New Players and Breeding - Researching Stallions
by Regina Moore posted 2011-03-14 10:01 pm PDT
One of the many, many, many benefits of being a SIMperior player (which is a subscription purchased with game points) is access to the Stud Book. I find it hard to fathom a player attempting to be a serious breeder without all the useful information in the Stud Book. Let me just briefly mention what you get with the Stud Book:
1. Stallions listed within their breed/distance/surface category.
2. Being able to sort any of the above listings by any of the columns. In other words, you can sort a group of stallions by earnings, by stud fee, by geographical location, etc.
3. Stats for each stallion on number of foals, number and percent of winners, number of stakes winners, average earnings per runner, etc.
4. Seeing a listing of the stallion’s top ten earners, and the broodmare sire for each. So, at a glance, you can see which bloodlines the stallion crosses best with.
5. Seeing any offspring by the stallion that is currently available for sale or at auction.
6. Being able to view rankings of stallions by breed, and then by crop (All, or select a first through fourth crop), and then by criteria, such as percent of stakes winners.
Just how cool is all of that?
If you’re in a position where you just plain can’t get a SIMperior account, you’ll have to make due with the tools that are available in SIM.
The most common method of trying to choose a stallion is to find out what the mare’s bloodlines have already crossed with successfully. To do this, you can go to the Search page. On the left side, you can type in the name of your mare’s sire in the “Dam Sire” box. Click “Horse Search” at the bottom and you’ll get a listing of all the horses with the same dam sire, and the columns will also show the sire of all of these horses. Sort the list by earnings, and you’ll see the best horses at the top, and be able to determine if the same sire’s name (or sire line) shows up multiple times for the top earning horses. If so, you know that stallion (or one of his sons) is a good cross for your mare. (Also, you could check the “stakes winners” box near the bottom, before clicking “Horse Search”, so only the stakes winners will be listed.)
If the mare’s sire is young and doesn’t have many grandbabies that have raced much, then you might have to use her paternal grandsire instead.
Another approach you can take is researching from the standpoint of a potential stallion. Click on a chosen stallion and then his “Progeny” tab. Sort the “Earnings” column so that the leading earners are on top. You can start clicking on those leading earners and see who the dam sire is for each one. If the same sire or sire line as that of your mare shows up at least once – preferably more often – in the top ten horses or so, then you’ve got a good match.
Also, don’t overlook the Forum. Some players are constantly advertising their studs, and updating the success of their offspring. It can be a way of becoming familiar with a variety of stallions. Just bear in mind that such advertising is, of course, geared toward making each stallion appear as attractive as possible. Nothing can take the place of doing your own research with a reasonably healthy skepticism.
Breeding is certainly one of the most attractive aspects of SIM. Most every player wants to get involved in breeding their own horses. As with real life, there’s an element of randomness. While great horses in real life usually have great bloodlines, there are thousands of horses in real life with great bloodlines that never amount to anything at all. Same for SIM.
So, please don’t think you’re a bad breeder when your horses don’t turn out to be as good as you hoped, or as good as you feel they legitimately should have been, given the quality of the parents. This happens to all of us, breeding after breeding after breeding. Most of the top breeders in SIM go through a *lot* of disappointments to funnel down to those few that actually win stakes races or become champions.
The Steward quotes in her signature line on the Forum, “There's no secret to training a good horse. It's a matter of being fortunate enough to get one." Beyond the basic rules (breed “like to like”, etc) one can pretty much say the same thing about breeding.
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