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Shellscrape Back Racing After Failed Stud Career

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Thursday, 13 December 2012: Group 1 winning sprinter Shellscrape will recommence his race career with Nikki Burke in 2013 after many foals belonging to the stallion’s first crop were born without tails.

Shellscrape
Shellscrape
Photo by Racing and Sports


The multiple Group performed galloper arrives at Nikki Burke’s Cranbourne stables looking to build upon a career which included three Group wins, spearheaded by his Galaxy success of 2010.

His return to the racetrack as a six-year-old follows one season standing at Wattle Grove Stud where he covered 59 mares.

In what is considered a rare problem, many of Shellscrape’s foals which began dropping in August were born without tails.

By October, approximately 20 per cent of his progeny had a deformity at the dock with several vertebrae missing.

"One foal this week was born with a crooked tail, but some are born without one," stallion owner Geoff Grimish told The Australian at the time.

"We can't explain it but figure the cause of it might be genetic or toxic."

Wattle Grove Studmaster Ian McPherson said they had been told it was unprecedented.

"It is an unusual occurrence,” McPherson said.

“These are his first foals and there is a tail abnormality in a few of them.

"Apparently the full tail has seven vertebrae and some have got three or four. People are finding it hard to explain."





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 Posted by tontonan, on 24-12-2012  3:26:23 PM

Galilee was parrot mouthed. It has about as much influence on performance as a golfer with an over bite. But missing vertebrae at the dock in 20% of foals - get the stallion out of the gene pool please. ”


 Posted by Magi, on 22-12-2012  5:39:47 PM

Tulloch was dip-backed, not parrot-mouthed. Parrot-mouth occurs across the breed at the rate of about 5 %. Certain breeds had a greater incidence. It''s no big deal. Dip (sway) back less common but frequently not a bar to race performance, e.g. Dark Tsar. I think they''re dealing with something of greater consequence with Shellscrape. ”


 Posted by Tired Of The Rubbish, on 20-12-2012  11:10:12 AM

perhaps not as famous as Tulloch Writeowl...but anyway ”


 Posted by Writeowl, on 19-12-2012  5:39:03 PM

Of course the most famous parrot-mouth was DULCIFY. Not much wrong with him . . . ”


 Posted by Writeowl, on 19-12-2012  5:37:26 PM

Manx horses?? Who knew?? The possibilities for names are endless. Rumpy-Riser, Rumpy-Stumpy . . . ”


 Posted by bob, on 19-12-2012  3:24:56 PM

It sounds as if close to 100% of all live births have this issue, so an insurance payout would be drawn and they would not be able to insure the horse for stud duties given this issue, so they only have the ability to either let him run around a cousre or paddock for the rest of his life.

Does anyone know if the issue would affect their ability to run? missing vertabrae is an extreme issue, did they put these horses down or are they being used for something else? ”


 Posted by Tom , on 17-12-2012  1:16:25 PM

@ chay. I agree that his foals will not be commercial, as their "look" will be something that we are not used to, but as yet, we have no evidence that they won''t be able to be good racehorses, and that''s all I am commenting on.

The aim of a stallion is to produce horses that can run fast - it isn''t a beauty contest, so I hardly see how you can label him a "failure".
As I said, he is only a failure, because he has been taken from stud duties. That isn''t the horses fault. Given a chance, he could make a good stallion.

@ sarz. Many horses I have been involved in, have what is called "parrot mouth" where the top set of teeth and jaw, come over the top of the bottom. Specially designed feeders are required so the horse can scrape food from the bottom of their feed bin - it''s a disadvantage.
It also isn''t pretty to look at.

Is there no responsibility to discontinue the breeding of horses who suffer from this type of thing also?

I won''t waffle on too much, but my point is, horses are bred to run. They run on their legs.
Whilst the foals wouldn''t have been popular in a sale ring, do all horses go through a sale ring?

I hope when the horse finishes up with his current trainer, he is given another chance at stud. ”


 Posted by chay, on 17-12-2012  10:58:28 AM

Good on you Tom for defending him but the reality is, would you really want to look at something like that? I wouldn''t. ”


 Posted by sarz, on 16-12-2012  9:39:51 PM

Congenital defects such as this, are often associated with other congenital defects. 1 foal would be a one off, a number of them, is not.. All by the same sire. I am not informed, but perhaps the breeder has a duty of care, to not continue breeding, as the next vertebrae that are missing, may be more vital than the tail bones. It is a shame, but prudent. ”


 Posted by Tom, on 13-12-2012  1:38:34 PM

How can you possible claim his stud career has been a failure?
As far as I know, the horse is fertile, which would suggest he is playing his part.
The only reason he has been taken out of stud duties is because of an aversion the human race has to anything that''s different.
You have no proof whatsoever or evidence that his foals won''t make good racehorses, and I can guarantee, if a horse with no tail wins a good race, he will be back in the breeding barn.

The decision to remove him from stud duties is because his yearlings won''t be commercial in the sale ring, not because the horse has been a failure. ”



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