrowing the gene
pool for specious reasons.  Think about  what a mess might have been made
if approval of certain stock had been made before SCID was understood. We
might have a far higher incidence in the breed than we do.

As it was, it was the show successes and overbreeding of a few "popular"
lines ("approved" by recognized judges, no less) that brought SCID to the
forefront.  It is a gene that has most likely been in the Arabian population
for centuries (judging by its distribution, and by Bedouin stories of foals
that become mysteriously ill and fade away much like SCID foals do--thought
by them to have "The Curse of Allah") but it was the "inspection" process of
the show ring that brought it out in what seemed like epidemic proportions.


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[RC] Breed standard, CMNewell