Match Making-Choose the Right Stallion for Your Mare

How could you ever narrow it down to one perfect stallion for your mare?

Flipping through the stallion ads in the Journal alone can be staggering.

Everywhere you turn, from the feed store to the veterinarian’s office, there seems to be another stallion on the market.

Finding the right stallion for your mare and your program is part research, part science and, sometimes, part luck.

The Journal sat down with past president Frank Merrill of Purcell, Oklahoma, and 30-year American Quarter Horse breeder Carol McWhirter of Doniphan, Nebraska, to get their input on how to take luck out of the breeding equation.

Want to earn some money when you show? The AQHA Incentive Fund pays participants for showing and breeding their American Quarter Horses.

The Game Plan
Four of the most important things to know when you start to research a stallion for your mare are pedigree, conformation, the stallion’s performance records and prepotency.

Pedigree – When you’re talking pedigree, always be aware not to cross on a stallion that has close to the same genetic makeup as your mare.
Conformation –When it comes to conformation, evaluate your mare and determine an area that she might lack and find a stallion that is strong in that area.

Foals by Incentive Fund-nominated stallions are eligible to be nominated into the program during their first 12 months of age.

Know the Bloodlines
Become a bloodline expert. Do not make market-driven decisions and breed to a certain stallion that is the hot commodity this year. He might be the most-promoted stallion out there, but it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s the best for your mare. Know your facts.

Find out what else you should know about match making for your mare at America's Horse Daily.

Photo:  Take luck out of the breeding equation by finding the right stallion for your mare. Journal illustration.