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Kentucky International Equine Summit concludes

April 30, 2008

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The two-day Kentucky International Equine Summit held in Lexington ended Tuesday, with the session including a presentation by Ken Jackson regarding the limiting of stallion books and another by Tom Crouch regarding major sire line concentration in Standardbred pedigrees.


Jackson said the U.S. Trotting Association has imposed limits on the number of mares that can be bred to a single stallion. Beginning in 2009, new trotting stallions can be bred to no more than 140 mares per breeding year. Violators will be fined at least $25,000. 


“Standardbreds are losing their genetic diversity at an unacceptable rate,” said Jackson. “Variation is the basis for selective improvement.”


In addition to the mandated limit, Jackson said more stallion lines must be incorporated into future generations. One method of achieving this result is to bring Standardbred stallions from other parts of the world to North America for breeding purposes. Jackson’s Kentuckiana Farms recently announced it was bringing leading Australasian sire Christian Cullen to North America for the 2009 breeding season.


Crouch’s presentation noted that the 2007 Little Brown Jug winner Tell All, who Crouch bred, carries an extraordinary number of crosses to the foundation stallion Hal Dale.


Little Brown Jug director of marketing Phil Terry was also a panelist and he made a presentation on behalf of what was termed “the biggest party in harness racing.”


Terry said the Jug survives on its history and tradition. “Everyone in the town of Delaware shares ownership of the event,” he said. “I wish everyone had the crowds we do, and that’s in spite of everything we do going against current culture.”


Unlike most American racetracks, the backstretch and barns at the Jug are open to the public, where people can interact with the horsemen and horses, Terry said.


Other speakers among the 90-same panelists were racetrack expert Dan Coon and Communicators Corner of the Hall of Fame member Dean Hoffman. (with files from Kentucky International Equine Summit release)

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