By Dr. Richard
our story you have noticed that name of *Count Dorsaz appearing very
prominently. If I had to single out one horse in our breeding program,
it would surely have to be this great sire. He transmitted great overall
smoothness, good size, magnificent style, the ultimate in presence and
elegance with the fabulous natural action he himself possessed up to
his final days.
Even when the pain
of advancing arthritis slowed him down in his last years, the flaming
fire was always evident and his proud “Look Of the Eagles” was ever
present. I never owned *Count Dorsaz but this horse meant so much to
me that when he was put to rest at the advanced age of 31 and I received
a telegram informing me of his death, it was like loosing a wonderful,
One of the major
aspects of our breeding program of today is to inbreed to *Count Dorsaz
and also to his sire, Rissalix, by adding a line or two from *Count
Dorsaz’s half brother, *Ranix. This allows us to concentrate the genes
for all the great desirable characteristics I outlined above in the
discussion of *Count Dorsaz.
Another part of
our program is to continue the inbreeding of the *Raffles-Raseyn/Skowronek
line of Arabian seed stock. We have capitalized on the fabulous horses
produced by the breeding programs of the * Raffles-Raseyn/Skowronek
breeders of the recent past who inbred so successfully these great horses.
We have acquired the best of the lines that we could get our hands on
so as to continue the same inbreeding program.
In addition, we
cross the two inbred lines to produce the DOUBLE R horses, which blends
and combines the best of both the Rissalix and * Raffles-Raseyn/Skowronek
lines. More recently now, we are breeding the Double R to Double R and
have been amazed at how well and how true the outcrossed Double R horses
are already breeding within themselves. They are quickly gaining the
desired homozygosity for a bloodline to be considered a significant
strain unto themselves, which will breed, on in a reliable true fashion
and the proof is in the pudding, so to speak.
I must point out,
however, that reaching this state of homozygosity with the Double R
horses had a significant head start since the dam of both Rissalix and
*Rifala was the great mare, Rissla, who was sired by the action sire,
*Berk. Rissalix went on to sire *Count Dorsaz and *Ranix. *Rifala produced
*Raffles which makes them cousins. By using *Count Dorsaz and *Raffles
so heavily in our breeding program, we have really been linebreeding
to the great Rissla and had a good head start towards our desired genetic
homozygosity of the Double R Arabians.
our breeding program, you have noticed the great value placed on inbreeding
and linebreeding. A word of caution is in order here. When inbreeding,
only inbreed to animals of clearly exceptional quality and be prepared
to cull out of your breeding program any undesirable individuals produced.
You can accentuate any faults as well as the desirable characteristics
of a line when making such matings. Thus, is behooves you to know any
of your stock’s faults as well as its good points and to be very judicious
about what individuals of a line can and should be utilized in such
matings… not all will be!
You can easily
see that a serious breeder MUST know how to evaluate
both the conformation and the pedigree of his breeding stock used in
such a program as conformation faults of horses many generations back
in a pedigree can be brought out in a foal. However, the benefits of
a well planned and thought out inbreeding/linebreeding program will
allow a breeder to reap generations of rewards for his efforts if done
entering the Arabian horse breeding business should do so with great
seriousness of purpose. You will be taking on a big responsibility continuing
on with the centuries of selective breeding of this great breed that
is unparalleled in history. Study all you can about the breed in general
as well as about the great individuals of the breed, both past and present.
Visit some breeding farms and study breeding programs. You will learn
more there than at the show ring.
There are many
types of Arabians today. Most of them excellent in their own right.
YOU must decide what suits YOUR tastes and needs before
making your investment. If you wish to become a breeder of any importance,
set your goals early and stick to them. Have YOUR ideal
Arabian horse in your mind’s eye and keep moving towards that goal.
You will not make any progress if your change every time a new fad appears
in the show ring. Breeding blue ribbon winners together to produce a
foal is so frequently done today and will not necessarily produce a
good foal and is certainly not the answer for a breeding program. Often
blue ribbon winners are not related in any significant manner and will
result in an outcross foal. Such continual matings brings about a state
of heterozygosity genetically, with very little predictability or reliability
in the uniformity of the animals produce. It is a strictly hit or miss
chance with far more misses than hits. This is one reason why the Arabian
market place of today is flooded with poor quality animals of relatively
low value. Cheap horses produced by matings made with little or not
thought or purpose.
horses requires a lifetime of dedication to really reap your desired
results. The best advice I can give you is to select your foundation
stock very carefully, buying the best quality individuals and pedigrees
that you can afford (if you can convince the owner to part with it).
Remember that the stock which you buy is really no better than the integrity
and knowledge of its breeder.
There are recognizable
families of Arabian horses in the United States bred by specific breeders.
You can see them and readily know whence they came. This can only happen
when that breeder has had an enduring breeding program to which he has
stuck through thick and thin over many years. Remember than such breeders
do exist and appreciated them for their efforts and try to emulate them.
They put in many years of labor for the love of the breed, not to mention,
the money, sweat and tears. Their true reward comes each time a newborn
foal stands and shows its indelible, unmistakable stamp of its artist/breeder.
Stoneback on Arabians
Edited by, Oak Lawn Design