The light switch goes on for pedigree researcher Roger Lyons

8 thoughts on “The light switch goes on for pedigree researcher Roger Lyons”

  1. One Group-winning son of Doubly Sure, Rudimentary (by Nureyev, although physically he was nothing like his sire), is conspicuous by his absence in the above. Granted, Rudimentary wouldn’t have sired much worthy of Galileo’s court and while not yet tried to my knowledge, it would certainly be a ‘doubly’ interesting breeding.

  2. So let me get this right.

    Roger co-created a system with Jack Werk that does not use a slither of opportunity (i.e it doesn’t use all foals bred, just the stakes winners and creates a hypothetical cross) to create a system (eNicks) that now routinely rates up to 60% of the entire population as elite on their own standard. For the late Mr Werk, he was the “go-to guy” when critics arose about the system not using opportunity and wrote on numerous occasions defending the Werk Nick Rating/eNicks and indeed attacking competition like TrueNicks when it emerged using opportunity saying that it wasn’t required and indeed that opportunity was a waste of time.

    Now he has created his own system which uses opportunity and, in his efforts in disabusing pedigree nerds of their often ridiculous claims, he now claims that the use of opportunity (i.e how many times an ancestor has appeared) is important.

    What an interesting world we live in.

  3. Frank:

    It has been interesting to follow. At present, this model is used exclusively by Roger for 4 private clients. One of them, by the way, is one of the most successful breeding farms in the business.

  4. Ab (sic) Abolendam, sounds like you can’t decide if you’re for it or against it. Well, here’s my answer. I’m for using opportunity in situations that control for its quality, as in the case of mares bred to an individual stallion. I’m against it in situations that involve a range of breeding stock, much of which does not represent true opportunity at all, as in the case of a sire-line cross. So, the hypocrisy you’re looking for just isn’t there. I would refer you to my initial series of blog posts in which I addressed all of the issues you raise, including those deceptive claims about the Werk Nick Rating, when Byron Rogers first raised them long ago.


  5. Only a few scientific studies have been made to determine the actual value of a pedigree. One of the most comprehensive of these was done by Dr. Dewey G. Steele of the University of Kentucky. Thoroughbred stakes winners of 1935-1940, and arbitrarily chosen horses that failed to make a good record during the same years. The “poors” were the horses who finished last in their races, exclusive of accident and breakdown, using a predetermined sampling system of races held on cetain days through the season. All of these pedigrees were broken down into the percentage of blood of each of the famous male lines such as Domino, St. Simon, Bend Or, Isonomy, Galopin, Hampton, Hermit, Eclipse, Herod and Matchem. It was amazing to see how little was the variation between the pedigree percentages of the winners and the “poors.” Dr. Steele remarks, “Minor differences between the superior and the poor horses were hardly consistent enough nor great enough to be of
    practical significance.” Incidentally a similar study of American Saddle Horses showed the same thing in regard to the pedigrees of the top winners and those of average or poor quality.

  6. Roger,

    I appreciate the time you have taken to reply and after going back and reading your initial posts on this subject, I can see where you are coming from but I am still however a little mystified by the logic here.

    You rightly point out that when is it possible for the use of opportunity (i.e when the sire can be fixed and his progeny and performance is known) then it should be used as you do with the LyonScore, but then what is the logic behind the Werk Nick rating not using opportunity when the same condition exists?

    If you take a thoroughly proven sire like say Giant’s Causeway as an example, surely it would make sense for the Werk Nick rating to use opportunity in this case rather than still relying on its hypothetical calculation at that time?

    It is well known that he has done well with Mr Prospector line mares and in particular with Seeking the Gold (Mr P out of a Buckpasser mare) he has 64 foals of racing age for 5 stakes winners. But out of mares by Woodman (bred on the same Mr P / Buckpasser combination), he is 35 for 0! Why would the Werk Nick rating continue to rate Giant’s Causeway highly with Woodman mares with a 35/0 strike rate?

    If it is good enough with proven horses for the LyonScore to use opportunity at that time, why not the Werk Nick Rating? It seems to me, at least in the case of proven stallions there is a disconnect between your philosophy behind the application of the LyonScore (using opportunity) and the reality of the Werk Nick rating (not using opportunity).

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