Sariska’s refusal has some family history, as it turns out

9 thoughts on “Sariska’s refusal has some family history, as it turns out”

  1. Someone close to the action at Walmac and Alleged emailed this in:

    He was pretty tough at Walmac until he got really old, and even then he had a presence that was amazing. He owned the joint.
    When Alleged was young generally the stud groom would snap the shank on Alleged over the fence near the gate and then walk him down to the gate while still outside the paddock. At the paddock gate another groom would snap a second shank on the off side of the halter and both grooms would lead Alleged to his stall. And the chain portion of the shank stayed on the halter so a person didn’t have to thread it through every time he handled Alleged. Too dangerous.
    Alleged was terrified of things like blowing leaves or any stray paper blowing by and would freeze when he saw things like that. Once when Mo Fredericks was the farm manager back in the 80s Alleged grabbed him or J.D. Howard, the farm vet-can’t remember which- and threw him to the ground. I think they were breeding a farm mare after hours and didn’t have a full crew there, something like that. Alleged was about to paw the man, and remember Alleged had seriously hurt(killed?) a man in Europe. Whichever man was free, Mo or J.D., in an instant grabbed a roll of paper towels and threw them at Alleged. The stallion froze long enough for the other man to crawl to safety. And if I remember correctly after that day a roll of paper towels was left in the breeding shed expressly for that purpose, to be used only in case of emergency.
    I’ll ask J.D. or Kenny the stallion handler the exact facts but I’m sure all this is correct. I think it was Mo under Alleged, which would have made sense since J.D. as vet wouldn’t normally have been on the shank.
    I don’t think the general public realizes how violent and dangerous this game gets on occasion.

  2. This is a great post. Noticing these details always helps breeders and trainers. The science people will say that the best genetic testing results are obtained from defining the trait in as much detail as possible. The tests that can be run to trace this behavior to its origin are becoming reality.

    I think this behavior could be visual or possibly the type of difference in temperament seen in equine social structure. Adaptive behaviors for natural conditions, such as some animals in the group being more timid and prone to hide, are not helpful to humans trying to train horses that’s for sure.

    This type of trait is considered heritable in dogs, and guide dogs trainers are aware of this. The dominant and subordinate ones are born that way, but this effect may be environment – gene interaction during gestation or foal development. It can be caused by the genome but may not be hereditary. I certainly will always be looking for new info on this subject of equine behavior genetics.

  3. Very interesting stuff Sid, great info and a great read. Hopefully we don’t see the same from Sariska again althought something is telling me this is unlikely to be the last time something similar happens….

    If you remember the Newmarket Champion Stakes from last season she pretty much trickled out of the stalls once the gates had opened….

  4. There are too many notable quirks in other animals for this filly’s reaction not to be inherited. And I am sure this can even skip generations. And an intriguing story about Alleged. The public need to know that these animals are closer to agricultural animals than pets. Therefore safety is always an issue. Terrific blog.

  5. Thank you Sid for this wonderful post.

    Often as breeders…we overlook some mental issues in a future stallion or broodmare when it is now obvious this is just as important as their conformation. I raced a filly who was a champion 2yo in DR by Lyphard’s Wish from the wonderful family of Corsage. At 4, she began to get rank at the gate and refuse to start so we retired her to the farm. She foaled a talented filly who at 3 decided not to start as well. Bred that daughter and her first foal was a talented 2yo and appeared to be a classic contender in our country. Guess what….now a 3yo the colt has begun to bolt out in the stretch!

    Needless to say…..we got rid of the mare AND her daughter!

    Angel Contreras

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