Horses are one of the most beautiful and sophisticated animals on the planet. Their historical significance can be traced back as early as the Medieval era. Aside from being relied at for long travels, such as a classic tour, and moving tons of load, horses also served as the companions of male warriors back then. Hundreds of years later, equines are now involved in sports competitions. In fact, fillies and mares: equine princesses which were only used for breeding, are now taking part in horse racing events. They also play an important role in rearing the next generation of quality broodmares.
Fillies and Mares: Equine Princesses
For those who are new to the equine world, fillies are female horses that are still sexually immature to be called mares. In countries where horse racing is a big thing, fillies are horses aged five below. In three or four years, a filly will grow to become a mare.
Mares are usually used for breeding purposes. Having said that, these equines make a good race horse. Compared with their male counterpart, mares are easier to train and control. Moreover, they can outperform male thoroughbreds in horse races, too. In fact, Slate reported that Zenyatta, a mare, defeated male horses during the Breeders’ Cup Classic tournament.
In Australia, talented female equines are also winning numerous competitions. One of the most popular mare is Black Caviar. She also happens to be the best racehorse in the world. Black Caviar retired last 2013, but her undefeated winning streak hasn’t been surpassed yet.
As mentioned previously, mares are often used in sport horse breeding. However, their importance is often overlooked, as stallions are always thought to have the most influence in horse mating. Truth be told, mares are accountable for the 50 percent of a foal. Some breeding experts even contend that females govern more than 60 percent of an offspring’s characteristics. Let’s put it this way, mating an ordinary stallion with an exceptional mare will yield good foals. But if you mate a great stallion with a mediocre mare, the offsprings are undesirable.
Australian and Chinese researchers have also studied the role that mares play in breeding thoroughbreds. They found out that elite mares have superior foals, irrespective of the performance of the stallion. This study only proves that the maternal line is important when breeding good thoroughbreds.