Are your horses at Hawthorne bred selectively? How do you decide which horses will breed?

Yes, the stallion is usually picked for qualities he has or produces in his offspring that compliment the mare. Let’s say your mare’s family does not do well on the turf (grass races) then you would not want to breed to a grass horse. Or, she has bad feet then you would try to find a stallion that will offset this trait. Price range is usually a factor as some are very expensive. We also look at the enicks, marematch, truenicks and other tools like this to decide. In the past, I have relied on some of the breeding consultants at some of the major farms in Kentucky (everyone has different theories). After a few years of breeding, if a mare does not produce something that can run or her foals have bad conformation then most people stop breeding that mare. Some mares produce horses that may be useful in other disciplines. For instance, a mare may be bred to a breed of horse for jumping or bred to a Quarter Horse for barrel racing.

In the past year our Lady Afleet’s family has really blossomed. Her sister (Teak Totem) has produced a horse called Adios Charlie, and she has one full brother Teaks North and a half brother Wooden Phone who each have earned a lot of money and won some impressive races. This has really moved her up in the broodmare world—not to the millions or anything like that, but it has made her an interesting prospect. Last year I picked Chief Seattle for her because he was the leading sire in Indiana and because he had A+++ nick with her. This is no guarantee you will get a runner, but it beats a blank. This year I have been talking to one of the consultants in KY, and I will see if he will let us use his name and farm name on the web page. I am probably going to go with one of his picks —after all, this is what he does for a living.