Thursday, September 28

Is Horse Racing Important For The Conservation of Species?

Horse racing is very essential when it comes to developing the breeds of the equine stars. 

Watching and enjoying the racing on track is only half of the sport itself when it comes to the flat racing that we see in the United States and United Kingdom. So, next time you are looking for events in Churchill Downs, Del Mar or the 2022 Saratoga race track schedule, remember why horse racing is important for the species itself.

That is down to the fact that the careers of some of the stars is only partially spent on the track, with the majority of their lives spent breeding the next generation of equine superstars. 

So, how does the breeding process work, and why is it so important to the sport in the future?

Why Is Breeding So Important?

If you’ve ever watched horse racing on television or on a sports betting app with commentary, you will often hear the commentators talking about the pedigree of the runners that are involved. There is good reason why this is mentioned, as pedigrees in racing is a huge business, with millions spent every year to acquire the leading stallions in order to produce the next line of champions. Breeding is often bringing together the qualities of the mother and father, known in racing as the dam and sire, with breeders then hoping that the offspring has the qualities that both possessed during their careers. 

Obviously, not every offspring is going to be as successful as their parents, which means that not every great champion turns out to be a successful sire or dam. But, the lineage often goes a long way in helping to determine how a horse may perform over a certain distance when they are stepping onto the track for the very first time. 

Success Of Sires

It isn’t hard to see why sires often get more credit in the breeding process, as they are able to have more offspring lining up on track. That leads to them getting more success, as they will claim victories in a wider selection of races. One of the most successful sires in the history of the sport was Sadler’s Wells. The stallion was named as the leading sire every season between 1990 and 2004, and helped bring more than 320 stakes winners into the world. While he was in his prime, he was covering well over 200 mares every year. 

Sadler’s Wells was also responsible for one of the most successful races horses in the United Kingdom, and later the dominant sire. Galileo was dominant during the summer months of 2001, as he started his three-year-old campaign with success in both the Epsom Derby and Irish Derby, before later winning the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. 

Soon after his retirement was announced, he went to stud, and was been named champion stud on eleven occasions. Such was the success of his offspring that it meant that Dubawi, who was another successful sire in his own right, was never named champion sire. 

Most Expensive Sires

Last year it was revealed that Galileo has passed away at the age of 23, which meant that there was a void that needed to be filled when it came to a sought-after sire. The costs for stud fees for the 2022 season were released earlier this year, and it was announced that Dubawi was now attracted that highest fee. The Classic-breeding sire now stands for a fee of £250,000, and has produced Group 1 winners such as Lord North, Yibir, Modern Games and Creative Force.

Frankel and Into Mischief round off the top three most expensive stud fees in the world, with the latter producing two Kentucky Derby winners to date. Other horses to feature in the top ten with stud fees of greater than £100,000 include Kingman, Curlin and Uncle Mo.