Down The Rabbit Hole I Go…

For the next issue of the USEA’s magazine, Eventing USA, we have a really fun article about the breeding information of the top 20 finishers at Rolex (hint – they’re all related). Getting lost in the thick of the text, I decided to make a web to map out how these horses – essentially some of the best eventers in the country – share lineage.

I won’t share too much, because the issue won’t come out for another week or two, but I will share a bit. I got so wrapped up in this project. I really felt like Alice in Wonderland chasing these bloodlines down a rabbit hole. I, sadly, am very ignorant on the topic of breeding, lineage, etc. I have always wanted to learn a little more about it – and with the guidance from a contributor – I was able to focus in on the main stallion lines which can be seen over-and-over again in the top twenty; proving there is such a thing as good blood.


The top three come from the same stallion line: Cor De La Bryere.

This project was super fun in the office. I ended up following three main stallion lines: Cor De La Bryere, Ladykiller and Northern Dancer. I will try to share those webs a bit after our next issue comes out.

It really got me thinking though, what IS Justin? Here’s the story I always heard on where his previous owner got him: she visited a semi run-down farm where a shabby looking young grey horse starts following her around and seriously will not quit. She eventually falls for him (as I would do a few years later), and after learning that the rough-and-ready cowboy farm/Justin owner plans to “brek ‘em soon,” she snatches him up justintime (get it?) and ensures he gets a proper start.


Who are you?

Knowing this, I never gave much thought to Justin’s blood or lineage and registered him as a “Sporthorse.” But after this project, an emotional roller coaster causing Instagram post from Amanda, I have to know: Where is he from? Who were his sire and dam? Who IS Justin.


Last night I reached out to Lisa, his last owner, and asked if she could give me any information about who she bought him from. She sent me the contact for someone who used to know his previous-previous owner.

So the trip down the rabbit hole begins… Hopefully it takes me somewhere.

Do any of you have any specific interest in breeding? Or know the breeding information of your horses?


4 thoughts on “Down The Rabbit Hole I Go…

  1. Emma says:

    I don’t know a ton about breeding – but was completely blown away by what I learned when I decided to dig further into my lease mare’s history and breeding. There’s a lot there! I hope you find some great info on Justin!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amanda C says:

    Obviously I’m obsessed with breeding. I worked for a breeding farm many years ago and got bitten by the bug pretty hard. Bred my first homebred (born in 2007) after that and now working on my second. Bloodlines are fascinating… so many things are VERY heritable and so many characteristics come through strongly from one generation to the next. It’s so fun to study and learn. After a while you get to where you can just look at a horse and guess how it’s bred!

    Liked by 1 person

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