Insiders guide to breeding
The breeding process
Are you passionate about harness racing and now want to take the next step and breed from your mare?
You are in the right place! The NZ Standardbred Breeders’ Association is a network of Standardbred breeders with a wealth of experience. We can put you in touch you’re your local regional affiliate who will be able help you with this next step in harness racing!
Below is an outline of the process of breeding from your mare, if you have any questions please contact us.
Setting your breeding goals
Before you start this journey – have a think of what you want to achieve by breeding from your mare.
- Breed to sell?
- Breed to race?
The two options above can play a big part in your breeding decisions.
If you are breeding to sell – your resultant foal needs to be deemed ‘commercial’. Stallion popularity comes and goes, the boom stallion today may not necessarily be commercially viable when your foal hits its straps some 3 years later – of course many breeders will tell you that is the fun of breeding, predicting the future!
Be honest, is your mare of good enough quality to breed from? Look at her race history; her black type; her pedigree (family tree); her conformation (how she is put together) and temperament.
If she does not tick most of the boxes she may not be deemed commercial enough for the resultant progeny to sell well, no matter how good the sire is.
However, champions do come from everywhere! If you want to breed from a non commercial mare, you still have options when it comes to selling. You will have to wait a while (minimum 3 years) but you can get the horse qualified and sell through a bloodstock agent, or race the horse and sell on.
If you are breeding to race – it is still very wise to consider the qualities of your mare – to give you a greater chance of breeding a foal that will go onto race, however the commerciality of the mare may not be so important to you.
The old adage breed the best to the best is generally a good one to follow, however like any good plan do your research!
There is a wealth of statistical information, theories and industry experts only too willing to share their experience and knowledge.
To start with click here to visit Harness Racing New Zealands infohorse programme. This has a wealth of information on every standardbred in New Zealand including stallion statistics.
The NZSBA produce the Register of Standardbred Stallions which showcases stallions that are available to the NZ breeders – click here to view.
If you would like to be put in touch with an experienced breeder, please contact us.
Set a budget
Now you have an idea of your breeding goals, have done some research and asked lots of questions it is time to work out your budget. The breeding industry works on being very transparent the NZSBA Stallion guide has all the current service fee prices listed, we also produce a guide to costs associated with breeding a mare – click here to view.
Costs will vary, some breeders choose to have mares graze at home and send to a stud or broodmare farm for foaling, others will keep the mare at stud for her whole breeding career.
Take the time to decide how you will manage your mare and ring the studs to find out their fees/grazing rates etc – they are all very approachable.
Now the fun begins: you’ve found your mare and found the stallion – now is the time to wait and see what the future may bring.