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One of the best things my mentor Gordon McKinlay ever told me as an apprentice was “If he’s a good stud, he’ll make a great gelding.” I have never forgotten those words, especially when I established my breeding program. Ninety-five percent of the studs out there should not be studs. I know I’m going to offend a few people, but most people who think they have a great stud just have a horse with testicles. I truly believe that only the elite of the elite should be kept as stallions. An elite stallion isn’t just elite because of his ability and mind, but for his conformation as well. As soon as you leave out conformation when breeding horses, you’re going to run into problems.
Unfortunately, when some people are advised to cut their stallion, they take it as a personal attack. It’s nothing personal, it’s just business. I hear about a lot of stallions that are unmanageable or have seriously injured people and it’s a shame. In most cases, they could have been trained as geldings, but weren’t because of pride or a lack of common sense and are now wrecked and ruined.
I’ll be the first to admit that there’s nothing better than a truly great stud. When you’ve got a stud that’s talented, athletic and good-minded, he’s the greatest thing in the world to ride. Then again, there’s nothing worse in the world to ride than a bad-minded stud with a sorry attitude.