Yep that's right, I'm posting a breeding thread! Things have changed and I'd like some honest opinions.
I've always considered breeding Zierra - I know she is not an example of perfection in her breed, but living in Manitoba we have a SERIOUS shortage of Arabians. The breed is practically endangered where I live, Arabs for sale are virtually unheard of. We do have several studs available, none of which I am interested in. I was looking at Khartoon Khlassic for awhile, but was unsure about the potential issues with distance.
I have just discovered that one of our renowned endurance competitors is bringing in possibly the greatest Arab to ever set hoof in Manitoba. I am completely blown away. He was imported from Poland to the US in 2007 and now is coming here. He was a halter champion in BOTH Europe and US (Top Five/Ten at Scottsdale). He was raced in Poland, and has sired racehorses. Most notably though, he is known for siring absolutely amazing sporthorse Arabs that look good and can do anything you ask of them.
So I have a few options at this point and would love opinions. Zierra is unregistered, so the foal would be registered Half-Arab which I don't have a problem with, but need to compete in any Arab shows or work towards legion of merit in endurance. The foal would be completely personal - and if I COULDN'T keep it, I can guarantee I would have zero problems selling it in Manitoba for a very decent price. I would be selling Jynx going into this endeavor after a breeding exam verified Zierra as being sound for breeding. She just turned 12 years old this month and is a maiden - any opinions on that? If so, what is the longest you would advise waiting before breeding pending breeding soundness approval?
A quick search of Equine Hits shows no Arabs for sale in Manitoba. There are a handful for sale in Ontario and a few more throughout Canada, mostly older or not suited for what I want. Kijiji shows a Friesian/Arab for sale (no), as well as a 15 year old mare for sale and another for lease. We DO have a farm that breeds for PMU and have several registered Arabs and Half-Arabs for sale. A link to their site:
I would not be opposed to potentially buying something there, but these are not quality animals. They are decent, but very much just mass produced with not much by way of notable bloodlines or accomplishments. I have heard very little about any of their horses competing around here, and the ones I HAVE heard of are not the Arabs.
So that brings me to *Empres, the glory of my eye:
*Empres PASB - Pure Polish Arabian stallion - *Empres PASB
And his soon to be owner also posted this amazing video of one of his sons in Poland, named Best Under Saddle Arabian for 2009. He's also shown on the offspring page and noted for all his success in a HUGE variety of disciplines.
And of course we get to Zierra. She was born with me, daughter of a little bay abused and neglected unregistered mare my uncle came to own. We are unsure who her sire was, but the breeding was kept very much in the family and my uncle had a falling out with the CAHA and stopped registering his horses. So we know she's the same blend of mostly Crabbet and a bit of Egyptian lines that ALL the Arabians around here are. She is a super athletic mare with a fantastic attitude. She has the greatest mind I've ever worked with, and is just a doll. I trust this horse with my life. She's done it all - distance riding, Dressage, jumping, gaming. We haven't competed much, but she won 1st and 3rd at her very first Dressage show, as well as a couple years ago took a TON of ribbons for me at a big local gymkhana (1sts for flag, egg and spoon, juice box race, 2nd for ribbon race, and 3rd for pole bending). My biggest concern has been the issues with her legs and feet, which I am quickly seeing has been the cause of bad farrier work years ago. In six months, we've brought her feet back to near perfection and her leg injuries as a result are healed. She's never actually gone lame, just suffered some damage to her tendon sheaths.
A few pics of her to judge yourself:
A few months old
3 years old
As a 4 year old
First time free jumping at 4
Free jumping 3'9" at 5
Riding (9 years old)
Jumping in a halter (9 years old)
Standing square (10 years old)
Movement (10 years old)
And for fun, this is the only vid I could find, I apologize for it's annoyingness skip to 3:25 to see Zierra pole bending - this is the FIRST time she EVER did pole bending. Just as an example of the fantastic mind on this mare - and she's being ridden in a french link snaffle.
ROFL, what a novel eh? So I suppose I can sum it up like this:
1. Do you think a mating between Zierra and *Empres would be a good idea? Why or why not?
2. If not, do you think I should examine purchasing a Hedgeville Farm horse?
3. If not, should I examine purchasing a horse out of province?
4. If not, should I examine potentially purchasing a mare worthy of *Empres? (again, this would require out of province and I DO have a budget here, I can handle several thousand on stud fees and vet bils, however getting past 5K is pushing it).
I am VERY partial to having a foal, having raised Zierra from birth. Training Jynx has been fun, but I much prefer getting ahold of them before anyone else does.
Thanks a TON for any input!!