Selene Scarsi investigates the factors that make up a stallion’s career, and asks whether it is breeding or competing that contributes most to his value
BREEDING or sport – which comes first for a stallion? Is it a better commercial strategy for a stallion to be the “hot new thing” – fashionable and successful as a young horse – then retire from sport in order to focus solely on breeding to maximise his gains as a sire? Or, conversely, is it more beneficial for a stallion to compete to higher levels – with less likelihood of competitive glory but more exposure?
Most stallion owners in the three Olympic disciplines are unanimous in preferring to prioritise sport over breeding, both as a way of increasing their stallions’ value, and as the most effective advertising campaign for their stud. Indeed, it is rare that a stallion is deemed so valuable as a sire that he is retired early from sport. But a stallion’s career path is dictated by many elements, not least the logistics of collecting semen, which forces some breeders – especially in Britain – into an either/or situation.
Woodlander Stud’s Lynne Crowden feels strongly that stallions should compete, but explains that it can be a struggle to balance breeding duties with competition training for logistical reasons.
This exclusive feature is also available to read in H&H magazine, 18 March 2021 issue
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