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Vygoda
Platinum Member

United Arab Emirates

1627 Posts

Posted - 25 Feb 2006 :  08:25:30 AM  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Vygoda to your friends list Send Vygoda a Private Message
Following on from several threads on the Discussion Forum, how do you select a stallion for your mare?

From the pedigree? From a photo? From show or performance wins? From his foals? From your gut feeling after seeing the stallion and know exactly what mare would suit him phenotypically?

Jane
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Nick
Gold Member

United Kingdom
887 Posts

Posted - 25 Feb 2006 :  3:46:05 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Nick to your friends list Send Nick a Private Message
Hi Jane as the years have moved on we like to see the Stallions
female line Mother and Grandmother are very important, After that try not to double up on any faults,Show attitude is more important than results we like a showy but sensible Horse,
And then the most important hope Lady Luck will shine on us and Mother and Baby are both fit and healthy,
Nick and Mair
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Vygoda
Platinum Member

United Arab Emirates
1627 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2006 :  06:50:34 AM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Vygoda to your friends list Send Vygoda a Private Message
Hi Nick,

I am becoming increasingly confused about how to select a stallion as many people have marvelous foals without doing the homework or having a look see at the stallion!!

Well, for me and I might be wrong in this day and age, it would have to be a combination of all because I wouldn't go on just photo or just pedigree etc and of course in the end gut feeling goes a long way too. And probably nowadays there is too much choice what with frozen and chilled semen, but I spend hours looking and thinking and checking.

The other thought is what are people trying to breed for in making their stallion selection?

Have you ever used a stallion that you have not seen except on photo or video? How did it work out?

Jane
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Nick
Gold Member

United Kingdom
887 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2006 :  11:40:03 AM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Nick to your friends list Send Nick a Private Message
Jane we have always seen the Stallion, We have bought a covering without seeing the Horse but will not use it until we see some offspring and the Horse himself,
We are keen to use young Stallions with no offspring as we feel that is the only way we can afford to if they stand at a sensible price for a proven broodmare,
There are several we have liked the offspring El Perfecto springs to mind,
But always in the back of our mind is selling offspring,The trend is for people to buy abroad if you are lucky enough to have good quality fillies breeding is great,But if you keep the to many fillies you start to get overstocked,
Breeding is a difficult balance and our breeding plans for this year
are fluid but it will be with the HEART,
But you will not go far wrong with Temprement, Type, Trot, and Heads and Tails,
All sounds so simple but out of every hundred colts born one or two are Stallion material that shows how steep the hill can become to climb,
Dragon
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Lisa
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United Kingdom
2611 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2006 :  12:10:15 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Lisa to your friends list Send Lisa a Private Message
It's the hardest decision to make and you don't know if it was the right decision until the foal is on the ground. The dam line is especially important but what if you have a one off mare who has all the attributes you love is it taking a risk on what she will produce?
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tamila
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England
2532 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2006 :  1:05:46 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tamila to your friends list Send tamila a Private Message
This is very difficult but I always want to see offspring and the mare if possible and ,of course, make sure the conditions will be ok for her to go to stud.

Obviously the pedigree is also important to me. As a very small breeder I have to be careful and try to eliminate the chance of a mistake.

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Mike
Platinum Member

Eire
1872 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2006 :  5:06:17 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Mike to your friends list Send Mike a Private Message
Hi

The cardinal rule (in my view at least ) is only to breed to horses that you have seen in the flesh with your own eyes. I have only broken this rule once and for what I feel is the only acceptable excuse for not seeing a sire before breeding to him, namely the death of the horse concerned eight years previously.

So far as selecting the "right" stallion for each mare is concerned, then assuming that the aim is to produce the "best possible" foal there are I think two main routes that can be taken.

Route One

Look critically at the mare and decide on her strengths and weaknesses. You will want any foal from her to inherit the dam's good points but to be "stronger" in the areas of weakness. So off you go looking at stallions, their youngsters and perhaps most importantly the dams of those youngsters. In each case you need to ascertain what (if anything) the sire has contributed, its no use if what you like about a stallions foals could just as easily come from their dams or if those mares don't even remotely resemble yours! For example, assume your mare is a bit straight in the shoulder and has a short thick neck. You go and see a horse with a beautiful neck and shoulder, all his foals are equally good BUT so are their dams, under such circumstances it is not possible to conclude that this particular sire is likely to do much for your mare's front end. You go and see another horse, the foals aren't as uniformly impressive as the first horses, but they are all better in the neck and shoulder than your mare AND some of their dams are worse in these respects than your mare. The available evidence suggests therefore that this 2nd stallion would be a much better bet for your mare than the first! Even if youngsters by the first stallion have been winning everthing in the showring, there is no evidence at all to support the idea that yourmare would produce a foal of remotely comparable quality to those that have been doing so well in the ring. By continuing in this fashion, you can compile a shortlist of potential suitors for your mare. Once you have your list of stallions that "should" give you the kind of foal you are looking for from your mare, then you can start looking at pedigrees and damlines trying to establish on paper which of the stallions on your list should in principle give you the best chance of success. At this stage you are looking for the strongest damline, the most solid pedigree, crosses that are proven to "work" etc etc Finally having carefully mulled over the "problem" you reach a decision based on which one of a group of suitable sires is the one you think most likely to produce the desired result from your mare. Obviously if the mare has had foals previously then the result(s) is/are yet another factor that would be taken into account!

Route Two

This involves doing things the opposite way around! You tentatively decide which bloodline(s) would best suit your mare, make up a shortlist based on pedigree and then go and look at "suitable" stallions to see if (a) they actually have the attributes you are looking for and (b) actually pass those attributes onto their stock. Once you are actually looking at real horses then the process is the same as before, if you don't find a stallion of the "right" bloodlines that is physically likely to do the job that you want, then its back to the drawing board again! Pedigree on its own isn't a good enough reason to breed to any sire, you need physical corroborative evidence that what should work on paper will actually work in the real world with your particular mare! It may be that for this particular mare at this time you have to be rather more flexible in terms of bloodlines than you originally intended or not breed from her until such time as you can find the "right" stallion for her. It is undoubtedly more difficult to artificially constrain your breeding choices before you start looking than it is if you start out with an open mind and look for what seems to be the best match for your mare.

Mike
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georgiauk
Platinum Member

United Kingdom
2605 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2006 :  7:02:19 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add georgiauk to your friends list Send georgiauk a Private Message
I am a hobby breeder, breeding for myself. I bred my first Pure Arabian foal last year and chose my stallion via photographs, bloodlines and performance record. I was taking a gamble not meeting him but thought if he can do dressage to Prix St. George Level then he must have sound conformation and a good temperament to cope with that level of work. We tried twice via AI and my mare did not take so the next decision was; do we try again or use a different stallion? I chose to try a different stallion again unseen apart from photos. I did some quick homework, liked his breeding, his look and performance record and took advice from the stud about him.

I think I am lucky that I got a very nice filly who is maturing nicely. I usually see bad 1st in my own horses and I do see bits of her that I would like to change ever so slightly but overall I got a nicely conformed, typey filly who looks like she should go on to be an excellent ridden prospect and possible do well in hand if she's fashionable at the time! She is also amazingly fast so who knows she may well go on to follow in her sires footsteps.

The choice and reason for these stallions were:

1st I did not want to send my mare away to stud after previous bad stud experiences.

2nd I wanted a stallion that had proven his worth and not just in the show ring. I realise there are many good stallions in the UK with these credentials but not all of them are available by AI.

3rd, I was breeding for myself so didn’t have the worry of “is she saleable”

It would be lovely to have the time to see a potential sire’s dam and sire and offspring in person but for someone like me who works full time and has a handful of horses to care for time is limited. By the time I got round to having the time to do all of the above the mare would be way to old to breed from; a problem I encountered with my PB mare!


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Jingo
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United Kingdom
3632 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2006 :  9:19:01 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Jingo to your friends list Send Jingo a Private Message
Jane, wonderful thread - but I wonder how many see and WOW at a wonderful stallion winning in Europe or UK and MUST BREED TO THAT ONE

We hear of so many horses going through Auction rings - desperately seeking homes. Breeders who put everything in foal, without any care of where their "treasured" foals will end up.

I notice on the "new and greatly improved" AHS website you can down load the breed and standard "The Classic Arabian Horse" by Peter Upton - the uninformed and those who perhaps don't know what to look for have no excuse now.

Two words spring to mind phenotype and genotype - what you see in front of you (in the flesh so to speak) and what you can find out about all that horses ancestors - what traits are passed on, what are not - good points and bad points. If you can't see it then ASK not just one person but lots. Then make your decision.

As all have said before BE REALLY CRITICAL OF YOUR MARES AND STALLIONS. That doesn't mean to say you don't adore and love them BUT know their weaknesses and TRY to find a cross that will improve these failings.

I have been fortunate over the years that I have managed to "view in the flesh" the stallions I have used. I have also checked their families as well - I'm not quite old enough to have viewed all their ancestors BUT some older photos are more informative than you realise.

For quite a few years - I stopped breeding. Whether it's my old age or whether I have a new lease of life and a supportive hubbie and daughter and I got the "Russian bug". We have one or two foals due this year

Thankfully I have seen all sires and know what they are capable of producing. Time will tell whether the decisions were right

Our Russian mares were bought specifically for our stallion - they are good where he needs improvement and vice versa - ask me next year whether the choice was right

Jane, you mention people have "marvelous foals without doing the homework or having a look see at the stallion". It will be interesting to see whether these horses breed on or whether they are one offs. I hope the former is the answer and not the latter for the horses sake

Mike, as always you are such a knowledgable and logical thinker - let's all learn from you.

At the end of the day - stand by your decisions, remember you made the choice, look after that foal - if it's not what you expected, don't abandon it, find it the best home possible PLEASE.

Right back to checking pedigrees photos and phoning all knowledgable friends

Jude
www.auchmillanarabians.org.uk

photos:Anthony Reynolds,Sweet,Deano,Real Time Imaging
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Mike
Platinum Member

Eire
1872 Posts

Posted - 28 Feb 2006 :  03:00:27 AM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Mike to your friends list Send Mike a Private Message
One point which is always at the back of my mind when making breeding decision; which may or may not be pertinent to those of us who are breeding within a specific group of bloodlines (eg Russian, Polish, Egyptian, English etc ); is the desire not to end up breeding myself into a corner from which there is no escape! Since the major aim of each mating is (hopefully) to produce a superior broodmare for the future the nagging thought is that in achieving this one might end up with a group of horses that are so closely related that the only way forward would be a significant outcross which given current breeding trends might not actually exist when needed. One depressing fact is that despite a plethora of imported stallions over the last ten years or so, there is remarkably little choice within the individual bloodline groups and precious few of these horses have so far bred on past the first generation. Whilst on the surface there may appear to be a mind-boggling array of bloodlines to choose from, the reality on closer inspection is more like endless variations on just a handful of themes. Hence my fear of ending up with nowhere to go! I may be getting ever more cynical in my dotage, but it seems to me that an awful lot of time, effort and money is being expended on trying to breed, buy or produce last years "show winning model" based seemingly on the "wow factor". Yes there are some truly fantastic horses about but do we really need to bury them under a deluge of hyperbole in order to express our appreciation? Enough ranting! Study the great breeders of the past (and present) and try to figure out why they were so successful, there are always lessons to be learned!

As for breeding myself into a corner ....... a little lesson courtesy of Crabbet Park, whilst I only breed one or two foals a year keeping four(three SE and one not) stallions (as well as using outside sires) means that the corner of no return is a little way off yet! Incidently the average number of stallions in use at Crabbet in any one year was ten, this meant that Lady W could make extensive use of her favourite damlines without doing any close inbreeding. Food for thought if nothing else

Mike
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Vygoda
Platinum Member

United Arab Emirates
1627 Posts

Posted - 28 Feb 2006 :  07:49:40 AM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Vygoda to your friends list Send Vygoda a Private Message
One of the big probs with any breeder (me included )is that trying to breed 'straight' for any bloodline as far as any can be described as straight that is, is that there are always horses in a pedigree that we say we won't use or include which further narrows the gene pool - it is so so easy to breed oneself into a corner and very quickly too. But ... this is only if you look at the pedigree of course and realise what you are doing and not just see the sire and dam's pedigrees.

Years ago, Gladys Brown Edwards wrote many articles in the Arabian Horse World looking at horses bit by bit, and called a spade a spade by commenting on descriptions of horses made by breeders. I thought her articles were wonderful and wish they could be published in one book as the articles really made you think about what you were looking at phenotypically aka the horse in the flesh and evaluate the good and bad points. Is the problem that breeders, whether breeding one or 10+ foals a year, aren't critical enough of their own horses or maybe they don't have the knowledge to do it and just breed to the latest winners or the Wow factor on their stallion selection without deep investigation?

There are few breeders around, both today and in the past, that actually bred horses into the next/first generation so looking at what the ones that did breed horses into the 3rd or 4th or 10th generation and how they did it and how they selected the matings, should be and is very helpful indeed.

Today's thoughts .

Jane
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Mike
Platinum Member

Eire
1872 Posts

Posted - 02 Mar 2006 :  12:39:34 AM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Mike to your friends list Send Mike a Private Message
Hi Jane, I couldn't agree more, its a major problem if no matter how much you may like A, B, C, D, or E as horses you can't/won't use them because they have X, Y, or Z (or even all three!) which leaves F whom you don't like anyway! A problem exacerbated if X and/or Y are really popular lines and crop up all over the place!

Mike
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Vygoda
Platinum Member

United Arab Emirates
1627 Posts

Posted - 02 Mar 2006 :  05:23:44 AM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Vygoda to your friends list Send Vygoda a Private Message
Then one has a problem where you suddenly find a stallion with very old rare blood lines of a particular 'set' that are dying out that you would love to use, but you don't like the look of the horse that much.

I am in this quandary at the moment about an old stallion of Russian racing lines that has the S line in the tail female, generally recognised as the strongest in Russia; he himself was absolutely top class on the track and passed those genes on too, and remained sound throughout his life. But the way he looks is outside my 'comfort' zone if you know what I mean , in other words he looks nothing like any horse I own and/or have bred .

Looking at this stallion's progeny, it appears that he has never been bred to a mare with type in herself and in her pedigree, so would you gamble and send a mare to him hoping for a filly to carry on these old lines?

Jane
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suneanarab
Platinum Member

United Kingdom
1818 Posts

Posted - 02 Mar 2006 :  11:39:11 AM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add suneanarab to your friends list Send suneanarab a Private Message
we have only ever used our own stallions untill recently (unless the mare has come alreday infoal then we had no choice). i want to see the stallion in the flesh. i want to see him move and know that he has a ridden career. but as nick says, this sometimes is not practical if you know the colts stud going to shoot up the following year.

i also want to see foals on the floor, and related stock if pos. i also like to know the bloodlines and have found that my sellected bloodlines are usually in the stallion i have chosen. same as nick i would not want to risk a double fault in a resulting foal, so would pic a stallion that is strong where my mare is weaker.

suzanne walsh
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Mike
Platinum Member

Eire
1872 Posts

Posted - 02 Mar 2006 :  1:10:30 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Mike to your friends list Send Mike a Private Message
Hi Jane,

This doesn't really answer your question, but I have often thought of breeding a mare to the Saudi bred stallion Amer who also has flawless racing credentials and is pretty much unique in top class racing sires in that he happens to be asil, though I can't see him getting any asil mares to continue his lines in this form Though of course I wouldn't be breeding "straight" if I used him, I do believe that the result would be worthwhile. The one thing that stops me from doing so is his £6K stud fee!!!! Which is an awful lot of cash to spend on a whim![:8D]

Mike
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nikki
Platinum Member


Wales
4384 Posts

Posted - 02 Mar 2006 :  4:59:45 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add nikki to your friends list Send nikki a Private Message
Hi Mike,
I do admire Amer too! But yes eek, the stud fee is rather high. I've been thinking along similar lines to you. In a crosse between an se and asil stallion, in the asil, i mean 100%Bahraini stallion. Why not take a look at them Mike, although pictures do not do these horses justice! There was talk of shipped semen direct from Bahrain, www.pearlislandarabians.co.uk i think is the new web add or www.bahrainhorses.gov.bh/econtents.php you may find them intresting.
Not noing much about bloodlines when i put my mare in foal, shock horror! I based it on the strengths and weakness's of my mare, and whether or not the stallion would suit, temprement, and his offspring.
And i'm chuffed to bits with the results, far better than what i expected, and in a home for life, and she should make a great riding horse
Nikki

pagey
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Vygoda
Platinum Member

United Arab Emirates
1627 Posts

Posted - 04 Mar 2006 :  4:06:03 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Vygoda to your friends list Send Vygoda a Private Message
Mike,

When Amer came from Saudi Arabia to Qatar, if my memory serves me well, there was another stallion and 2 mares also, both mares were bred to Amer but I haven't seen the foals. I'll see if i can find out more details about the other horses - oh, another thought, just might ask for an article to be written to post on here.

Nikki, I too like Amer very much, not much to not like about him - except his stud fee which i think is more than £6K this year . He has been used extensively in this part of the world (by shipped semen) and his offspring are equally as correct and good-looking as he is, some super successful on the track.

There was another thread started about what one would forgive conformationally in a stallion, sorry for poaching. What would you all forgive as no horse is perfect?

Jane
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Mike
Platinum Member

Eire
1872 Posts

Posted - 04 Mar 2006 :  7:09:46 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Mike to your friends list Send Mike a Private Message
Quite apart from his stud fee, there is one really annoying thing about Amer and its this.

Here we have an undoubtedly world class sire on our doorstep, who is very hard to fault and has qualities that the breed here in the UK really needs and yet because he's seen as a "racehorse" he is ignored and will not have the influence here in the UK that he should have. As a nation we pride ourselves on our ability to "know a great horse when we see one" but is this actually the case, when the horse is there, under our very noses and we still can't see it!

However would I bet that if Amer was in the USA, being promoted as a "halter sire", we Brits would be selling our grannies and vital organs in order to be able to afford to use him!!! This is a seriously good horse!

Jane, you were quite right about the stud fee .... its now £8K + VAT

Mike

Edited by - Mike on 04 Mar 2006 7:21:40 PM
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Roseanne
Moderator

United Kingdom
6708 Posts

Posted - 04 Mar 2006 :  9:01:50 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Roseanne to your friends list Send Roseanne a Private Message
Mike why don't you write an article on him for the AHS News? All this information and opinion is valuable. It would be great to have the information and justification with pictures for all to see as a reference point! Would you be willing?

Roseanne
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pat day
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United Kingdom
5324 Posts

Posted - 05 Mar 2006 :  09:45:25 AM  Show Profile  Send pat day an AOL message  Click to see pat day's MSN Messenger address Bookmark this reply Add pat day to your friends list Send pat day a Private Message
Can we see a photo of him please??


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~TREASURES AT TEMPLEWOOD~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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rhoni
Gold Member


United Kingdom
910 Posts

Posted - 05 Mar 2006 :  12:00:01 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rhoni to your friends list Send rhoni a Private Message
Is it a bit contradictory to say that he's being ignored as a stallion because he's a "racehorse" when the reason that his stud fee is so high is that he's a successful racehorse sire? Surely it's a supply and demand thing? Or is all the demand from abroad?

Stallion-wise, what I look for is a horse with correct conformation, excellent limbs and a good temperament who happens to be pretty!!!! I also took very seriously the advice to breed to the very best stallion you can afford - this is not to mistake the most expensive ones as the best! - fashion can really distort value.

Edited by - rhoni on 05 Mar 2006 12:08:55 PM
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Lisa
Platinum Member


United Kingdom
2611 Posts

Posted - 05 Mar 2006 :  3:05:52 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Lisa to your friends list Send Lisa a Private Message
He has to be the most expensive Arab stallion in the world??
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Lynda
Platinum Member


England
1957 Posts

Posted - 05 Mar 2006 :  3:20:25 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Lynda to your friends list Send Lynda a Private Message
It would be lovely if you would write an article for the AL magazine!
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Roseanne
Moderator

United Kingdom
6708 Posts

Posted - 05 Mar 2006 :  5:14:41 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Roseanne to your friends list Send Roseanne a Private Message
Write an authoritative book on bloodlines and use the profits to get your covering..

Roseanne
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Mike
Platinum Member

Eire
1872 Posts

Posted - 05 Mar 2006 :  7:15:31 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Mike to your friends list Send Mike a Private Message
Perhaps, Rhoni I didn't make myself clear enough Amer certainly is a successfull racing sire, quite possibly perhaps, the best there is! Since his first foal was born in 1996, he has sired 35 individual winners of 145 races A clearer picture emerges if you consider that he is the sire of four of the top ten money winners so far this year according to the IFAHR, whilst no other sire appears more than once in this top ten His stud fee, and that he now stands to approved mares only is perfectly justifiable given that he is now 22 years old and does "produce the goods".

But so far as the general population (ie shows, pleasure riding etc) of arabian horses are concerned Amer won't have any impact at all which is a shame as well as being a wasted opportunity.


Amer 1984 (Wafa X Bushra)

Mike
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rhoni
Gold Member


United Kingdom
910 Posts

Posted - 05 Mar 2006 :  8:36:57 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rhoni to your friends list Send rhoni a Private Message
Got you, Mike! I think it's a shame that racing Arabs seem to be coming so separated from the "rank and file" - thought we already had Thoroughbreds!!
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