About Kathleen Hiney Kirsan

You may say I am the least likely person to have written a book about sport horse breeding. I was not part of the horse culture in my younger years, and I did not even own a horse until I was 39. I was born in Boston and raised in its suburbs; I spent most of my adult life working in the construction industry.

My entry into breeding began with a Thoroughbred mare that was a cull from the racetrack. I became intrigued with the names in her pedigree, and this then began my study of bloodlines and heredity. My passion coincided with the appearance of great works in the Thoroughbred industry that evaluated which pedigree patterns were producing winners. Because I understood genetics work the same in every equine, I applied the Thoroughbred industry’s findings to my own program, which resulted in immediate improvements in my foals.

For a backyard breeder like myself (one foal per year) having one horse hold a national title can be called beginners luck, but to repeat that feat in sport performance several times since is a sure sign that I am on to something.

Eventually my excitement over these breeding principles resulted in a desire to share with my fellow breeders what I had discovered. I began with a website in 2003 followed it with an updated site in 2005, and finally started a new site in 2007 which is still on the air (www.sport-horse-breeder.com).

Perhaps because of my construction training, I knew that I needed a strong foundation to fully comprehend the genetics of my horses through their pedigree. I had purchased a computer pedigree program (TesioPower) to facilitate my pedigree building and design, and I was able to add my own data to it. During those years of research I built up a database that allowed me to trace the parentage of sport horses (both North American and European) back through the centuries and thereby gain knowledge on the origin of sport talent. There was an unexpected side benefit to this process—the genealogy of our horses revealed the true sport history of our continent—so a second mission was born: to return to the North American breeder their forgotten sport heritage.

Along the way I published a few articles in equine trade journals, but by then I realized the subject was far wider than could be reasonably given in a web format or in an article, so I wrote this book to share with you the fruit of 20 years of research and practical experience.

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