The Reproductive Life of the New Zealand Standardbred Mare
Veen, A. van der
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In the last years, the breeding industry of Standardbreds has decreased dramatically. In this study the selection of mares was investigated based on their sire’s stud fee, and comparisons were made between three generations. For 9 Standardbred sires, the fillies of the ‘98/’99 season and their dams and granddams were investigated. In the fillies by the expensive sires (>$3.000 stud fee) the numbers of fillies bred, raced and exported was greater than those of less expensive stallions. These foals also had more expensive sires in their ancestry. Mares by expensive sires started breeding earlier in life. Mares by cheap (<$2.000 stud fee) sires tended to be of lower parity than more expensive horses. The results suggested strongly that the less expensive horses were being culled from the breeding herd. When comparing the generations it was noted that the number of mares that raced stayed the same. There was no difference in the age at which each generation started breeding. The parity of the investigated mares increased with every generation. With a foaling/serving ratio scatter plot a form of selection became evident with the dams and granddams, such a selection was not yet found with the ‘98/’99 fillies. Further research on this subject is needed, and a method to obtain less biased results should be found.