“I don’t know many that have stallions that are honestly profitable, so it is often a commitment to the stallion and program that keeps most people hooked," Amy states. Photo © Kelly Graphics

Behind the Scenes: Breeding and Owning a World Class Stallion

What’s it like owning and breeding a world class stallion? When thinking about breeding, some may think money, some may think hard work, others may think it’s glamorous or they may consider all the above.

Regardless, it’s the hard-working and knowledgeable breeder that has helped move our industry forward by producing higher quality horses with impressive bloodlines.

Without question, the stallion must prove themselves as a great sire, but a lot of behind the scenes work and dedication is required to make him a success. So what does it take?

GoHorseShow had the pleasure of speaking with renowned breeder Debbi Trubee of North Farm, who has an upcoming stallion, Makin Me Willy Wild, also known as Geoffery. We also spoke with Amy Gumz of Gumz Farms, who is known for her stud, Its A Southern Thing, aka Moon Pie.

Trubee grew up in the suburbs and, like a lot of horse-crazy little girls, she got a pony when she was ten-years-old. That was when she decided all she wanted to do was work with horses. The rest is history, as they say.

Gumz also had a love of horses at a young age. Amy didn’t get the chance to show on a national level until after college, but that is when her love of horses expanded and transformed into the breeding side of the horse industry.

Making A Great Stallion

Both ladies agree that emphasizing the maternal side is the ticket for a potential stud.  “For a baby to be considered stallion material, they must have correct conformation first and foremost,” Debbi says. “Additionally, they must be great minded and exceptionally talented.”

Not only do these factors play a part in making a great stallion, both Gumz and Trubee agree, “Disposition and trainability are also key.”

Finding The Right Trainer

From the start, Trubee already had someone in mind to campaign Geoffrey. “Roger and I have known the Lakins forever. We know Kenny and Ashley to be, first and foremost, great caretakers and honest people. They are both talented horse trainers and can adjust their program to a horse’s needs.”

Not all are as lucky as Debbi when it comes to finding the right fit. “If you are looking for someone to train and show your stallion, you need to see which programs take and excel with stallions,” Gumz states. “Then, you need to assess the abilities and temperament of that individual horse and match it with the trainer who can work with those attributes toward a common goal.”

Things That Make It Special

Owning a horse, let alone a stud, can be hard work, but it can also be gratifying. So what makes owning a stud so unique?

“The most special part of Geoffery is that we raised him. We knew right from the start he had the ‘it’ factor. You never know if they will mature, ride and win, but we committed to giving him the very best chance to succeed with the team we picked for him, ” Debbi shares.

Along with hard work, it also takes a financial investment for great stallions to succeed. “I don’t know many that have stallions that are honestly profitable, so it is often a commitment to the stallion and program that keeps most people hooked,” Amy says.

Economy vs. Breeding

Like anything in today’s world, things take money. There are also times when the economy is not at its best and things tend to slow down in general, also affecting the horse industry.

Debbi told us, “I think as long as there is a demand for quality horses, the breeding business will hold up. It has separated into a select group of stallions getting most of the mares.”

Gumz has also felt the effect of the economy. “Breeding often falls under the disposable income category for most. When things tighten up, and there are hard demands on your income, there is no real reason to breed your horse. Some breeders can weather the storm as the economy and market is cyclical and always comes back, but the position of this economic cycle has a huge impact.”

Advice For Potential Breeders

Debbi advises, “Patience would be the first piece of advice I would give someone. It takes five years from the first breeding season to know if a stallion will be of merit.”

Alongside the patience and the showing comes the money and the judgment. Amy adds, “Talk to some seasoned owners. Weigh the cost and sacrifices, along with all the good and glory. Be sure to toughen your skin; you will need that.”

Owning a stud can be a very rewarding, yet a challenging thing to endure. With patience and perseverance, you can become a successful breeder with a respectable reputation, a forever horse and a legacy of champions.

Photos © Kelly Graphics, North Farm, KC Montgomery, Larry Williams

About the Author – Carly Baker is from northern Indiana but resides in central Indiana. She has been around horses almost her entire life. She started with 4-H and then moved to showing at AQHA shows. Baker made her first AQHA Congress debut in 2016 where she ended up top 10 in all events shown. Like everyone, her goal is to be a Congress and world champion eventually. She is always told to never give up on dreams, so why not dream big?