2022 has been a very exciting year for us filled with ups, downs, and pivots. We bought the new farm in Kentucky this summer, Dyana retired from racing, we began the process for establishing Mareworthy Charities as a 501c3 organization, and we added three more mares, two donkeys, and one deaf puppy to the family.
With all the changes in 2022, we are even more excited for the future of Mareworthy and our little farm. Our experience breeding and racing Dyana taught us a lot, and now we get to take the lessons we've learned and build an even more exciting future. We look forward to remaining transparent about our experiences, and we will always keep equine welfare and education at the forefront of every decision we make.
Abraham Lincoln famously said, "The best way to predict your future is to create it," and that is exactly what we intend to do. We are dedicated to fulfilling our mission of ensuring all retired Thoroughbred broodmares and warhorse mares are protected from suffering and cruelty. Sean and I put a lot of research and thought into our decision to breed again next year, and we decided it was the right decision as part of our mission as ambassadors for Thoroughbred mares and the future we are creating for Mareworthy Charities.
How many mares should we breed in 2023?
With the purchase of Abastada and Empress Luciana at the Keeneland November sale and Dyana's retirement from racing, our broodmare options went from a single mare - Lady Macjazz - to four eligible broodmares. That meant the first decision we had to make was whether we are going to breed one or all four.
Some photos of Dyana for consideration of her conformation and how it will pair with a stallion.
Step 1: Should you breed your mare?
I have a mare, so that means I am obligated to breed her, right? HELL NO!!!!
It should come as no surprise that I have decided to breed Lady Dyanaformer in 2023, but before we get too far into this adventure I wanted to give a strongly worded warning about breeding. This is definitely NOT a decision to take lightly, and if you're considering it I highly recommend doing LOTS and LOTS of homework and thinking it over at length - I have experience breeding and have been contemplating this decision and continually educating myself ever since I first decided to breed Dyana's dam, Lady Macjazz back in 2017. The decision to breed your mare will not only be very costly but it also can be very risky, so it should never be taken lightly.
First and most importantly, TALK TO YOUR VET! Then seek out experienced breeders - not ones that have only bred a handful of horses but ones who have a strong professional reputation and a history of breeding foals that become successful athletes. If you're only breeding for temperament, reconsider your decision. You cannot guarantee anything about a foal, but you can confidently assess the temperament of a horse that is already alive and waiting to meet you. While I obviously take temperament into equal consideration with athleticism, I would never breed a horse strictly for her personality. It's important to assess health, conformation, pedigree and temperament equally.
In addition to speaking with your vet and professional breeders, I also recommend taking lots of time to research reliable sources such as this article from TheHorse.com
“Foals are cute and majestic, but foals will cost you $15,000-20,000 before you even know if they’re an athlete,” Espy says. “If you know the foal will be worth more than $15,000, then great. But if you’re looking for a $5,000 trail horse or kid-friendly horse, then you might want to go buy a 7-year-old gelding that has proven he’s got what it takes.”
Step 2: Goals for the Foal
Kyle the OTTB Mare Guy loves how mares connect when you take the time to build a relationship. He is dedicated to showing the world why mares are superior and working as an advocate for OTTB warhorse mares and broodmares who need to retire.
Help support Mareworthy Charities.