My methods as a pedigree analyst are comprised of a combination of techniques.  There are a few methods that I employ for planning matings or to analyse existing pedigrees for racing potential.

In the tradition of Federico Tesio, I use line breeding as a major component of my analyses.  To use this effectively, I use the computer program TesioPower, which carries well over a million horses. The program allows me to look down the tail female and tail male lines, tracing to their taproot mares; assess the level of line breeding and inbreeding; look at a tabulated pedigree onscreen back to ten generations; and carries many other analysis tools such as ‘X Factor’.

Line breeding, which entails reinforcing desirable ancestors in a pedigree in the fifth generation and further back, can require a lot of research.  I find with some pedigrees that their genetic strengths are more apparent or summarised if you like, through ancestors closer up, whereas some require careful scrutiny further back.

Inbreeding (duplicating an ancestor within four generations) is another consideration.

When analysing a mare, I will assess her racing ability and pedigree strength before deciding whether to employ inbreeding in a mating for her.   Weaker pedigrees and slow racehorses often need a good genetic ‘kick in the ribs’ to boost their effectiveness in a mating, and informed inbreeding (to the right ancestors) is often a dynamic technique.

Inbreeding has to be used judiciously – conformational and inherited problems need to be carefully looked at and if possible, the ‘perpetrator’ in the pedigree indentified.  In general, the results are usually more successful when the ancestor to whom you are inbreeding is duplicated through a son and a daughter rather than through one sex only (sex balanced inbreeding).

Another aspect, which usually falls into the inbreeding category, is the Rasmussen Factor. This term is used to describe a pattern where a prepotent female is duplicated in the pedigree through two (or more) different offspring.

Another phenomenon, which I call ‘pattern breeding’, involves the coupling or grouping of influential ancestors in the pedigree for maximum effect.  Over the years I have observed that a high percentage of successful racehorses have pattern repetitions in their pedigrees.  For instance, the modestly bred champion Intergaze had several Nearco / Hyperion crosses in his pedigree.

Once those elements have been assessed, I then examine—using detailed online sire and broodmare sire statistics—the level of success that various crosses up close in the pedigree have attained. The strike rate and AEI (average earnings index of the progeny) of these crosses is taken into account.

In summary, our final assessment of an existing pedigree or a potential mating is the result of a holistic view of the pedigree, encompassing recognised methods and proven patterns.