It’s with sadness that we share with you the message below from Bee Pears that her very successful Blogging site https://b4breeding.com could have published its last blog, at best, it will be the last for several months and sadly, maybe for much longer.
Back in March 2010 Bee started posting topics that really hit the mark with me and so many other people, however it’s her ability to keep people interested in breeding horses through good and not so good times, that will always be her gift to our sport (Harness Racing ) in my mind.
I think the first piece below written by Bee and taken from her site best explains who she is and what was driving her and the extremely successful B4Breeding Site.
Thanks Bee for all the time, resources and energy you have gifted us all.
I’m Bee (Beryl) Pears, based in Cambridge, New Zealand, an area known for standardbred and thoroughbred racing and breeding.
I’m not a ‘natural’ with horses. I was born and raised in a city (Wellington) and my interest in horse racing and breeding developed through ‘following the horses’ (particularly pacers and trotters) by listening on the radio, attending race meetings and having a wee punt. Later, ‘following the horses’ became more personal when I took a share in a syndicate of two yearling pacers.
And later still, that led to owning and breeding some pacers of my own.
I caught the bug – the intensely fascinating puzzle of breeding theories and pedigree matching, the continuous stream of new sires and the challenge of selecting correctly for a mare. The art and science of breeding.
I’m lucky enough to have bred Tintin in America, one of New Zealand’s fastest pacers over the past few years – but I like to think it was a good dollop of careful research and thought as well as luck!
My aim is to learn as much as I can about breeding successfully, and to put that into practice.
I also want to contribute to thoughtful discussion and debate about breeding race horses – specifically standardbreds (pacers and trotters).
I am a writer by trade, so I try to be interesting, entertaining and thought provoking.
I like tapping into the views and expertise of others.
And I like getting comments back that really add to the discussion and pool of knowledge.
On this site I’ll also link to books, articles, blogs and websites that I’ve found particularly useful or interesting.
Several of my blogs were originally articles for Breeding Matters (the magazine of the New Zealand Stardardbred Breeders Association).
You often hear the simple formula: “Breed the best to the best and hope for the best”.
For me, the formula to “beat the odds” of successful breeding looks more like this:
1 + 2 + = + $ + V + U + ?
Which translated means:
1 What the mare brings to the table, plus
2 What the sire brings to the table, plus
= How those complement each other, plus
$ Your budget and what’s good value
V The added value of how you raise the foal
U Your goal – what you are aiming to succeed in, plus
? An element of luck.
I believe that learning about each part of this equation will me improve my ability to breed successfully.
The Sad announcement also taken from B4Breeeding
This will be the last b4breeding blog post I will write for….well, certainly for several months, and maybe for much longer. Except for one which will serve as an introduction for people who arrive at the blog home page and wonder what it is all about.
It’s time to do something different.
I’ve really enjoyed creating this blog and it has taken me on many adventures and I’ve met some very interesting, talented and friendly people through it too. Happy to keep in touch or to respond to any requests via my email firstname.lastname@example.org
The blog has covered a wide range of topics over several years, from the future of harness racing, to some of the amazing individual old time horses and families that have had such an influence on our breeding, to the potential of yearlings at the sales, to assessments of new sires on the block. I do apologise for being light on trotting analysis and knowledge and more focused on pacers, but pacing is where my own experience lies. The blog has also traced some of my own horses from newborn foals to the races, and even to another part of the world, and in other cases seen another generation start. Time flies when you’re having fun!
The volume of hits and visitors has grown steadily over the past 5 years, and I’ve had good feedback to my positive approach. Readers come almost equally from Australia and New Zealand, with increasing number of hits from North America in recent years – and the odd one from Russia too (hello David!)
It is easy to get down about our industry and to find fault, but I have always tried to come up with solutions or fresh ideas – like being able to breed two foals a year from one mare, or using drones and GPS to find new angles that improve viewer and punter experience. I’ve tried to be encouraging and helpful, because I’ve always appreciated that in other people when I needed advice or help.
It is really important that we are realistic, practical but also innovative and willing to take risks. Working together and with “nous” is the only way a small industry can survive. For so long we have failed to really understand if we are an agricultural industry, an entertainment industry or a sporting event. The answer is a mix, which has made for very confusing internal, political and public perception of who we are, why we need investment and where we are going. In New Zealand, I look with growing admiration at Alexandra Park as an example of grasping this nettle and making some therapeutic nettle tea (not only good for your liver but if you add honey it tastes nice lol). Nationally, we are doing this bit by bit – a tip o’ the hat to Southland for their strong Southern Bred Southern Reared initatives and to Addington for the breeders bonuses.
Although I am stopping the blog, my own involvement in harness racing and standardbred breeding continues.
It is a big commitment for someone on a cash flow shoe-string, but somehow I’ll make it happen because I have had such a fantastic time learning to breed and race horses on a small scale, small budget but with lots of passion. It really sharpens the mind!
My biggest success is Tintin In America, but I learned so much along the way from names that never appeared in lights – like Have No Secrets, who features in my blog here with a link to the background article. It is true – you learn as much if not more from “failures” as from successes. And I don’t see those mares and foals as failures, but as horses in their own right.
Thoughtful breeding doesn’t mean being bogged down in theories and pedigree charts. It means above all knowing your mare, and knowing what you are trying to achieve. Sometimes those two simple things don’t add up and you need to be open to that and be flexible. Sometimes you can make decisions that put the odds more in your favour. Having an open mind is a breeder’s best asset, even more so than having a perfectly bred broodmare!
Many thanks to followers and blog readers who have come on this journey with me, or joined me for a blog or topic or two along the way, or just stumbled on http://www.b4breeding during a browser search. Keep using the “Search” function on the blog itself or just do random year/month to explore some blog topics you may have missed. Hindsight can be quite amusing!
I wish you heaps of success and above all enjoyment in your horse breeding and racing adventures. If you start a blog about that, let me know and I’ll follow you!
Approved By Dean Baring www.harnessbred.com
Driving The Future Of Harness Racing