Hank Wiescamp on Mares Vs. Broodmares

H.J. “Hank” Wiescamp in The American Quarter Horse Journal, 1949

The late Hank Wiescamp is a member of the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame who was famous for his Skipper W-bred horses. But despite his connection to that famous stallion, Hank actually put more emphasis on his broodmare band. Here, in his own words, are details on what he looked for:

Many people refer to all mares and use the single term of “mares” without thought as to whether they actually mean mares or “broodmares.”

To me, there is as much difference between these two terms as there is between my Model A and one of those new Cadillacs, if you referred to both of them as “cars.”

In AQHA’s FREE Mare Care report, Dr. Racquel Rodeheaver explains the process of preparing your mare, targeting a breeding date, ordering semen, inducing a follicle to ovulate, receiving and evaluating semen and much more.

In selecting a broodmare, the first thing I look for and require is conformation; the next is type, breeding ability and speed. The first requirement in all breeds of livestock, whether it be horses, mules, cows or sheep is: Do they look like what you want in the first place? If you are a cow breeder, do you want Hereford or Angus; a sheep raiser, Corriedale or some other breed? In other words, do you think you see what you are looking for? This can be compared to the Army policy of preliminary screening, when they try to determine whether a person is best suited for the Navy, Air Corps or Marines; clerk, officer or private.

Type is hard to control, hard to get, hard to keep and, most of all, hard to set. Without type, regardless of what the quality, breeding or ability might be, you must ask yourself the all-important question: Will this animal fit in my program of trying to raise better animals in my line?

In selecting a mare, I want first a big feminine head, and intelligent and alert eye, for without these, I would look no further. However, if these points are satisfactory, I would look for that clean throatlatch, a little length in the neck, and, above all, a set of withers, depth of heart girth and a well-sprung rib, depth of flank, short back with strength in the loin and all the length I can get from the hip back.

To see the rest of Hank's preferences in broodmares, go to America's Horse Daily.

Photo:  Regardless of how good she might be in type, conformation, breeding or ability, she is not a broodmare until she proves that she can produce one like herself. Journal photo.