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November 23rd, 2010

Warmblood or Thoroughbred?

An interesting article was recently posted on the Chronicle of the Horse Web site. It shows the influence of the Thoroughbred on the sport horses of today. Many of the top warmblood dressage lines are heavily influenced by the Thoroughbred breed. Several top warmblood stallions are half Thoroughbred!

“. . . make no mistake, despite what the various studbooks tell us, it is a fact that the Thoroughbred connection in performance horses continues to this day. Close analysis of the genes of the top modern competition horses show that the majority of top event horses are three-quarters to full Thoroughbred, while the majority of top jumpers are one half to three-quarters Thoroughbred, and the dressage horses are one quarter to one half Thoroughbred. In continental stud books the Thoroughbred blood is quite often substituted by Arab or Trotter blood.”

“I would suggest that the reason for this is not just because of the physical strengths of their common Thoroughbred ancestors but also because of their mental strengths. Their combination of courage and determination, aligned with great generosity and intelligence makes the Thoroughbred horse stand out.”

“Now most modern competitors realize that the wow factor of dressage is enhanced by the quality and lightness of the Thoroughbred. For example, in Verden, Germany, last year, Westpoint was judged the 6-year-old World Dressage Champion. He is half Thoroughbred, carrying the genes of the Thoroughbred horses Furioso, Dark Ronald, Le Val Blanc, Anblick and Hyperion.”

Off-the-track Thoroughbreds have been successful in stadium jumping and eventing for years. Read the November 21, 2010 story titled “Bert, Jack and Herbert—Part 5: Thoroughbreds Are At The Heart Of Horse Sport” By: William Micklem on the Chronicle of the Horse Web site to see just how influential the Thoroughbred breed has been in the world of high-end competition. Many Thoroughbred mares have been accepted into the registry books of warmblood breeds. Have an open mind and look at the Thoroughbred breed and especially the horses that have raced. They can have a second career as a sport horse or maybe become the foundation for a line of dressage or eventing prospects. You can save yourself a lot of money as well!

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