BLUEBLOODSTOCK: Our Grey Horse Line. Understanding about the genetics of the Grey Racing horse has helped in developing our own heterozygous bloodline. We asked a top breeder of Gray horses about the make-up of Gray race horses and how to create a bloodline.
First, you have to understand the genetics of the grey coat color in horses. Grey is genetically dominant: in order to have a foal with a grey coat, one of the parents must be grey. If a horse is heterozygous for the grey gene, that horse will be grey in color, but will pass the grey gene along to only 50% of its offspring. All those offspring will be grey. A horse that is homozygous for the grey gene will sire 100% grey offspring.
Basically, the reason Thoroughbreds have many more grey horses in the breed than Standardbreds is that there have been several very successful (and hence very popular) grey stallions.
English Derby winner Mahmoud (IRE) was one of these. Bred by the Aga Khan, he was a leading sire of stakes winners. This meant that his offspring were much in demand by breeders; Mahmoud was heterozygous for the grey gene, so half of his offspring were grey. That was one source of the grey gene.
Another source was the great American champion Native Dancer, who became a leading sire here in the USA. Native Dancer got his grey gene from a different source, through his dam, who descended from the stallion Roi Herode. Again, Native Dancer was heterozygous grey, meaning that half his offspring were grey. Interestingly, Native Dancer’s most popular sons were not grey; they were the chestnut Dan Cupid, sire of the great Sea-Bird, and Raise A Native, sire of Mr. Prospector, among many others.
Currently, popular grey stallions include Unbridled’s Song, who gets his grey gene from his maternal grandsire Caro (IRE), who got it through The Tetrarch, aka “The Spotted Wonder,” a grey with splashes of white known as “Tetrarch Spots” http://www.tbheritage.com/Portraits/TheT…
The deceased El Prado (IRE) was a leading sire here in the USA, and he was heterozygous for the grey gene. Half of his offspring are grey. (Among the non-grey offspring who continue his line are Medaglia d’Oro, a beautiful coffee-bean colored bay and sire of Rachel Alexandra).
Cozzene, another popular son of the grey stallion Caro (IRE), has sired a number of greys that have made a mark at stud. There are other popular grey stallions of recent vintage, including Grey Dawn (FR), Caro (IRE) himself, Holy Bull, and others. All are homozygous, and so half of their offspring will be grey.
Among Standardbreds, there hasn’t been a single noteworthy, leading sire that has been grey. Perhaps if the great trotter Greyhound hadn’t been gelded, the incidence of the grey gene in the breed would increase. But basically, there are no grey Standardbred stallions that are popular enough to increase the incidence of the grey gene in the Standardbred population.
Because both Standardbred and Thoroughbred horses are bred primarily for the races, the breeders are unmoved by considerations of color. They go where the money is, and if that’s in a stallion who is grey and sires grey foals, that’s where they’ll go. Conversely, if a horse is a beautiful grey, he won’t be able to get breeders to send mares to him, however beautiful his foals are, unless they can win at the races.
Hope that helps!
Understanding the make up of the color of a horse can help determine some other hidden traits that could be carried from the acenstors of the same color. Here is some information to help understand the color genetics of a horse.
|Basic coat colors|
|Other color modifiers|
|Markings and patterns||
Horse markings · Primitive markings · Bend-Or spots · Cropout · Point coloration · Pangaré · Brindle · Leopard complex (see also Appaloosa and Knabstrupper breeds, Varnish roan) · Roan · Rabicano · Pinto horse: (Patterns include ) · Overo (including genetically distinct Splashed white, Frame, and Sabino) · Tobiano · Tovero · (Color variations): Piebald · Skewbald · Tricoloured
|Genetics and breeding|
Using this information we have taken the Grey gene of Dogs Bachelor Party passed down from HRP-Runaway Groom whos mother HRP-Yonnie Girl is a descendant of the great HRP-Mahmoud. We have xbred and started to line breed wuth other descendants of champion Grey blood, to create our exclusive BLUEBLOODSTOCK racing line. Find the best Grey horses available at HRP from The Odessa Breeders Association. We hope this may assist you in your breeding quests!
Height: 15.3 Hands
Rear Triangle: Balanced
Back Leg Soundness: Ideal
Humerus Angle: High-Medium
Front Leg Soundness: Ideal
REDBLOODSTOCK: Our Chesnut Red Blooline. Master Sire En Zed Coming Soon
I have great Studs for lease, it just takes some ferreting out and looking back at what they’ve produced and their lines. There’s still some on the list I see. I’ve a couple left in the $1 to $4.50 range that have produced nicely. Dogs Bachelor Party, En Zed. Do a search for Negdog Racing in the Stallions listings and you will find them. No doubt others here will have some listed too. But I have examined each horses punnett square for dominant & recessive genes. These Stallions are kicking out beasts. Also make sure to study the breeding section in the rules and click on all breeding analysis tabs. The % of winners from private bred vs. auto gens has increased yearly.
Another strategy is to hit the claimers. Some of my best broodies i got right off the track. Well bred, well built slowpokes can be had for as little as $2.00. Go to the race calendar and do a search for filly claimers (make sure they are old enough to breed) Open up the form on the level you can afford and start looking at their breeding and build, then put in a claim.
Auctions are the same way 4 per yr. A couple of my best mares/studs were less than $3.00. The price tag alone doesn’t make a top broodie and without a production record, you will find plenty worth taking a chance on at cheap prices.
One last suggestion: Sometimes we breeders kill or sell nice fillies that can’t make the grade. When they sell, often it is just for a dollar or two. Sometimes it is worth retiring them and waiting.
As far as the best month, that is variable. if you are looking for a wee bit of an edge early in the year, you might consider breeding 4th quarter yearlings. These often have an edge in the spring 2YO DMR work trials (can win prizes) and perhaps some races earlier in the year, but then the 1st quarter 2YOs will catch up later in the year. The other downer about yearlings is that you can’t tell much about them at all until they start to do 3f breezes or longer. 4th quarter yearlings and 1st quarter 2YOs will have the advantage of being ready quicker to get into the TC or BC races, that is if you have the horse for it and the money for the campaign. Since you are just starting out, that likely isn’t a big consideration yet. Also, there is a big rush to get all the juveniles into racing in spring when the 2YO races start. For that reason, I rather like second quarter and third quarter breeding and have had great success breeding now. But really, no matter the quarter, you breed a nice one and you will be happy, whether they get a later start or not.
remember private bred horses have a 3-5% winning percentage adavantage over auto-gens check rules breeding analysis.