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Re: Match made in heaven

On Tue, 21 Jul 1998, Teddy Lancaster wrote:

> Point well taken......but, just as we must encourage junior riders so we
> have a future for our sport, we need to encourage sound breeding
> practices so that we have generations of good endurnace horses.  Now is
> great, but what about later? 

There are MANY sound breeding practices, depending on the circumstances
and resources of the breeder; and quite frankly, I am of the opinion, that
if you are are going to go into breeding in a small way (i.e. maybe breed
one or two horses in your life time), then the most responsible thing to
do is to outcross.  The closer in the breeding you do (whether you call in
inbreeding, linebreeding, or close breeding),, the more resources you must
dedicate to the effort to do it responsibly.

Responsible close breeding requires vast resources, ruthless culling,
stringent and appropriate selection criteria, a deep and detailed
understanding of pedigree, and a lifetime of dedication to the effort.  If
you don't have/do all of these things, then closer breeding is an UNSOUND
breeding practice.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the old maxim, "breed the best to
the best and hope for the best" and getting one great performance horse
out of your program.  ANd if it happens to be a male, then it will make a
great gelding.  Which is far better than the geldings that come out of
"linebreeding programs" which are, in essence, culls.

It is also true that those breeders who do have the inclination,
resources, lifetime dedication, etc. can make great contributions with
"preservationist" breeding which also includes some closer in breeding;
but this is not a practice that I recommend for everybody.

Additionally, I am not totally convinced but what "endurance capability" 
isn't a function of heterozygous genetic traits, in which case,
linebreeding is specifically reducing your chances of getting a good
endurance horse (since the theory behind line/inbreeding is to decrease
the incidence of heterozygosity).  So that while line/inbred horses may
breed more "true" and throw horses more like themselves, you may be
restricting your self to throwing a whole bunch of less than top endurance

To encourage people to linebreed when they don't have the resources to do
it properly is unsound advice; and the majority of breeders (myself
included, _I_ breed Anglo Arabs) do not have the resources to do anything
other than outcrossing responsibly.  THere is, most definitely, in our
sport a place for great geldings (since that is what the majority of
people want), and absolutely nobody in their right mind would care whether
or not a gelding has the genetic potential to breed on.  Engaging in a
breeding program with the intention of producing great geldings is a
perfectly worthy goal.  SO, btw, is dedicating time and resources to
responsibly "preserving" stock for future generations.

Orange County, Calif.

p.s.  The future of our sport is not only in the juniors, but in the
people who take it up as adults.  In fact, I woulad be willing to bet that
most of the growth of endurance has come from people taking it up as
adults, and not from juniors growing up in it.

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