I was browsing through one of Alabar’s newsletters from November 2013 and came across an article about Big Jim’s first foals in New Zealand (which were just arriving) and a related article “Doubling up Big Towner a good thing”.
Here’s some of it:
There’s now strong evidence to suggest the duplicating Big Towner in pedigrees can lead to positive results and that could be a pointer for Big Jim given he is out of a Big Towner mare. Big Tonwer was a great stallion who topped the North American Sires Premiership at one time, He was a leading broodmare sire and it is through his daughters that his legacy lives on. Many successful stallions possess a dose of Big Towner in their maternal line….Art Major mares look ideal for Big Jim as not only do you get the Big Towner connection but also Artsplace, which shoud suit Big Jim down to the ground. Other potential sources of Big Towner include Walton Hanover, Pacific Fella, Aces N Sevens, Jet Laag and Northern Luck.
The rest of the article was mainly noting the stallions who have Big Towner in their maternal line – Art Major, Always A Virgin, Allamerican Native, Pacific Fella – and how some of their best performers have duplicates of Big Towner.
These sires/broodmare sires are more relevant to Australia rather than New Zealand. So it has been harder for NZ breeders to take obvious advantage of duplicating Big Towner with a sire like Big Jim or more recently Sportswriter and Always A Virgin who again have Big Towner prominently in their maternal line. Our most obvious choice might be Man Around Town mares (like Kym’s Girl and Imagine That) but they are few and far between, and Big Towner sits as the grandsire of Man Around Town rather than on the immediate maternal line. After that we are looking in quite obscure places like daughters of the beautifully bred (but perhaps not suited here) Union Guy.
It is very interesting to see that up-close influence of Big Towner is still so THERE in the breeding of modern top racehorses and successful sires. These are very modern horses who have Big Towner (born in 1974) as a damsire or grandamsire. Even more remarkably, the sire of Big Towner, Gene Abbe, was born in 1944.
Of course my quirky old heart-throb Grinfromeartoear does a similar thing by bringing Storm Damage (born 1977) as his damsire. But he can’t beat the Gene Abbe factor. That is a quite an exceptional “back to the future” element in modern pedigrees.
What really impresses me about Big Towner and his sire Gene Abbe is how current and recent they remain in a number of commercially successful sires – not just as a one-off, a freak.
I’ve blogged about Big Towner before, please check it out if you haven’t read it before.
In my next blog I will go into a bit more depth about Gene Abbe. What an interesting horse he is!
And then I’ll return to the present and see what breeders in New Zealand are doing, or might do, to get the best from the sires that carry these genes.
As always your perspectives from different countries, or from personal experience, are welcome. Send your thoughts to email@example.com or use the comments/rsponse option at the end of this blog.