Too Much of a Good Thing?
Tara Madgwick - Thursday, 18 May 2017
If you had the thought that there seem to be a lot of first season sires to choose from in 2017 you would be right.

In 2017, the list of first season sires standing at a fee of $16,500 or more in Australia has blown out to some 20 stallions, which is almost double the number of first season sires in that higher price bracket in any previous year back to 2000.

Given their fee and placement at leading commercial farms, these stallions will be expected to attract 100 plus books of mares and competition to secure those good books of mares is likely to put broodmare owners in the box seat.

There are only so many commercial mares to go around, so think wisely before jumping into a first season horse this spring as there are so many options to consider, all of them with positives and negatives.

Remember as a broodmare owner, you are doing the stallion owner a favour if you choose his stallion, not the other way around.

Potting first season sires is like shooting fish in a barrel as most will fail, but that said, good sires and possibly champion sires will emerge from this grouping and a wise selection can be life changing.

In choosing one of these stallions, you need to consider what your goals are as a breeder.

Are you hoping to produce a champion?

Are you hoping to produce a yearling that makes a lot of money?

If it's the former, you can pick what you like, but if it's the latter you need to look at the farm standing the stallion and consider what support they are giving this horse and also gauge what the auction houses think of this stallion as you need to pick a horse that come 2020 is going to be popular with buyers, not breeders.

The obvious horses are not always the big winners.

I Am InvincibleLet's take a look back to 2010.

Nine stallions stood for a first season fee of $16,500 and upwards headed by Manhattan Rain at $49,500 and Big Brown (USA) at $44,000, followed by Denman, Wanted, Onemorenomore, Nicconi, Duporth, All American and Von Costa de Hero.

The group features a couple of rank failures, some handy stallions and horses such as Manhattan Rain, Duporth and All American, who have all sired Group I winners in Australia this season, but are not considered worthy of a place in the Hunter Valley.

The best stallion by a mile to come out of the 2010 intake of sires is I Am Invincible, a modest Group III winner who stood at a fee of $11,000 for his first four seasons and now stands at $110,000.

2012 was seen as a vintage intake of sires with 12 stallions standing for $16,500 and upwards headed by the dynamic duo So You Think and Sepoy at $66,000.

Five years on and the service fees tell the story with So You Think priced this year at $60,500, while Sepoy is at $16,500.

First crop Sepoy yearlings averaged an amazing $286,346 at the 2015 Magic Millions and a gobsmacking $379,091 at Inglis Easter, so if you chose him to breed you a commercial yearling he was a massive winner, despite the below expected performance of his stock on the track.

Take your time, do your homework and make a selection if going down the first season path is the one for you and your mare.

At this point in time there is no wrong answer, everyone's a genius!

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