Breeding 2018-02-07T20:38:12+00:00

KEC Double Diamond (Oisin) no longer stands at stud. However, there is till the ability to breed to him via frozen semen (limited supply in the USA/Canada).

Frozen Semen is a flat fee of $500 per straw.

Please note:  Contact Us for additional detail or a frozen semen contract.

I think everyone can agree that the object of breeding is to improve each generation. By estimating breeding value, the horse owner selects which stallions and mares will be the sires and dams of the next generation.

When considering a breeding stallion you should consider all your selection criteria, including sound genetic principles. Consider three selection methods in choosing a stallion to breed to each mare: progeny test, pedigree, and phenotype. The best method of stallion selection uses a combination of the three selection methods.

Progeny Test considers the performance merit of a stallion’s foals to predict the stallion’s breeding value. It can be the most accurate selection method. The stallion must be old enough to have foals of performance age, and with a large number of foals, you can rank stallions with near certainty, even when the trait has a fairly low heritability. This selection may be biased by preferential treatment of certain offspring or culling of inferior ones.

The performance records of parents and other relatives are evaluated to estimate the breeding merit of the stallion in pedigree selection. Some horse breeders over-emphasize pedigree selection. It is most valuable in young stallions for traits not yet expressed, such as performance.

Phenotype considers a horse’s performance record and conformation, which can be compared to that of other stallions. Phenotype selection is valuable for medium to highly heritable traits. There is evidence that most performance ability is in this range of heritability.

Phenotypic variation (due to underlying heritable genetic variation) is a fundamental prerequisite for evolution by natural selection. It is the living organism as a whole that contributes (or not) to the next generation, so natural selection affects the genetic structure of a population indirectly via the contribution of phenotypes. Without phenotypic variation, there would be no evolution by natural selection.

The interaction between genotype and phenotype has often been conceptualized by the following relationship:  

  • genotype (G) + environment (E) → phenotype (P). 
  • A more nuanced version of the relationship is: genotype (G) + environment (E) + genotype & environment interactions (GE) → phenotype (P). 

Genotypes often have much flexibility in the modification and expression of phenotypes; in many organisms these phenotypes are very different under varying environmental conditions.

Breeding selection based on the stallion’s performance alone will be ineffective for lowly heritable traits, particularly if environmental influences are not taken into account. To use phenotypic selection, the stallion must be old enough to express his performance ability. So, a young stallion with no performance record is at a disadvantage.

The mare owner needs to be objective in evaluating each mare and her breeding value in the process of stallion selection. A stallion will NOT solve all of a mare’s faults.  Use a complimentary breeding method. For instance, if a mare has bad knees or tends to produce foals with bad knees, she should be bred to a stallion that has good knee conformation and has sired foals with good knees.

A mare that has no performance record or has not produced any foals to perform should be bred to a stallion which IS a successful performer. If old enough, his foals also should have performed well in desired events.

Pedigree Selection can aid the mare owner in these situations. The mare’s pedigree, reflected in the first two generations, should represent families that are successful performers (sire/produce performers). Mares that have not performed or produced performing foals may not produce a world’s champion from such mating, but she could produce a foal that performs well.