Monday, May 26, 2014

How to breed a World Champion - Marg Told You So

What do the trotter Market Share and the pacer Somwherovrarainbow have in common - besides setting world records in the past few days over a five-eights track in Pennsylvania ?

One of the first people to inspire my interest in pedigrees was a lady named Marg Neale. She was the first lady of pedigrees in Canada for many years. She worked for the Canadian Trotting Association, the predecessor of Standardbred Canada. If Marg Neale was still around she would tell you in no uncertain terms - I told you so.

Here is an excerpt from an interview of Marg by Dean Hoffman and published in Hoofbeats over twenty years ago. I have referenced it before on an earlier post but it bears repeating.

“There is a model of breeding that is like a pattern, and the pattern persists over generations, although, of course, the names change. I like to see a mare that is inbred, and a sire that is not.”
Two World Champions - two great examples of the wisdom of Marg Neale.
Market Share is by the Swedish sire Revenue, an outcross sire by Reve D`Udon,  a French stallion ,but from a dam that has totally North American bloodlines. The only common element between the sire and the dam is Peter Scott, the paternal line of the dam of Reve D`Udon, and also the paternal line of Sugarcane Hanover, sire of Revenue`s dam. Clearly a sire that is not inbred.
The dam of Market Share, however, is very much the opposite. Classical Flirt by Yankee Glide and her dam is by Donerail, both sons of Valley Victory and thus a 2x3 linebred. She is also maternally inbred to Speedy Crown as is her dam, Show Me Leg,  and her Bonefish second dam also adds another degree of inbreeding since he is also the damsire of Valley Victory. Clearly a mare that is extensively inbred.
If you look back over the pedigree of Classical Flirt you will see what Marg means by a "pattern that persists over generations" as the maternal inbreeding persists for several generations although, as Marg noted, the names involved change.
Market Share, himself, is outcrossed on sire line and inbred maternally to Speedy Scot and Bonefish and as such is a typical good pedigree match..
Somwhrovrarainbow is a four year old mare by Somebeachsomewhere, arguably the top sire currently in North America, despite being from a much maligned sire line that was on the verge of extinction before he came along. Her sire line is through a family of pacing sires originating with the epochal trotting sire Volomite who is also responsible for the resurgent Noble Victory line in trotters.
SBSW is by Mach Three, an Ontario, Canada, based sire that was ignored by major North American stud farms, and out of a mare by Beach Towel, another sire held in low esteem by North American breeders. Beach Towel is also inbred maternally to the Volomite pacing line of sires. While Mach Three`s sire line represents an outcross and this is further enforced by the additional presence of Volomite in Beach Towel and also by two sire lines through Direct which have essentially died out in modern breeding. Clearly again a sire that is not inbred to the conventional pacing sire lines through Meadow Skipper and Adios.
The dam of Somwhrovertherainbow is Rainbow Blue, a world champion mare that is inbred maternally 3x2 to On The Road Again in the same fashion as the historic X-factor mares Helen Hanover and Margaret Parrish. She also carries a maternal cross to Adios being x-factor crossed to his son Bret Hanover and both she and her dam are x-factor inbred to Tar Heel, whose dam is by Volomite. Clearly a mare that is extensively inbred and like Market Share the inbreeding pattern extends back several generations maternally..
Also like Market Share she is outcrossed on sire line and inbred maternally, in her case to Most Happy Fella and his sire Meadow Skipper - another good pedigree match.
It is amazing to see how the standardbred breed reinvents itself with the success of unknown or less than popular sires like Mach Three, Revenue and Garland Lobell, none of whom had the advantage of the "best" broodmares to breed. The same could be said for the thorobred breed with the success of California Chrome by little known sire Lucky Pulpit setting the TB establishment on their ears. He too fits the pattern that Marg Neale believed in. Looks like there is still room for the little guy to make an impact on the future of both breeds.
And we can thank Marg Neale in part for that.

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