Showing a stallion after he had won a major event or after he had been bred for one or two breeding seasons used to mean that he was either not breeding any mares or that his foals were not as good as expected. Before cooled semen and frozen semen, a stallion had to stay home to breed mares and the only way he could be shown was if there were no mares to breed. That all changed a few years ago.
Today, if a stallion continues to show and win at the top levels, it adds to his value rather than lessens it. Mare owners today think that more showing adds to their foal’s value and proves the stallion is good minded or sound, or both. Once a stallion has sired a couple of foal crops, many mare owners assume the foals are already of futurity age and wonder why none has shown and won, even though the oldest foals may be yearlings or two-year-olds. By continuing to show the stallion, a stallion can stay in the spotlight while the foals are growing up. A stallion owner does have to weigh the risks of injury while showing, hauling and stabling and at some point in becomes too risky as the value of the stallion increases.
For some stallions the reverse happens, the foals are of futurity age or older but have earned little and by showing the stallion it gives the stallion owner more time to have something to talk about. Mares owners forget that the stallion may already have a hundred or more foals old enough to show and only a handful that have shown. Some stallions continue to show because they earn more showing than they can staying home and breeding. They excel as show horses but failed as sires so they continue to show and usually are less competitive as they age. Our friend, Joel Gleason, described just such a stallion as, “A gelding with testicles”. We have to agree.