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Thursday, December 07, 2023Contact: Gary Falter (859) 224-2803
Breeding Plans Topic of final 2023 Thoroughbred Owner Conference Panel

The 10th and final panel of the 2023 OwnerView Virtual Thoroughbred Owner Conference was held Tuesday, December 5, and covered breeding plans. Panelists were Carrie Brogden, owner of Machmer Hall Farm; Alan Porter, founder of TrueNicks; and Mark Toothaker, director of stallions at Spendthrift Farm. The panel was hosted by OwnerView’s project manager, Gary Falter.

The conference is hosted by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and sponsored by Bessemer Trust, Stoll Keenon Ogden, and The Green Group. This panel was sponsored by New York Thoroughbred Breeders.

Attendees were able to ask questions through Zoom’s Q&A feature, sponsored by West Point Thoroughbreds.

The start of the conference showed a video of the OwnerView New Owner of the Year award recipients, Jim and Dana Bernhard and Alexander Bregman. The award is sponsored by 1/ST RACING.

Topics for the breeding panel included matings, nicking, conformation traits, inbreeding, broodmare preferences, and stallion selection.

The first question to the panelists referred to the saying, “breed the best to the best and hope for the best.” Toothaker replied, “I can’t afford beautiful and pedigree, so I’m always going to lean more on the pretty side on my mares, and they may be just a little bit lacking on pedigree. Buy the prettiest mare that you can afford.”

Brogden considers conformation to be extremely important when making breeding decisions. “It is the most important thing,” she said. “After years and years and years of being on the farm now, we started to see a trend where every single graded stakes winner off our farm, on the dirt, every single one was in the top 30 percent of physicals of our yearling crop.”

In a discussion about inbreeding, Porter said, “Historically, too much close inbreeding is a negative. We got some statistics on this when we were upgrading TrueNicks. The grade 1 winners had a slightly higher than average inbreeding coefficient, but they existed within a narrower range.”

A replay of the panel and all previous panels can be viewed at The Thoroughbred Owner Conference virtual panels will continue in 2024. A full schedule will be available at in early 2024.

There is no registration fee for the virtual conference series, but registration is required. For more information about the owner conference, please visit or contact Gary Falter at 859.224.2803 or

OwnerView is a joint effort spearheaded by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association to encourage ownership of Thoroughbreds and provide accurate information on aspects of ownership such as trainers, public racing syndicates, the process of purchasing and owning a Thoroughbred, racehorse retirement, and owner licensing.

The need for a central resource to encourage Thoroughbred ownership was identified in the comprehensive economic study of the sport that was commissioned by The Jockey Club and conducted by McKinsey & Company in 2011. The OwnerView site was launched in May 2012.