Coming up with a winning horse takes good care, training, nutrition and
more than anything else, careful breeding. Pedigree analysts search into a
mare's and stallion's genetic background as far back as seven generations
to try and produce a superior foal.
By researching pedigree charts and breeding patterns, pedigree analysts
hope to come up with winners at the track for their clients. Pedigree charts,
which trace a horse's ancestors, can help determine the type of foal that
will be produced.
Analysts' services usually include selecting and purchasing brood mares
at public auctions and private sales. They then plan matings with selected
stallions for these client mares.
Pedigree analysis is often time-consuming. Analysts will look over up to
128 ancestral horses, determine what traits have been passed through the bloodlines
and which could be enhanced by a planned mating. Many theories about how to
pick these patterns and how to crossbreed have been developed over the years.
Pedigree analysts also work with dogs and other show animals, trying to
select the most desired qualities in animals that will be judged.
Pedigree analysts are often hired by breeders and horse owners. This work
can also be done by breeders hoping to sell their horses. Their work can take
them in the office where they do research, in the field to examine horses
and watch performances and to breeding stables. "I do most of my work at home,"
says Les Brinsfield. He is a pedigree analyst in Lexington, Kentucky.
Those who are private consultants can choose their own hours. "I mostly
work late into the night," says Brinsfield.
Travel is often an important part of doing pedigree analysis. However,
with the Internet, much of the communication can be done from home.