Reading A Pedigree

   Inbreeding ~ a chapter
    from the forthcoming book
    "Bloodlines N Pedigrees"


        A Lost Bloodline

   REY JAY  part 1  part 2

        The Legend of Unikia

   HARLAN ~ part 1  part 2
Dixie Beach's Last Foal

Triple Cutter Bill

Triple Cutter Bill in 2006

Triple Cutter Bill moves to Texas and his historic roots!


He has been leased from Larry by the Burgess-Herring Ranch of Stinnett, Texas. The Herring Ranch was founded by C. T. Herring.

It was Herring that turned Golden Chief over to R. L. Underwood. Golden Chief was the foundation sire for Underwood's Copperbottom breeding program. Thus the Herring Ranch is the original home of Golden Chief.

Triple will be used by C. C. Burgess, Burgess-Herring Ranch owner and Jim Scudday, Burgess-Herring Ranch manager to reintroduce the Golden Chief blood back into their breeding program.

FLASH! Larry's next book,
"Bloodlines N Pedigrees" is scheduled for printing SOON!  Watch for more information here.

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Inbreeding ... from "Bloodlines N Pedigrees"

Chapter from the forthcoming book,  "Bloodlines N Pedigrees"
by Larry Thornton

(c) Copyright 2004, Larry Thornton. All rights reserved. Reprint permission must be in writing.

FLASH! Larry's next book, "Bloodlines N Pedigrees" is scheduled for printing in March, 2005!  Watch for more information here.

The general definition of a breed is "a group of animals with common ancestors and distinct characteristics that are passed on generation after generation." This ability to pass these characteristics on generation after generation comes through inbreeding.

Inbreeding is defined as "the mating of animals more closely related than the average of the population." This includes sire to daughter matings; son to mother matings, full brother to full sister matings and half brother to half sister matings.

The early development of the "pure breeds," as we know them today, provides us with some insight into the desirable effects of inbreeding. England's Robert Bakewell is considered the originator of modern breed development.

Bakewell believed in the philosophy of "breed the best to the best to get the best." So he assembled the "best" animals he could find and then set out to develop the "type" of animal he wanted. He closed his herd and that meant he had to retain only the genetically superior individuals to obtain the desired "type." This meant that he had to inbreed to set the type. Bakewell's success led others to develop "breeds" that bred true or "pure" for certain characteristics when mated within the herd.

The Celebrated American Quarter Running Horse of Colonial America experienced a similar development through inbreeding to *Janus. Quarter horse historian, Helen Michaelis assembled a great deal of colonial history on the quarter horse. She reported in the "Sons Of Janus" (THE QUARTER HORSE JOURNAL, April 1951) that colonial breeders bred their mares to winners and the sires of winners.

*Janus was one of the successful sires of colonial winners. Michaelis tells us, "After the arrival of Janus it was within the Janus family that most of the winners were found. Some of the Janus-bred horses had so many crosses to *Janus that modern writers questioned their pedigrees."

Michaelis went on to explain that *Janus stood at stud 28 years and that the Colonists believed in *Janus blood. She credits this Colonial attitude to the philosophy of, "if one Janus cross was good-several should be better."

Michaelis' report tells us that the outcome of this inbreeding, "resulted in a horse that could not run a full quarter mile.. Concentrated *Janus blood may have shortened the distance of the Colonial quarter horse but it gave him a tremendous burst of early speed and uniformity of conformation." Thus the foundation of the colonial quarter running horse came about through inbreeding to *Janus. The colonial breeders had unknowingly set the "type" of animal known today as the quarter horse experiencing desirable and undesirable results through the practice of inbreeding.

Bakewell and the early colonists were unable to use the genetic knowledge available to modern breeders. Bakewell's idea was to introduce and keep the best genetics in his herd by selection. Through proper selection, he retained the desired animals, making his herd "homozygous" for the desired traits. Homozygosity is the basis for breeds passing on the same traits generation after generation.

The genetic condition of homozygosity is best defined through a short discussion of basic genetics. The horse's genetic makeup is contained on 64 chromosomes. The genes are located on the 64 chromosomes. The genes are strands of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The DNA is the code to tell proteins how to form. Thus the genes carry the genetic material that gives the animal his physical characteristics. The animal's physical characteristics are his phenotype or what he looks like. His genetic makeup is known as his genotype.

The 64 chromosomes (32 pairs) come together when the sire and dam are mated. The sire provides 32 chromosomes and the dam provides the other 32.

The gene's location is fixed on the chromosomes and combines with another gene at that location when the embryo is formed. The two genes are called alleles. When the alleles are identical in their code, they are homozygous. If they are different they are said to be heterozygous.

The homozygous state is seen in such traits as the white faces of Hereford cattle. The Hereford breeds true for this trait. Even in crossbreeding with Angus cattle, the white face is expressed because the Hereford passes only that trait on and it is dominant in nature. (The white face masks the black face of the Angus.)

The grey gene for horses is similar. If all the foals of a grey stallion turn out to be grey in color, that means that he is probably homozygous for the grey gene and that gene masks all other colors when passed on by the homozygous grey parent.

Genes that mask their alleles are said to be dominant. Geneticists tell us dominant genes are important to breeders because they are usually the desirable genes. The genes masked by dominant genes are said to be recessive. Recessive genes affect inbreeding in several important ways.

Many of the undesirable genes are recessive in nature. When closely related individuals that carry undesirable recessive genes are mated, the chance of exposing the undesirable genes increases. (Remember that the recessive gene can only be expressed in the homozygous state and our goal in inbreeding is to make the offspring homozygous for the traits we are selecting for in our breeding program.)

In the beef cattle industry, a bull is often put on a genetic soundness test to determine if he is a carrier of genetic defects. He will be bred back to his daughters and if the genetic defect shows up in any of the offspring, he is then proven to be a carrier of that undesirable gene.

Many of the recessive genes are what geneticists call "lethal genes." The expression of recessive homozygous lethal genes causes the death of the foal at some stage of development - either before birth or shortly after birth. Thus through natural selection the lethal homozygous recessive eliminates itself and the breeder ends up without a foal.

The recessive gene can be carried for years through the heterozygous individual. The homozygous recessive is expressed when two carriers are mated with each parent contributing the recessive gene, making the offspring homozygous for the undesirable trait. Thus the chance of the recessive being exposed is increased by inbreeding to carriers of the undesirable gene.

Another undesirable aspect of inbreeding is a loss in vigor of the offspring produced. This is another by-product of recessive genes. Areas that can be affected by inbreeding are lower reproductive efficiency, poor disease resistance and animals that lack size.

On successfully inbred individuals the increased homozygosity leads to prepotency. Prepotency is the ability of an animal to stamp his/her foals with desirable characteristics, making the foals uniform in such traits as color, markings and conformation.

The positive goal of inbreeding is to increase homozygosity of the desirable traits, making the breeding horse prepotent. The legendary sire, Leo, was an inbred stallion that proved to be one of the great prepotent sires and an excellent example of what we are talking about with inbreeding.

Leo is an example of the half brother to half sister mating. Leo was sired by Joe Reed II, by Joe Reed P-3. He was out of Little Fanny, by Joe Reed P-3. Thus Leo was 2 X 2 inbred to Joe Reed P-3. This is a percent of blood of 50%. This tells us that Leo could have carried as many Joe Reed genes as an own son would carry. The percent of blood is only an estimate and we should use it as an estimate only.

The dam's of Joe Reed II and Little Fanny provided Leo with unrelated outcross blood. Joe Reed II was out of Nellene by the thoroughbred Fleeting Time. Nellene was out of Little Red Nell, a quarter mare by Brown Billy and out of Red Nell by Texas Chief.

The sire of Fleeting Time was, High Time, who was inbred to Domino, the great speed sire. High Time is by Ultimus by Commando by Domino. Ultimus is out of Running Stream by Domino. High Time's dam is Noonday by Domino. Contrary to what one might expect, Leo is not inbred or linebred to Domino, because no Domino blood shows up anywhere else in Leo's pedigree. At least as far as his known pedigree is concerned.

Leo was a successful inbred performer whose performance record is not complete. He is "officially" credited with winning 20 of 22 races during his time at Pawhuska, Oklahoma. The rest of his race record in Texas is lost and not a part of his official race record. He started his race career in Texas.

Leo developed into a sire known for his prepotency. Leo's owner, Bud Warren, stated in a 1984 interview, that Leo was "a combination of genes that clicked." Warren would breed any mare the owner wanted bred, because "the mare's owner knew what he wanted" and they felt Leo would give them that foal.

Leo was versatile in his contribution to the breed. He was the sire of 211 race Register of Merit. His race ROM include the Champions Miss Meyers, the World Champion in 1953; Mona Leta, 1953 Champion Quarter Running Three Year Old Filly; Bobbie Leo 1954 Champion Quarter Running Two Year Old Filly and Palleo Pete, 1954 Champion Quarter Running Stallion and 1954 Champion Two Year Old Colt.

Leo was just as successful as a sire in the show arena as he was on the race track. He was the sire of 33 Register Of Merit show horses, 24 AQHA Champions and 1 Supreme Champion. His top show horses include Okie Leo, Superior Reining; Holey Sox, Superior Cutting and NCHA Bronze Award winner; Leo Bingo, Superior Cutting Horse and Leob, 1958 AQHA High Point Halter Gelding. The Supreme Champion was Leo Maudie.

Leo's legacy is as a broodmare sire. He is the leading maternal grandsire of AQHA Champions with 58. His daughters are the dams of 7 AQHA Supreme Champions. The Supreme Champions are Kid Meyers, Fairbars, Milk River, Goodbye Sam, Sugar Rocket, Jet Threat and Goldstream Guard. His daughters produced 749 Register of Merit runners as well.

Leo was a good cross on a variety of bloodlines. These lines would include Oklahoma Star, Joe Hancock, King P-234 and Three Bars. When crossed back on the Joe Reed line, he sired a couple of pretty good horses in Robin Reed and Leo Gann.

Robin Reed was out of Sue Reed. Sue Reed was sired by Joe Reed P-3. Robin Reed was 3 X 3 X 2 inbred to Joe Reed. This is a percent of blood of 50%. Robin Reed was an AAA runner on the track. He is the sire of She Kitty, the 1962 AQHA Co-Champion Quarter Running Three Year Old Filly and her full brother Old Tom Cat, an AAA rated AQHA Champion.

Leo Gann was out of Chilly Nite by Joe Peed P-3. Thus he was 3 X 3 X 2 inbred to Joe Reed with that same percent of blood. Leo Gann's Register of Merit runners include Lady Gann, Leo C Inman, Leo Barb and Pita Gann. His ROM arena colts include Chico Gann, an NCHA Top Ten finisher in open cutting.

King P-234 is considered by many to be a "cornerstone" in the foundation of the quarter horse breed. King was linebred but not inbred. He was bred back to many of his own daughters and granddaughters. This practice lead to two significant contributions to the breed with the stallions King Glo and Squaw King.

King Glo was an AQHA Champion and Grand Champion halter horse. He was out of Hyglo. Hyglo was sired by Hygro, a thoroughbred. Hyglo's dam was Jetty H by King P-234. This made King Glo 1 X 3 inbred to King P-234. This is a percent of blood of 62.5%. Theory tells us that King Glo carried more King genes than a son or daughter would carry.

King Glo was the sire of the winners of three of the first four NCHA Futurities. They were Money's Glo, Chickasha Glo and Chickasha Dan. Glo Doc by King Glo was fifth in the 1964 NCHA Futurity. This gave King Glo a finalist in each of the first four NCHA Futurities with three winners.

Squaw King was a son of King and out of a daughter of King named Squaw H. Squaw H was an AAA running mare. This makes Squaw King 1 X 2 inbred to King P-254. This is a percent of blood of 75%.

Squaw King was the sire of Squaw Leo. Squaw Leo was the sire of Be Aech Enterprise. Be Aech Enterprise was a top reining horse that has become a great reining horse sire. His foals made him the second leading sire of reining horse money winners in 1992. The leading Be Aech Enterprise money winner in 1992 was B H Toy Boy, winner of over $40,000.

King Fritz was another top sire that was inbred to King P-234. He was sired by Power Command, a son of King P-234 and out of Poco Jane, a granddaughter of King. King Fritz was 2 X 3 inbred to King P-254. This is a percent of blood of 37.5%.

King Fritz was an AQHA Champion with 14 halter points, 13 western pleasure points, point in working cow horse, 7 reining points and 3 western riding points. He was an NCHA money earner.

King Fritz became one of the great reined cow horse sires on the west coast. His foals read like a Who's Who in the reined cowhorse industry. They include the famous Shirley Chex, Bueno Chex, Mitzi Chex, Moon Chex and Karen Chex.

Power Command, the sire of King Fritz was out a very interesting mare. His dam was Crickett McCue. Crickett McCue was sired Barney McCue by Jack McCue. The dam of Barney McCue was Bird McCue by Jack McCue.

The dam of Crickett McCue was Fanny McCue by Jack McCue. The dam of Fanny McCue was Bell by Jack McCue. This makes Crickett McCue 2 X 3 X 2 X 3 inbred to Jack McCue. This is a percent of blood of 75%.

Crickett McCue and her dam Fanny McCue were a good cross on King P-234. Crickett McCue was the dam of Power Command, an AQHA Champion and King Command. King Command was the sire of such noted horses as Dun Commander, Hesa Commander and Hat Band.

Fanny McCue was the dam of King Black and Cage's Cattle King. King Black was the sire of such ROM as Diana Bee, Flaxy Black, Jacky Black and Kelly Diane. Cage's Cattle King was the sire of several ROM and AQHA Champions. His AQHA Champions include No Scotch and Supreme Model.

We have determined that we can use inbreeding to develop a breed. Once the breed is founded, we can develop distinct families or lines of horses within the breed by inbreeding to the desired line of horses.

Crickett McCue was an inbred mare from the Peter McCue family. They linecrossed Cricket McCue with King to get horses like Power Command. The mating between lines is called a linecross.

Thus a linecross is the mating of individuals from unrelated lines within the breed. These linescrosses are used to get hybrid vigor in the foal. Maximum hybrid vigor is attained by mating two inbred individual that are not related within the first four or five generations.

Hybrid Vigor is the phenomenon where the foal produced is superior to the sire and dam. We get hybrid vigor from genetic diversity. As we learned earlier, we inbreed to get homozygosity and we outcross or crossbreed to get heterozygosity, which is the basis of hybrid vigor

The 1988 AQHA World Show Super Horse One For The Record serves as an example. One For the Record earned over 2,517 AQHA points in open, amateur and youth working events. She has 22 AQHA World Championship Show Top Tens, 17 AQHA High Point Performance titles. Her World titles include the Senior Hunter Under Saddle titles in 1985-87-88; World Pleasure Driving in 1989, Senior Working Hunter in 1985 and the AJQHA World title in Working Hunter.

One For The Record provides us with an example of more than just a linecross. She is a cross between breeds (the quarter horse and the thoroughbred).

The sire of One For The Record is Swift Solo, a thoroughbred that has crossed well with the quarter horse. His foals include Ima Sweet Solo, 1978 AQHA High Point Western Pleasure Horse and Sting 0 Gold, 1982 AQHA High Point Western Pleasure Horse.

The dam of One For The Record is Record Breaker 4. Record Breaker 4 is sired by Breaker Hancock by Buck Hancock. The dam of Record Breaker 4 is Roxana 4 Hancock by Buck Hancock. This makes Record Breaker 4 inbred to Buck Hancock with a 2 X 2 breeding pattern and a percent of blood of 50%.

Buck Hancock was sired by Joe Hancock by John Wilkens. John Wilkins was sired by Peter McCue. The dam of Buck Hancock was Triangle Lady 40 by Red Buck. Red Buck was sired by Buck Thomas, a son of Peter McCue.

The Joe Hancock blood in Record Breaker 4 doesn't end with Buck Hancock. The dam of Roxana 4 Hancock was Hanna Jo. The dam of Hanna Jo was Anne Jo by Joe Hancock. This makes Record Breaker 4 linebred to Joe Hancock with a breeding pattern of 3 X 3 X 4. Thus Record Breaker 4 was an outcross on the thoroughbred blood of Swift Solo.

Record Breaker 4 has been a good producing mare. She is the dam of 6 foals with 4 of them performers. Her other foals include Hit Record with 157 performance points in Youth, Amateur and Open divisions. Hit Record is a full brother to One For The Record.

We don't have to always outcross with our inbred animals. We can use them in a linebreeding program. Of course we linebreed to keep a close relationship to some outstanding individual without some of the risk of inbreeding. We don't have the space to delve into linebreeding in this look at inbreeding, but here is an example of what we are talking about.

Nevada Made has been another top show horse whose dam is intensely inbred. His pedigree indicates a linebreeding pattern to Joe Reed II. But his dam is inbred to a son of Joe Reed II.

This 1976 brown gelding was the 1990 AQHA World Championships Amateur Super Horse. This great show horse has earned 28 Hunter Hack points; 25 trail points; 10 pleasure driving points; 3.5 western riding points; 52 amateur trail points; 45.5 amateur western horsemanship points; 41 hunt seat points; 34 hunter under saddle points; 19 amateur western riding points; 5.5 amateur western pleasure points; 5 pleasure driving points and 4.5 working hunter points.

The Nevada Made world titles include the 1990 Amateur Hunt Seat World Championship and the Western Horsemanship title. He was the 1989 Reserve World Champion Amateur Hunt Seat Equitation winner and the 1990 Reserve World Champion in Amateur Working Hunter and Trail Horse.

The sire of Nevada Made was Poco Leo Bar, a grandson of Leo. His dam was Handy Bar by Three Bars.

The dam of Nevada Made was Orovada Maid by Beau Joe. The dam of Orovada Maid was Sorrel Sheila by Beau Joe. This makes Orovada Maid 2 X 2 inbred to Beau Joe. This is a percent of blood of 50%.

Beau Joe was a son of Joe Reed II. Joe Reed II was the sire of Leo. Leo was the grandsire of Poco Leo Bar, the sire of Nevada Made. This makes Nevada Made 4 X 3 X 4 linebred to Joe Reed II. This is a percent of blood of 25%.

The Poco Leo Bar X Orovada Made cross has been a good one. Beau Joe Leo Bar is a full brother to Nevada Made. He has earned has earned over 700 AQHA points in the open amateur and youth divisions. Nevada Maiden is a full sister to these two good performers and she has 21 halter points and 11 performance points.

One For The Record and Nevada Made give us two examples of using an inbred parent in a pedigree. One For The Record gives us an inbred parent outcrossed with another line or in this case breed. Nevada Made gives us an example of using an inbred parent in a linebreeding pattern.

The benefits of inbreeding are often overshadowed by the undesirable effects of inbreeding. The breeder must know where these undesirable affects come from and how they are expressed. The breeder must be conscious of the fact that not all animals are genetically sound for inbreeding. They may carry hidden recessive's or lack the quality genes they need to be successful in an inbreeding program. Thus selection of genetically superior breeding animals becomes extremely important to the success of inbreeding. ~End

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