Pedigrees are honestly not something I’ve ever paid a whole lot of attention to. Since I am not a breeder and prior to Speedy have never shopped for or sold a horse, I just…. never really got into it. Plus, as a data person, it has always seemed to me that people put a little bit toooooo much weight on certain aspects of the pedigree. When I catch people saying things like “the R line is very rideable” or “the S line is super athletic” or “Mr. Prospector offspring aren’t very sound” I can’t help but get skeptical. There is just so, so, so much that goes into the physical and behavioral attributes of any individual horse. How could those incredibly polymorphic traits be distilled down to characteristics maybe shared by one parent, one grandparent, or even a line of horses sharing an initial?
When your fancy new hony comes with a fancy Equidenpass you start getting kinda interested.
And boy oh boy did I find out some super fantastique and interesting things. (You can see Speedy’s extended pedigree here.)
Speedy is approved as a “Hanoverian small horse” (since he’s not actually a pony). I don’t have a clear idea (not enough research and probably won’t muster up the will to do so) of exactly how the different warmblood “small horse” registries work, but I do know that much like the main warmblood registries the stud books are open (so open omg) and that all of the small warmblood horses/warmblood ponies fall under the “German Riding Pony” umbrella. He’s also 1/8 thoroughbred (two great-great-grandsires are xx) and 1/4 straight warmblood (sire’s sire is Hanoverian). Aaaaand…. he’s a full quarter WELSH!
Speedy was bred in Poland, and imported to Germany when he was 4 and sold through Ponyforum Gmbh (sales videos here, here, and here. Side note: ponyforum used some pictures of Speedy to sell his 2019 half-brother Ulisses this year, and you can still see them thanks to Google’s caching function.) He is by the GRP stallion Simply the Best TCF — appropriate, since Speedy is the best — and out of the mare Niina PP. Niina PP doesn’t seem to have a competition record, but Simply the Best TCF competed at the Bundeschampionat twice and potentially went on to compete further. Simply the Best TCF doesn’t seem to have a ton of internet presence.
Which is fine, because this whole post is really just an excuse to talk about Niina PP’s sire: Machno Carwyn. Machno Carwyn is a Sec. D Welsh Cob born in 1992, who lives on to this day toting around children and enjoying a pasture puff life. Standing a robust 146cm (14.15hh, that’s 14h and 1.5 extra inches, to be clear) and sporting a truly impressive set of bangs, he won the European Show Jumping Championships twice (in 2000 and 2001). Once again, I’m not entirely sure of how it goes in Europe, but it seems that the pony European championships have jumps up to 1.4m (4’6″, and the ponies are piloted by children??).
Machno Carwyn also competed extensively at the Grand Prix — not just the PonyGP — winning 7 of the 25 international Grands Prix in which he placed (it’s unclear how many he entered). He’s also known for being ridden extensively by a 12-year-old. For the pony championship classes in Europe, riders are to be between 12 and 16 years old. And good old Machno was happy to be piloted by a shrimplet through the big classes. And obviously he has a ton of offspring out there. His performance record makes him an incredibly valuable performance sire.
A little more digging (and talking to Jen!) revealed that Welsh ponies are a huge component of GRP (and other continental-european-RP) breeding programs. Which makes sense — there is a lot of warmblood in most of the GRPs, and I imagine those get oversize (see above magnificent hony) easily. Breeding in some smaller, yet still super athletic, Welsh blood is probably extremely helpful. And Welsh ponies have a righteous badonk on them, which would definitely improve some of those flat-crouped warmbloods.
As much as I “don’t” pay attention to pedigree, I do think it’s worth paying attention to the performance record of the dam and sire (or damsire, if that’s all you can get!). Both Simply the Best and Machno Carwyn have good to exceptional performance records. I’ve stalked Speedy’s siblings (I know he has two, and one was sold through Ponyforum this year) a bit to see if they are as cool as he is. The one I found seems pretty neat also, lending credibility to the magic uterus-Machno Carwyn influence.
I’m not about to go out and buy any of Speedy’s siblings (or any other horses or ponies…… right now, anyway) but learning a little more about his pedigree has been a lot of fun. And definitely made me reconsider Welsh ponies (sporty cobs especially!). Also — yes I will eat this crow — it has made me think more about the value of studying pedigrees. There is some serious power tucked into Speedy’s bloodlines, and it shows.