Combining the best parts of March Madness — so, you know, the bracket — with the 16 most popular Thoroughbred sires of sport horses, the Retired Racehorse Project has rolled out “Sire Madness” for another year.
As the off-track Thoroughbred (OTTB) enjoys another surge of popularity — it was once THE choice of America’s horsemen, but was replaced by the warmblood or Quarter horse, depending on discipline — more equestrians want to know: which bloodlines make the best sport horses?
One could argue that breeding is less important than individual horses’ talent, movement, jump or mind. One could also argue that all of those things — talent, movement, jump, or mind — are created by a horse’s breeding. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a place to access all of this collective information we know about Thoroughbred bloodlines… in a sport horse context?
Seeking to fill that need, the Retired Racehorse Project created the Thoroughbred Sport Tracker (formerly known as Bloodline Brag). It’s the internet’s only user-driven database that allows participants to create profiles for their OTTBs and provide information about their movement, soundness, jump and show careers along with their sire, dam and damsire information, providing, for the first time, a detailed look at how certain lines might perform in individual disciplines.
As a user-driven database, it’s certainly not a perfect system — but it’s the only one of its kind currently available for anyone to access, and there’s a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips ready to be accessed. To help recognize the incredible resource of Thoroughbred Sport Tracker, the Retired Racehorse Project launched “Sire Madness” in 2018, ranking the top 16 most popular sires from the database in a bracket and posting daily match-ups on social media for popular vote. Giant’s Causeway was voted the 2018 Sire Madness winner, represented by numerous talented offspring in the hunter, jumper and eventing arenas and praised for his offspring’s excellent movement.
With hundreds of new horses added to the database over the past year, the Retired Racehorse Project has launched a new bracket for 2019. Some of the old familiar names are back again — Two Punch, Malibu Moon, Giant’s Causeway, Smarty Jones — but many rising stars are spoiling for an upset — Bellamy Road, Broken Vow, Smoke Glacken, Holy Bull.
There’s a new poll every other day for followers to vote for their favorite sire of sport horses, and already this month, there was an upset: the #16 seed Bellamy Road narrowly defeated the #1 seed Two Punch on the very first day of voting. Bellamy Road offspring have been making their mark in a variety of disciplines, from eventing to jumpers to barrel racing to trail. A new match-up will be published tomorrow as Sire Madness continues to work through preliminary rounds.
While this year’s bracket is already set up, there’s no reason that your OTTB can’t also be part of Thoroughbred Sport Tracker. Check out the database here, and with a free website account, you can add your horse’s profile and help contribute to the internet’s only OTTB bloodline database.