The Double-Duty Stallion

Is your stallion expected to perform in both the breeding shed and the arena? Here’s what you need to know.

The Double-Duty Stallion
Quarter Horse stallion Slick by Design is a competitive barrel racer who's also one of the sport's leading sires. | Photo: Courtesy Michelle McLeod

Tips for managing stallions expected to perform in both the breeding shed and the arena

In today’s horse industry, it’s common for the most highly sought-after breeding stallions to also maintain active show careers. Regardless of discipline, owners want to breed their mares to stallions they think will produce promising offspring that will excel in their sport. But, balancing the emotional and physical stress of actively competing with breeding a full book of broodmares can be challenging. In this article we will talk with two sources well-versed in this juggling act.  

Stallions are Individuals

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all program that is going to keep every double-duty stallion mentally and physically sound throughout breeding season. Ben Espy, DVM, Dipl. ACT, a private practitioner based in San Antonio, Texas, who specializes in equine reproduction, says stallion owners have three options during breeding season.

“Some stallions, for both behavior and stamina reasons, need to be removed from the show circuit during breeding season,” he says. “Others seem to have no problem doing both, but might need to stay home during breeding season due to the logistics of being available to be collected and/or breed resident or client mares when they are in heat. And, some can truly make it all work and actively compete throughout breeding

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Written by:

Lindsay Keller is an equine freelance journalist and consultant based out of northwest Oklahoma. She also is an avid barrel racer who enjoys starting and training her own horses on the barrel racing pattern.

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