Please forgive the multiple emails if you are on several groups with me, I feel that this is a VERY important issue.
I am a member of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy and their newsletter states:
The Shire horse has moved from Watch to Critical as populations have declined. Registrations recorded by the American Shire Horse Association were 169 in 200. In the same year the English studbook recorded 471 (267 mares and 204 stallions). Australia reports only 180 Shires on the continent."
What have we done?? Are we in a way responsible for this? Breeding our quality Shire mares to Coloured Cobs to produce Drum Horses has obliviously removed many Shire mares from the gene pool for the Shire Horse breed. Coloured Cobs have been a dime a dozen in the UK up until America discovered them, then in our fanaticism to make more money from our Shire mares we have bred too many of them to produce cross bred offspring which we call Drum Horses.
What can we do? Any of us with good qualtiy papered Shire mares should breed them to a Shire stallion for at least every alternative breeding, it would be a disgrace to see the Shire Horse disappear.
Angela, I know for me as a Shire horse owner, I have chosen not to breed my remaining mare to a Shire stallion again because I don't want to deal with the very SCREWED UP Shire registry (ASHA). I think many people have been put off by all the ugliness within the registry. There are some very good Shire people out there, but we just didn't want to deal with it anymore. Like Susan Gallien, we are more involved now with the Gypsy Horses.
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