Q: I would like to stand my five-year-old Quarter horse stallion at stud and have begun discussions with a local performance horse stud. It has been suggested that he is covered by a specialist stallion policy — can you explain how stallion sub-fertility insurance works, as he is unproven? Would I take out this insurance, or the stud?
DAVID Ashby of Amlin Plus Sport Horse Insurers explains that if you place the stallion into someone else’s care, even for the short time it takes to train him on a dummy mare, you should purchase mortality insurance.
“Some horses fall or injure themselves when first getting used to the phantom, so I would recommend veterinary fees cover,” he explains.
“You should also include stallion permanent disability cover, which is available for a small additional premium, and covers against the horse being infertile. Stallion sub-fertility cover is available, but is a complex policy to buy and requires specific veterinary tests before it can be given, which are quite expensive.
“As a breeder myself, my recommendation for a Quarter horse in the UK would be to ‘test breed’ the horse and run a semen analysis. If the semen looks good, forget about sub-fertility coverage. The downside of this is that if the semen is of poor quality, insurance will be hard to buy. On the other hand, you will have saved a lot of wasted time and heartache.”
H&H also asked Christine Mayhew of Wye Oak Quarter Horses, a Hampshire training and breeding establishment, for her advice.
“All UK-born Quarter horses are registered through the American Quarter Horse Association UK (AQHA UK),” Christine explains.
“All breeding stallions and mares have to have their genetic type on file at AQHA headquarters in Texas before any foal can be registered.
“It would also be wise to ensure that your stallion has the temperament, pedigree, conformation and competition record necessary to attract enough mares to make your venture financially viable.”
Amlin Plus Tel: 020 7423 0920 www.amlinplus.co.uk
Wye Oak Quarter Horses Tel: 01730 812000 www.bobmayhewtraining.com
This Q&A was first published in Horse & Hound (10 April, ’08)