Second Virtual Owner Conference Panel Highlights Pedigrees and Conformation – Horse Racing News

The 2022 Thoroughbred Owners Conference virtual series continued on April 5 with a panel discussing pedigree and conformation considerations when selecting racehorses. The series is organized by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and is presented by the Bessemer Trust, Dean Dorton Equine and Stoll Keenon Ogden.

Sponsored by Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company (OBS), Tuesday’s session was moderated by Caton Bredar and included panelists Phil Hager, Taproot Bloodstock; Chad Schumer, Schumer Blood Agency; Gayle Van Leer, Gayle Van Leer Thoroughbred Services; and Tod Wojciechowski, director of sales for OBS.

The webinar began with a discussion of pedigrees and how to read five-cross pedigrees and catalog pages. While all bloodlines vary in their specific preferences when buying horses, this group agreed on the importance of a horse’s female family and trying to find horses that represent the most positive traits of their ancestry.

“We’re trying to repeat the good part of history and eliminate the bad part of history,” Van Leer said.

The group also discussed conformation and how different conformational defects can affect a horse’s potential as a racehorse. However, it was noted that different people have different deciding factors when it comes to conformation and that a horse does not need to look perfect to be a successful racehorse.

“If you want to see the largest collection of less than correct horses in the world, just go to the winner’s circle of every Grade 1 race in the United States,” Wojciechowski said. “These, what we call ‘defects,’ don’t mean the horse can’t run and they don’t always affect the horse’s ability.”

“You have to look for an athlete, a horse that uses himself well,” Schumer said.

In discussing the role of veterinarians in helping select or weed out horses for purchase, the group agreed that the importance of the veterinarian’s report depends on whether you are hooking the horse or buying it for the race, because the horses that go at 2 years of age -Sales during training should be strong enough to work early, while some physical issues will become less important as the horse gets older. The panel highlighted the importance of a good airway because it cannot be repaired like some musculoskeletal defects.

The last topic of discussion was about the different tools that each individual uses to help in the buying process, including the Equineline Sales Catalog app and bloodhorse Auction edge.

The third session of the virtual owners conference is a veterinary panel and will take place on Tuesday, May 10 at 2 pm ET. Sponsored by Mersant International LTD and OCD Pellets, the session will be moderated by Mike Penna of Horse Racing Radio Network and will include Dr. Larry Bramlage, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital; Dr. Lisa Fortier, Cornell University; and Dr. Steve Reed, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital. Six virtual panels are scheduled in 2022, and sessions are recorded for registrants to view at their convenience if unable to watch live.

This year, OwnerView is also hosting an in-person conference in Saratoga Springs, New York on July 25-26. Registration information for face-to-face and virtual conferences can be found at

OwnerView is a joint effort spearheaded by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association to encourage Thoroughbred ownership and provide accurate information on aspects of ownership such as trainers, public racing unions, the buying process and owned by a Thoroughbred, retired racehorse, and owner’s license.

The need for a central resource to encourage Thoroughbred ownership was identified in the comprehensive economic study of the sport that was commissioned by The Jockey Club and conducted by McKinsey & Company in 2011. The OwnerView site launched in May 2012.

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