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tpotts
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Quote tpotts Replybullet Topic: X-Factor
    Posted: 19 November 2003 at 11:02am
I would like to hear peoples opinions on the x-factor and large hearts. What do people think about the study? Where can one get info on how to read a pedigree for a large heart? I know you can pay $50 and the asha will do a large heart analysis on the pedigree of your horse but I would like to learn how to do the analysis myself.
Tony Potts
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Quote ThomasD Replybullet Posted: 19 November 2003 at 3:56pm

There has been a considerable amount of research done on this in the last couple of years.  Most of that research has of course been on Thoroughbreds because they have been able to trace the genetics for this back to the great Thoroughbred Eclipse and the horse that most of the public has heard of having an extremely large heart is Secretariat.  Of course what the ASHA is doing is tracing a Saddlebreds pedigree back to its Thoroughbred roots as I am unaware of any extensive study done with Saddlebreds to catalog Heart Scores.  When I was younger I kept up with Thoroughbred racing religiously and was big in pedigrees and a horses Dosage Index.  My most notable success was predicting Winning Colors would win the 88 Derby, in February of that year.  In studing that I would come across mention of Thoroughbred lines that seemed to have larger hearts, but it really has only been in the last 10 years that this has been quantified, though there is research that pre-dates the discovery of Secretariat's large heart which really seemed to spur all of this.  Certainly in horses involved in racing and high energy sports a large heart provides a significant advantage.  Of course there are cases of horses with very normal size hearts also excelling because they possesed other traits that gave them great abilities.  Certainly if I was looking to buy a race horse I would give it serious consideration, though the thing I always look at first on a horse is its feet and then I go up from there. 



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Thomas
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tpotts
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Quote tpotts Replybullet Posted: 20 November 2003 at 12:09pm

The articles in the American Saddlebred magazine is what caused me to start this topic. They traced CH Imperators's bloodlines and it was full of horses with larger hearts. I also started seeing mares advertised as "double copy" and was wondering what people thought. Does it really make a difference? Will people start looking for this when selecting their broodmares? Will people want to bred to a stallion with a large heart even though he can't pass it on to his sons. Is this why some stallions throw great broodmares but their sons don't do much?

So many questions and not enough answers.

Tony Potts
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Quote ThomasD Replybullet Posted: 20 November 2003 at 1:03pm

A large healthy heart is always going to be a good thing, though for Gaited Saddlebreds I am not sure how much of an advantage it would provide considering what the horse is judged on.  Maybe in the 5-Gaited Championship on Saturday night at Louisville during the second work this might provide a judgeable(is that a word?) advantage.  I remember the second work from the 88 Championship between Skywatch and Imperator and that went long enough that there was some indication that Perry was getting tired and didn't look as well.  Of course he was 14 and his age probably offset having a large heart.  Certainly I would be interested in knowing if anyone has determined a possible heart score for Skywatch.  I will have to ask Mitch if he would have any clue as to whether he thought Skywatch had a larger heart then average.  But in either of those horses cases I don't think having a larger heart would of mattered.  What made them great was their motion, certainly Perry's Slow Gait is like no other and Skywatch was solid in all his gaits, of course his trot was his best in my opinion.  So in buying a Saddlebred I would be much more interested in how their legs were put together and what kind of motion they had instead of heart size.  I certainly wouldn't pay more for a Saddlebred because someone was pushing that it had a large heart.  I would say in order of importance I would go, motion, temperment,...,large heart.  The ... being that I could probably think of some other things to put before a large heart.  I do think this is a very important discussion because it does impact what kind of horses we are breeding. 

Thomas
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Quote mari.d Replybullet Posted: 03 December 2003 at 10:22pm
 
I wonder how many people will get duped into paying more for a "large heart"
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Quote tpotts Replybullet Posted: 04 December 2003 at 9:41am

I think there needs to be more research done before any conclusions can be made. I've seen a few stats that show like 28% have the large heart. I wonder what percentage of this year's world champions have it.

As for the X-factor, for years I've heard the mare is more important than the sire. The genetic research done has started to prove that.

Tony Potts
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Quote ThomasD Replybullet Posted: 22 January 2004 at 1:12pm
I see that they are going to have a seminar on the X-Factor at the ASHA Convention this year.  I am planning on attending and will be interested to see how many people go to that seminar as to whether there is a large interest in this topic amongst Saddlebred people.
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Quote ThomasD Replybullet Posted: 07 February 2004 at 8:52pm
We just received our 2004 Reference Book and on the back cover Reedannland has an ad with a big X and it reads, No guessing. The "X" factor is here.  Looks like someone has decided that this is a big selling point.
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Quote ThomasD Replybullet Posted: 21 February 2004 at 1:10am
Who else attended the X-Factor Seminar at the ASHA Annual Meeting?  This drew a standing room only crowd and was a very insightfull seminar.
Thomas
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Quote ThomasD Replybullet Posted: 21 February 2004 at 12:30pm
Went to the Horse Park this morning to watch Dr. Fregin perform an ECG on Gypsy Supreme.  It took Dr Fregin all of about 10 minutes to setup and perform the procedure.  He couldn't determine an exact score just by looking at the readout, but he guestimated that it would fall somewhere between a 120 and 130.  He is going to give the results at tonights Awards dinner. 
Thomas
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