TOBA Breeding Clinic Concludes in Lexington

From May 31 to June 2 owners and breeders from around the United States and Canada converged in Lexington, Ky., to further their knowledge of the Thoroughbred breeding industry through a breeding seminar presented by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA).

Participants spent three days immersed in all the various aspects of the breeding process; the clinic included presentations on topics ranging from the physiological details of equine reproduction and foaling to theories of pedigree research, biomechanical measurements, and equine diets and nutrition.

Representatives from The Jockey Club and the The Jockey Club Information Systems were also on hand helping to familiarize attendees with the necessary identification and registration procedures as well as the research services available to owners and breeders.

During the May 31 visit to Machmer Hall in Paris, Ky., owners Carrie and Craig Brogden shared their experience in breeding and sales and opened their barns to the TOBA contingent to watch veterinarian Arnoldo Monge, DVM, of Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, work on three mares.

Monge checked the various stages of pregnancy of three mares, explaining each step of the procedures along the way as he palpated and performed ultrasounds on the mares. Rounding out the visit were demonstrations in corrective hoof trimming by the Brogdens' farrier, Victor Zambrano, who explained the goals in trimming the hooves on each of two of the farm's foals, taking into account the foals' future growth and preparation for sale as yearlings.

The afternoon of June 1 included a tour of Frank Stronach's Adena Springs near Paris, Ky., where attendees partook in discussions on stallion conformation, stallion contracts, and a viewing of a live breeding. General manager of Adena Springs, Eric Hamelback, shared the farm's preferences and philosophies in evaluating stallions and planning matings.

Also at Adena Springs, attendees observed Thoroughbred stallion Macho Uno covering a visiting mare.  Hamelback and the Adena Springs' breeding staff explained each step of the process—from the mare's arrival and interaction with the teaser stallion, to her preparation, and finally the mating in the shed—in detail.

Cormac Breathnach, Adena Springs' stallion manager, concluded the afternoon with a discussion of types of contracts and shares, the farm's mating recommendations, and the process of booking stallions. Attendees learned about the various options open to breeders and suggested considerations to make when breeding their mares.

The final day of the clinic included lectures on nutrition, pasture, and forage during the morning session, followed by a visit to Darby Dan Farm near Lexington for further discussions on stallion selection, mating planning, and farm management practices.

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Melaina Phipps

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