Behind the Foaling Door
Rejecting Foals

Hello, and welcome to another installment of Behind the Foaling Door! When we send away for pedigrees, we are always under the assumption that the pedigrees will go through with no problems and that the foals will be accepted. However, some people have had the unpleasant experience of having a foal turned down. Others have had to struggle with whether or not they would accept a less-then-worthy foal. In this segment, we asked several breeders if they have ever had a foal down, or if they have ever had to turn one down and why...

"Yes, I have had foals rejected -- sometimes I have been a little too late to reserve the year I wanted for a particular sire of dam. A couple of times the person felt like my foal would be better with a different sire or dam and suggested I use those instead -- which was fine with me. I tend to use the parents belonging to friends mostly and we are usually very familiar with each others breeding programs, and if they have a suggestion, I have usually taken it. Not always, but there were certainly no hard feelings between us because she could not let my foal be from her sire or dam."
-Daralyn Wallace

&quo;tNo, I do not feel it is fair to reject a foal. Many people put a lot of time and effort (besides stamps and fees) into picking out a horse's sire and dam. If one's favorite model for whom one wanted everything just perfect, was denied the mother carefully decided on after searching through pages and pages of s/d lists, I think most people would take that as a slap in the face. The only time I will EVER deny a foal are (in order of most frequency): 1. Two parents of the same gender. 2. Glaringly incorrect color of breed (leopard Appaloosa Thoroughbreds or some strange concoction) or wrong combination of breeds for another 'breed'(for example a Thoroughbred and a Criollo do not an Anglo-Arab make). 3. If someone forgets to pay the fee or send a stamp (although normally I let this slide unless it is done repeatedly)."
-Jennifer Barnas

"Luckily, I have never had a foal turned down for a pedigree. I think the prevailing attitude among pedigree assigners is that as long as the model exists, it may have a pedigree. Some models that are too old or too beat up to go in the showring may have much success in the breeding barn and create a demand for a particular stable's bloodlines. I do not make it a practice to turn down a foal for a pedigree nor do I require photo inspections of potential offspring."
-Trish Albert

"I've never had a foal rejected, but I've rejected foals. My reasoning: Most of the time I charge a foal picture to use in sire/get and dam/produce classes as my fee. I have very high quality horses and I hate to say this, but I don't want them shown with or represented by poor quality foals. After all, if a stallion consistently produces poor quality foals, who's going to use him? Is it fair? Probably not, but in the real horse world a stallion owner has a right to selective breeding."
-Lisa Strang

"When I first started in PA I had no limits for what foals I would accept. However, at this stage in the game I do screen foals for my good mares. Mares are hard to come by in all aspects of PA- especially a model mare with a well-researched and valuable pedigree. I only allow one for per year for my mares, so I would rather that mare not produce horses that will never be used for breeding or showing. On the other hand, I want my stallions to produce as many offspring as they can. I do not screen offspring sired by my stallions because I want a lot of get for them, whether the offspring shows or breeds or not. In terms of geldings, again, if the offspring is a good show gelding that will make my mare look good, I will accept him. I don't care if my sires produce geldings. A lot of people use geldings as sires anyway, saying their horse was available to breed prior to being gelded. I ask for photos now for all my good horses so I can show them in the IPABRA monthly shows."
-Kim Bjorgo

"While I've never had to reject a potential foal, I would if I felt the model would not represent my breeding stock well. Because I am an active shower, I do tend to want successful show horses -- or horses that have the potential to show well -- as offspring. I don't think there is anything bad about 'selective' breeding; it is certainly an ideal most real horse breeders strive for!"
-Lesli Kathman

"I have had several foals rejected mainly for unopen years by the time I get around to writing for the parents. I have also rejected foals for unopen years and for color problems. My family has bred Appaloosas and Quarter Horses and Miniature Horse for years so I am very particular about color....a peppercorn roan like those Stock Horses that Breyer released to be Appaloosas are not an Appaloosa color. I have refused several of them. I don't know what breeds that would fall under but the Appaloosa colors I've always known are leopard, semi-leopard, blanket, and frosted (or marbled or roan as some people call it). I will accept non-Appaloosa colored geldings only. I haven't rejected any more then unopen years or unacceptable colors."
-Melissa Addison

"I will turn away a foal if it is REALLY not suited for the selected parents. For example, I will not accept any color but black for my Friesian's foals. I have accepted one bay because they DO happen in real life, but I informed the owner that it was not a registerable Friesian stallion. Pinto patterns (tobiano vs. overo) and palomino types are other areas that seem to confuse people. I will always try to suggest alternative parents that fit the foal. I also try to very politely educate the person on why I couldn't accept the foal. I am thankful to the understanding people who helped me while I was learning. And that is what anything involving model breeding is about....learning."
-Heather Tripp

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