When researching a pedigree article, I rely on several resources. Some of them are free and some of them are not. Some of them I have been using for decades and some of them are recent additions. And some of them I have created for my own use.
While I created a pedigree database for myself and have saved media releases for decades, I also use the internet. Here are some internet resources and a bit about them: – This is a membership site for accurate Thoroughbred pedigrees and up-to-date race earnings, and, as a bonus, some of the reports are free. I use this site frequently. – This is a membership site for accurate Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse pedigrees and up-to-date race earnings. – This is a free pedigree site for Thoroughbreds, but not always accurate or up-to-date. There are numerous misspelled horse names as well as fantasy horses. Use caution before accepting the information as truth since anyone can enter information on the site. – This is a free pedigree site for sport horses with relatively few errors, primarily in the English disciplines. There are photos associated with many of the horses. I use this site frequently in combination with the FEI site below. – It is searchable by several categories (event, horse, person, rankings) and by FEI discipline. I use it primarily for the horse information: year of birth, registry, previous name(s), sire, dam, dam’s sire, breeder and owner. Unfortunately, the information is not always complete. – This is a free pedigree site for any breed of horse, but not always accurate or up-to-date. I strongly suggest double-checking the information through a more reliable source. One does not want to promote a fantasy horse rather than the real horse. – A new multi-discipline site that is, as the headline says, “A Wealth of Information – Releases, Results & Upcoming Events in the Horse World.” It is searchable, which makes it valuable for current and, with time, historical information. One to keep your eye on!

Conformation of Young Horses

I am frequently asked if the same principles for evaluating conformation apply to young horses. Yes, they do, but with a caveat: one has to already be good at analyzing adult horses plus understand how youngsters grow.

My advice is to make sure you become proficient at analyzing adult horses before relying on your accuracy with weanlings or yearlings. What if the youngster is butt high? Do you know what is causing him/her to be butt high? Do you know for sure that all the bones in his hindquarters are growing at the same rate? If the youngster is higher behind, you already accept that all the bones don’t grow at the same rate, right? Otherwise they wouldn’t go through the growth phases of butt high, level, butt high, level, etc.

So, expanding on that, what if the youngster is higher in the hindquarters because he/she is growing femur length? Appearances may lead you to believe that Junior has the same length to the femur side and ilium side now, but when the other bones lengthen, Junior will likely be shorter on the femur side than the ilium side. Not a good thing.

This previously-published article (conform[2]) , although about yearling Thoroughbreds, is intended to show you how some aspects of functional conformation can be determined and how those relate to the athleticism and longevity of the horse as an adult.


And the Winner is…

Congratulations to Angie D. from Louisiana! You won the half-price online conformation analysis.

And, the other winners – at least that is my hope – are the people who purchase my e-books, including the newly published Learning by Example for the Western Disciplines.

“This is such an exceptional book that I cannot begin to explain the excitement I feel towards this concept of conformation that Judy Wardrope presents. At this moment this concept might be above the way you have been taught to think. However, if you will persevere in this thought and truly make this a life time study, you will make great strides in training and riding horses that are built to do their job,” said Lynn McKenzie, two-time World Champion barrel racer, two-time NFR winner and a respected clinician.

“Although my personal interest is in dressage, I was utterly captivated by this book from the moment I first opened the cover,” said Ceci Flanagan-Snow, a published equine photographer and writer. “It is well written and illustrated with hundreds of relevant photographs making the concepts easy to understand and remember. I hope that this book, and its siblings, accomplishes Wardrope’s goals of improving the wellbeing and longevity of competition horses through helping horse people to understand and implement the principles of functional conformation in their breeding, purchasing, training and exhibiting programs.”

Analyzing Functional Conformation for the Western Disciplines

A Quick Reminder

There’s only a few days left!

But, you can still send your comments regarding any of my e-books by filling in the survey:

Remember, there will be a random draw for an online conformation evaluation at half price ($75 instead of $150) for those who submit a filled-in survey prior to July 21st, 2014.

Thank you in advance for your participation. I look forward to reading the comments.


By Rights…or Buy Rights

The time has come for me to say something about copyrights.

Why? I am aware of at least two books as well as a newsletter, blogs and a website that just helped themselves to photos from my site.

They did not contact me for permission, they did not offer to purchase the rights to those photos, and you can bet that I will see no royalties from sales. Legal action? Sure, if you are doing it strictly out of principle; it is not usually worth anything more than that.

I was even accused of lying about selling the photo – on Google, no less – and not caring about horses by one author who published my photo in her book! This was as a response to an email from me that contained my usual quote: “My goal – as always – has been to do well by the horse. That usually is in the best interests of horsemen as well, though I know that what I say and do is not always (hardly ever!) appreciated in the short run.” James Rooney, DVM.

I do hope I get to meet her in person someday.

Why am I telling you this? So that you understand that because of individuals who do not respect other people’s property or rights, sometimes it is difficult to keep up the spirit of sharing.

I go to a lot of effort and expense to obtain educational photographs, so please respect my rights to those photos.

While writing my e-books, I have been diligent regarding permission for use of any photos I did not take.

If you are curious about who the offenders are, email me and I can put you in touch with them. Maybe they would be interested in your opinion about such forms of theft.

Thanks. Rant over.


This is just a quick note to let you know that I will be sending an email to those of you who have purchased one or more of my e-books in the past.

The intent is to gather information that will help me provide what the clients want in future projects. The Learning by Example Western e-book is nearing completion, and I’m thinking ahead already.

If you don’t get an email from me and want to express your opinion, you can still use the survey:

There will be a random draw for an online conformation evaluation at half price ($75 instead of $150) for those who submit a filled-in survey prior to July 21st, 2014.

Thank you in advance for your participation. I look forward to reading the comments.



It is not uncommon for people to have a list of their favorite things. There’s even a song or two about favorite things. I was recently reminded of one of my favorite horse show classes and thought I would list my favorite horse competitions here for you.

Favorite speed class:

Hands down, my favorite is the 2002 Canada Post Cup at the Spruce Meadows North American with Leslie Howard riding Nick of Diamonds. Imagine a steeplechase sprint race with twists and turns. This is what I wrote at the time: The final contest on Saturday was a speed class, the Canada Post Express (Open Section I), a twisting, turning course set by [Leopoldo] Palacios. Alison Firestone put down the first challenge with an excellent run in 97.13. Beezie Madden hustled Authentic around the course without a flaw, stopping the clock at 93.66, but Spooner and Bradford made quick work of taking the lead with a 93.07 posting and there were only 2 riders left to go. But what a pair to have following you in a speed class! Leslie Howard flew over fences and scooted across the ground in a blur with Nick of Diamonds in an amazing 86.87. Howard, as if to prove that the little grey stallion had more in the tank, with hand raised and a huge grin, opened him up for a flat out sprint on the way back to the gate. Rodrigo Pessoa and Gandini Bianca d’Amaury couldn’t do better than 96.68, settling for 4th place.

Favorite grand prix jumping class:

That would be the last class in the 2003 World Cup Final watching Baloubet du Rouet toy with the courses, bow and flex his neck and even buck due to his exuberance. Here’s what I wrote at the time: Pessoa got a tremendous effort from the Selle Francais stallion, giving at least a foot of air over many of the fences, which cemented him ahead of all others. Nieberg was next, but fence 4 earned him as many faults. Baryard had a chance to redeem herself, but her faults came at the second oxer of the 5A/B combination and she fell into line behind Pessoa. It was all up to Germany’s fair-haired boy, Marcus Ehning, and his chestnut mare [Anka 191]. They were simply faultless, and so it should be with World Cup champions.

Favorite grand prix dressage class:

The 2006 World Equestrian Games with Blue Hors Matine at her competitive best. Here’s what I wrote at the time: The first round produced a few surprises, including the emergence of a young superstar in the form of Blue Hors Matine ridden by Denmark’s Andreas Helgstrand. The 9-year-old Danish Warmblood mare led the way with a score of 76.333%, besting Heike Kemmer (Germany) with Bonaparte, Isabel Werth (Germany) with Satchmo and the reigning World Cup and Olympic champion, Anky van Grunsven (Netherlands) with Salinero. The top 15 from the Special moved forward to the musical kur on Saturday night to the delight of some 40,000 spectators. Seidel, the third rider in the ring, scored an admirable 72.500% riding to the soundtrack of Evita, earning him Є 500 for his 13th place finish. Kemmer scored 78.850%, Helgstrand chalked up 81.500% (silver medal), Werth marked 80.750% (bronze medal), van Grunsven posted an astounding 86.100% (gold medal) and Capellmann came in with 79.900%. Who wasn’t impressed with the 9-year-old dressage mare that was second in the Freestyle?

Favorite barrel race:

That would be a fun run after a combined clinic with former World Champion Lynn McKenzie. One of the horses, a palomino mare, had a tight elbow (on her left side), which caused her to go very wide on her left-turn barrel. Lynn and I worked together to change the pattern for her and how her owner rode her. After a couple of slow practices, the mare figured it out. She figured it out so well in fact that she not only won the jackpot at the end of the clinic, she set the arena record.

Favorite horse race:

Even though I considered Zenyatta’s run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, I would have to say that standing at the rail with my client watching his filly run in the Canadian Derby tops that. No, my client’s filly didn’t win the Derby against the boys, but she still fulfilled a dream. Two and a half years earlier my client told me he wanted to buy a weanling filly that could run in the Canadian Derby while we were at a sale in Kentucky. I spotted the dark bay filly some time later and said, “That one.” My client paid $1,700 for her and she went on to be the champion 2-year-old filly and the champion 3-year-old filly in Alberta. Even though she did not win the Canadian Derby, I couldn’t have been happier had she won the filly and mare stakes on Derby day, a race in which she would have been the favorite and many said she would have won handily. She is now a broodmare in Australia.

Your Turn Identifications

How did you do?
First of all, I will tell you that all 6 horses are athletes.

#1 – Cutting horse pictured at age 20
#2 – Show Hunter
#3 – Broodmare with Eventing talent (see photos)
#4 – Open Reiner
#5 – International Eventer that competed into his 20s
#6 – Barrel Racer

Que trot (Small)

Que jump (Small)