Let’s Play a Game

This is the time of year where Michelle and I are constantly researching stallions and offspring, watching videos, and debating which stallions would go best with which mare. After a while your brain starts to melt and your eyes start to cross, and you’re pretty sure no more information will actually fit in your brain. Granted, these are also some of my favorite discussions, bouncing ideas around together and digging into the nitty gritty of each stallion and mare.

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This year seems more frustrating than most, with a lot of semen shipments held up, or behind schedule, or just not coming at all. A lot of the frozen semen brokers are out of stock with most of the stallions we want, so we’re having to dig deeper and think more creatively. We’ve finally got a tentative plan ironed out for most of them, although granted there’s always The Plan vs What Actually Happens. Shippers and mares and frozen semen inevitably never all actually read the playbook. But ya know… Plan A is in place finally so the gods of fate steer the ship from here.

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My brain melts over this every year, because there are a lot of options and my opinion on what crosses best with the mare can morph a little after every foal, not to mention what the actual end goal is (top level performance horse? amateur horse? it makes a difference). Still though, looking at stallions and matching them with mares and having these conversations and doing this research… it’s super fun for me. It’s just basically playing matchmaker with horses.

While my own choices and opinions are very much influenced by the type of horse that I tend to like most, I’m always interested to see what other people would choose and why. So: Tuesday fun time. Pick any WTW mare and any stallion – what would you breed for yourself? If you’re feeling frisky, give me a more conventional choice and then an unconventional one.

Like for instance, if I was making something for myself personally to keep, I would pick Tullabeg Fusion for Grace as my conventional choice (granted he’s not actually available in the US so if that doesn’t count then I’d pick Mighty Magic or Connect to Grace), or Innenminister xx to Lissa. No I cannot narrow it down to one, please don’t make me, y’all know how hard it was just to get it down that far? For my unconventional off-the-wall pick I’d do morgan stallion Spring Hollow Statesman to Peyton. Y’all know I like morgans, we’ve talked about this before, and I really like how sporty that one looks. I was gonna pick a connemara or french AA but that didn’t seem “out there” enough. Be bold.

So here are the mares to choose from:

Lissa – competed to 1.50m grand prix. Bold, quick, long-lined and tall, very rectangular shape. Definitely a German type of horse.

Chanel – competed to 1.40m GP. Shorter, more compact, very careful, sensitive. Extremely well bred from Dutch and Holsteiner lines and the most proven of the bunch as far as offspring go – she had two in Europe and one is competing 1.45m with the other at 1.40m.

Sadie (Presto’s dam) – big trot, very tall, easy to ride and good work ethic. By a hunter stallion (from dressage lines) out of a TB mare.

Grace – Irish mare, cute mover, sweet temperament, genuine, good jump technique, was an amateur event horse. I kinda think this one could have moonlighted in the hunter derbies. A little on the smaller side of average.

Inca – little black horse with a big jump. She’s got some get up and go and is definitely careful but also very sweet and kind. Huge canter.

Vee – good mid-size TB mare with lots of bone and substance, more compact. Turf pedigree.

Peyton – tall TB mare, more refined and leggy with great natural balance. Turf pedigree.

Stormie – pocket rocket sportpony deluxe. Big mover with a big jump, quick and catty and athletic and brave. A little spicy but also kind with a super work ethic and tons of personality.

Daisy – breeding stock paint (so basically QH), homozygous dun. Extremely good hunter mover with a lot of elasticity and a huge step, believe it or not. A little smaller than average.

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I think there’s literally something for just about anyone here, regardless of discipline or personal preference. Get your thinking caps on, pick a mare or two, and tell me who your fantasy baby daddy (or daddies) would be!

41 thoughts on “Let’s Play a Game

  1. Nope i cant do all that but if you breed to a Statesman stallion I am SO EFFING HERE FOR IT. OMG. I love Statesman Morgans and always wanted one (Grew up riding Morgans!). I got to that part of the post and I totally squealed out loud!! 🙂 My brain cant do the pick and choosing but just know i am here for an out there breeding to a Morgan. 🙂

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    1. they were my favorite breed when I was a kid! I was obsessed with them. One of the lesson horses I rode was a morgan, and then I got to ride a couple more on the east coast when I was a working student. I like that they’re usually more sensitive and forward-thinking but also super smart.

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          1. I would LOVE a Morgan cross. LOVE. But unfort. they are quiet pricy when I look. and I am cheap:) I grew up showing Morgans. Our Morgans rode in one day shows, western, hunt seat, saddle seat, and drove. SO MUCH FUN.

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  2. Inca crossed with the Trahkener stallion Mr X to compliment her dainty stature, and not hinder good movement. Or Chanel crossed with Future Illusion to add some new blood.

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  3. Vee – Conteros – please, I’ll buy it (seriously)
    Inca – Comme il Faut or Up To Date Miltoo depending on her pedigree. I’m tempted to say Arezzo but if she is also Chin Chin then that might not be ideal, plus most of the mares I’ve seen from him run small. But it would probably jump the moon.
    Stormie – Ridley? He’s way underused.

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  4. I love the hunter stallion Palladio. His kids are super ammy friendly, and have done well in h/j land and eventing at the lower levels. For me, I’d love a Daisy/Palladio baby because I love me a good QH brain!

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  5. *I am going to preface this by saying that I am beyond uneducated about breeding and conformation.*

    My choice would be VDL Navarone, with either Sadie or Vee. What would determine my choice between Sadie or Vee would be 1) who has the better canter and 2) who would be more likely to throw ammy friendly offspring.

    I absolutely love VDL Navarone. My last horse was by him, and he can really stamp his get. I just missed out on buying a really nice 4 year old mare by him, and I will probably always regret it and wonder what might have been. Unfortunately, I am a one-horse ammy owner, so will probably not have a chance to have another by him for quite a long time 😦

    Feel free to comment on my choice and tell me what you like or don’t like about it and why, or which mare you think would suit better. I would be interested to learn!

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      1. I prefer the equitation, so I guess somewhere in between? My first choice was Vee, she looks like a she would be a better physical type match to Navarone, but knowing nothing about her under saddle, I didn’t know if she would be ammy friendly enough for my theoretical breeding, which is why I included Sadie in the mix, as you have confirmed her ammy friendliness and rideability under saddle.

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  6. Ooo, fun game, because I’ve never thought much about breeding outside my own small world and I’m not a breeder myself.

    I DO have a baby daddy love, and I’d love to cross him to my own horse (but I don’t breed and I’m not willing to risk something happening to my mare). But trying to think in Eventing terms….here’s my “out there” cross:

    Vee to Arabian stallion FCF Oberon’s Vanity (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pf84TfLBaxg). Hopefully Vee would add some size and substance, and he’d lend the endurance and work ethic of the Arab. (He’d make a really really nice baby with my horse too, she’s built similarly to him). If Lauren Kieffer’s Vermiculus (and Snooze Alarm previously) can make a name for Anglo Arabs at the highest levels, why not a hypothetical Anglo-Arab out of Vee?

    For a slightly more conventional cross, I think I’d go for a true pony: Stormie and a Connemara stallion. I did a quick search and found this guy: https://acps.org/foothills-field-marshall/. I personally am a lover of the pony, and the Connemara (my mom has one that’s very nice….he’s a bit lazier than I like for me but he’s a nice horse and PERFECT for her. I’ve known quite a few others who are equally lovely!) I feel like a cross between them would produce a nice low-level amateur pony that could become a kid’s step-up pony later in life. Ponies are great.

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    1. There are some connemaras I like a lot too! It’s sometimes hard to find them with a really good canter but I LOVE Coud’Poker Tartifume. I like them crossed on TB’s though if I might possibly have to ride it. I’d fall right the f off a real pony. LOL

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      1. I saw Coud’Poker Tartifume after I posted this…..gosh he’s NIIIIIICE!

        I live in a world of sub-15-hand horses, so large ponies are all I know….I’ve ridden a few taller warmbloods and TBs, but I always feel like the ground is so far away! Taller horses DO make the jumps look smaller though.

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  7. It’s so cool you like Morgans. I’ve had them since I was a kid. Sport Morgan lovers need to band together to promote the breed and show the horses offers soundness, toughness, and good temperaments. Please world, don’t dismiss the breed based on what you may see in the saddleseat show ring.

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    1. I feel the same about how people judge Arabians. They see the “show Arabs” and write the breed off as high-strung and nuts. There’s a whole different side of Arabian breeding that has bone, substance, and brains: and most of them won’t be found in the show ring but rather on the trail!

      I rode with a friend for a season doing competitive trail with her gaited Morgan. They also finished Tevis that same year. He’s a LOVELY horse (and also broke to drive!) and a wonderful example of the non-show Morgans.

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  8. I’m all about ammy friendly horses and something on the smaller side would be ideal. I know very little about breeding, but for a “for me” horse I would choose Daisy and JEF Sir Lancelot (a Connemara stallion that is local to me). I’ve never ridden one of his babies, but there are lot of them around here and they are well loved by many. For something a little bigger, I’d choose Sadie to be bred to the same Connemara stallion.

    For an unconventional pick, I’d choose Inca to breed to Amazing Technicolor, an Appaloosa Sporthorse based in the UK. I think the possibility of spots would be fun and he’s only about 15.2, so the possibility of not having a giant horse would also be nice.

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  9. Sooo… I adore local Trakehner stallion Elfenperfekt. He’s stunning, has PRESENCE, and yet is really rideable. He’s also actively competing at upper level dressage. I would love to cross him to a horse like Vee, bc I love stacking blood on blood. Haha. I think he could improve her neck and gaits, and might make a great prospect for dressage or eventing.

    I guess my “unconventional” choice would be Vee with an andalusian like Fiti Al. I think thorougbreds and PREs have very similar hot temperaments, and I think the addition of knee and shoulder action on a thorougbred would be fascinating. On the right TB mare with a more compact frame with substance, you could get a really interesting horse!

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  10. Hmm.. fun question!
    I like using proven mares, so I would match Lissa with Utopie (https://www.eurequine.com/utopie-combina) to make a high A/O jumper.
    I picked him for my own big bodied german jumper mare and am anxiously awaiting the baby!! He competed at the top level of the sport and has offspring at the top level, but he goes around so nicely when you watch videos of him. Kristen Vanderveen’s Bull Run’s Risen is by Utopie and he jumps around 5* courses like he just relaxing and schooling at home. I think he would pair well her.
    My pick for Chanel would be Mylord Carthago with the goal of a GP jumper. Whenever I’m watching a high level grand prixs I always look for scopey jumpers that look pleasant to ride and then look up their pedigrees and his name seems to pop up a lot. I think he would go well with a compact mare like her.

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    1. LOVE Mylord Carthago ❤️❤️❤️ Really wanted to use him but he’s a little long in the back for Lissa and we are still testing the frozen waters for Chanel 🤞🙏 but awesome choice!! Also I really like Bull Runs Risen and I do like Utopie for a jumper offspring on a mare with a really solid front end.
      Thanks for your input ❤️

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  11. Thank you guys for joining in on this ❤️ I love hearing these ideas and looking into them!! We are much more about making the best cross possible than just creating something that sells. These girls and their offspring are so important to us ❤️

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  12. Stormie x Belafonte d’Avalon (German Riding Pony)

    I have ALWAYS loved him as a stallion and I think he’d pair super nicely to create a real powerhouse pony with Stormie.

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  13. I’d cross Sormie with Noble Dancer for an awesome dressage pony that could also do some showjumping and eventing.

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  14. Do a WOB! Warmblood mare x Welsh Cob (Thoroughbreds also cross well, but I prefer something with a bit of Arab and/or Warmblood in there).
    I’ve met two absolute rippers in person and seen a growing amount on the eventing circuit here (both ammy and up the levels) – ammy friendly, can move, can jump, plenty of ability without being too hard too ride. The lighter, modern type of Welsh D stallion seems to be the best type to use (I’m in Australia – check out some of the Nawarrah Park offspring for what can be produced, Westbury’s Spitfire is producing some beautiful foals to Warmblood mares too), but having a quick look at some American boys – maybe something like Castelberrys Cadence (there’s a few other nice Castleberry boys too), Nebo Knight Ryder looks a good type too.

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  15. So I’m absolutely smitten with Chicardo. I believe he’s a Holsteiner, but I could be wrong. I just like how he looks! Great mind, a little heavy set, and a fantastic jump. I’ve been dying to see a hunter baby by him. My dream pairing would be him and Grace. If you wanted a more questionable cross, then him and Vee. No idea what that baby would do, but I know it would have bone lol

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  16. I have always loved the Trakehner stallion Virginian Sky! I think if Peyton were crossed with him, it would be a gorgeous and talented baby! All of his offspring that I have seen make great athletes.
    There are also some great Arabian studs out there. Half-Arabian sporthorses seem to be gaining in popularity lately. I’m planning on breeding my mare to Encandescent this year. He has incredible presence and movement with Oldenburg approval. Not sure what mare he would be good for… maybe Vee or Peyton? Options are always nice!

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    1. OMG. Encandescent has literally everything I look for in an Arab: nice strong hindquarters, short back, substance, and a nice head. He’d ALSO make a pretty baby with my mare (she’s a Crabbet/Polish bred Arab, same general body shape). I guess it’s a good thing I’m not a breeder because I’d have a hard time picking between him and the one I posted above (FCF Oberon’s Vanity).

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  17. This is too hard for me because I’m not good at match making. I’m all, that one is pretty and so is that one so mix them together please.
    But that pony stallion you guys like who’s name I’ve forgotten… I’d take a baby from him and Daisy. That would be fun.
    And then for one that probably wouldn’t work… I’d go Daisy again with Indoctro. Because I heart quarter horses and Indoctro was Rio’s dad and you know how much I loved him. I’d likely get something that’s a head case, but it would probably be a pretty mover. May or may not make it over a fence…

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