I've asked this of a couple of racing blogs, because I figure the more the merrier and I'll have a better chance of finding an answer, right? What I'm trying to figure out is, can a horse be offered for stud services before he is done racing? I know it is unconventional and will probably never happen in the US, but I have to wonder. Why retire a horse so early to make money in the breeding shed when you can keep racing and offer services after hes proved himself?
Asked by Anonymous
From what I understand (and this is something I learned from the world of show horses who typically don’t have anywhere near as strenuous a workload as a Thoroughbred), the majority of stallions have issues separating their hormones from their heads, like they’re unable to concentrate on more than one thing at once. Aside from the mental mindset, I think breeding stallions also tend to lose their form and gain weight because they’re breeding, not training. Show stallions are usually retired after they begin their stud careers because they are more interested in getting to know the ladies than competing against them and other horses. Some stables make it work and are able to show and breed the stallion at the same time by collecting and storing their semen for later artificial insemination, but that sort of thing isn’t allowed in Thoroughbreds. For all these reasons, it makes it hard to consider a dual lifestyle for a guy horse.
I do believe the owners of multi-G1 winner Acclamation were considering this because the horse kept having injuries that sidelined him, but they didn’t want to retire him to stud before he had a shot at the Breeders’ Cup. This was a while ago, so I’m not sure if this is still their plan, but some people want to try to make this happen so others might follow their lead and not retire their three-year-olds so soon.