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[RC] Proving Stallions - k s swigart

Beth Walker said:

So -- since there is such a long waiting period in
endurance as opposed to flat track racing, what
kind of 'proxy' tests would you suggest for people
interested in evaluating a stallion's (or mare's)
potential to produce good endurance prospects?

I think I would probably ask the Shagya people what they have been doing
for centuries in order to test and select the best breeding stock for
Hungarian war horses.

However, flat track racing ability is a pretty good predictor of
athletic performance ability, no matter which discipline you want to go
into, but it is not a very good predictor of suitability of temperament
for other discplines.

I can remember recently having a conversation with my shoer (who also
shoes for the track and owns a racing TB himself) about the capability
of thoroughbreds as endurance horses vs. arabians.  He made a comment
that he had an arabian horse of his sister's that could "go all day,
didn't go very fast, but still could go all day."  To which I responded,
"A Thoroughbred can go all day too if it only goes as fast as an

We both had a good laugh about that.  But still doesn't change the fact
that there is nothing on the flat track that selectes for the necessary
temperament and trainability needed for an endurance horse.

Steeplechasing (or as you mentioned something like fox hunting), would
probably be a better test for the required temperament and trainability
necessary for an endurance horse that a flat track race horse just
wouldn't have.  However, steeplechasers are usually not "proven" until
they are older either (and few of them are stallions--although probably
more steeplechasers are stallions than fox hunters are).

Orange County, Calif.

"Le meilleur que je sais les hommes le plus que j'aime mon
cheval."--Catherine the Great


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