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Leopard Rock Sport Horse Appaloosas





“The Home of Sport Horse Appaloosas in Africa”

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Knowledgeable breeders research their mare lines as carefully as their stallion lines. The following illustrates the importance of the dam line in the pedigree: The sire can only pass an X-chromosome from his dam on to his filly foals and none to his colts, and the mare passes an X-chromosome onto every single one of her foals - both male and female. Therefore, the mare is a major influence in the makeup of each and every single foal she produces. She is not simply a vessel in which to carry the stallions genes. There is a reason why one refers to all foals out of the same dam as the ’half brother or half sister’ of one another, whereas foals from the same stallion are not. The moral of the story is: Choose the mares in your pedigree very carefully!!    “The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world..”

Truly pre-potent sires or dams are the rarest of the rare!  They are to be cherished, and unlike diamonds, they will not last forever. Use them wisely! To find one is truly like panning for gold. You go through tons and tons of rock and dirt to find only a grain-a nugget-of real gold. That is why it has value, because it is rare! Yet once found they are rarely ever appreciated nor in most cases properly used. This is because people ignorantly believe, "Oh, well, I'll find or breed another." Well, good luck because the reality is you rarely will.

Can mutations in the mitochondrial genes be inherited?  The number of mitochondria in every cell of a horse’s body varies from a few to hundreds. All of these mitochondria, and therefore the DNA within the mitochondria, descend from the small number of mitochondria present in the original egg cell at the time of that horse’s conception. The sperm does not contribute any mitochondria to the baby.  Thus an individual’s mitochondria are only inherited from his or her mother. An abnormality in one of the mitochondrial genes can therefore be passed by the mother in her egg cells. As most of the mother’s egg cells carry the same mitochondrial mutation, the risk of this mother having another affected offspring with the mitochondrial disorder is high.  This pattern of inheritance is therefore referred to as maternal inheritance.’

“Around the globe, you will see that the most successful farm operators active at acquiring quality mares and fillies, they know maternal strength is the pathway to success.’’ (McLean)



When cross breeding to a non-Appaloosa, the resulting foal will always be substantially less than 50% Appaloosa genetically.  Because many of the ‘Appaloosas’ used do not have a large percentage of Appaloosa genes as they are results of outcrosses themselves (probably a maximum of  35 - 40% Appaloosa genes and so are hybrids) to start with, once these horses are outcrossed to a non-Appaloosa their offspring is probably around MAXIMUM  20% Appaloosa and therefore they are HYBRIDS and not Appaloosas regardless of whether they are registered in any Appaloosa registry or stud book.  That percentage is not enough for them to even be classified as Appaloosas at all and should be referred to as part-bred Appaloosas to be correct!  The mere fluke that they might have Appaloosa colouring is no guarantee that they can perpetuate any Appaloosa characteristics in their offspring.


Just as there is more to an Appaloosa than a name, there is also more to a Sport Horse than the term.  A sport horse needs to be able to compete in one of the adult equestrian Olympic disciplines, be it dressage, eventing, show jumping etc.  Just because an Appaloosa is cross bred to a Warmblood or Thoroughbred does NOT mean the offspring will be Sport Horses.  That is not solely determined by pedigree, unfortunately it is not that easy to breed a true sport horse.  BOTH the sire and the dam have to be sport horses in order for the resulting foal to have a chance of being a ‘sport horse‘.  Sport horses are so named for their conformation (incl size) and ability and are generally accepted as a minimum of 16hh and over simply because size is needed for competition at the highest levels.  The best sporting pedigree in the world cannot guarantee ability, and a pedigree is often referred to as ‘just a piece of paper’ for this precise reason.  Beauty is as beauty does, so to speak.


An Appaloosa sport horse is a horse which is an Appaloosa genetically and which has the ability to compete in the Olympic disciplines.  Anything else is a part-bred Appaloosa and a HYBRID!  One cannot simply cross an Appaloosa with a Thoroughbred or a Warmblood, or a cross thereof, and hope to ‘create’ an Appaloosa sport horse. To the same end, mixing and matching various different breeds and conformation types will  never create consistent attributes which can be relied upon generation after generation.  Multiple crosses simply create mixed breeds which have no reliable phenotype or genotype to pass on to future generations.


There is far more planning and highly selective breeding which needs to happen.  First and foremost, the Appaloosas chosen, as well as the Warmblood or Thoroughbred, need to be of the absolute highest quality possible. Mediocre Warmbloods and retired Thoroughbreds with soundness issues or average conformation which one came by cheaply are not what one should consider to use as a suitable cross!   Most Warmbloods used in Appaloosa breeding are simply Thoroughbred Warmblood cross breeds anyway, and hybrids in themselves. This is one of the reasons that Appaloosa / Warmblood crosses vary so greatly in conformation and ability.


There is really only one line, and that is the JG Appaloosa Sport Horse line, which can be referred to as true ’Appaloosa Sport Horses’.  Leopard Rock Appaloosa Sport Horse Stud breeds exclusively with mares linebred to the greatest Appaloosa Sport Horse OF ALL TIME - Wap's Spot 2. Many horses will have Wap's Spot 2 in the pedigree once, but that does not mean they are ''from'' Wap's Spot 2 or from his lineage. A horse appearing once in a pedigree has about as much bearing on their pedigree as any other horse which appears in it! 


There is also a really good article in the December 2012 Gauteng Horse Mag Weekly entitled : ‘So you just bought yourself a Warmblood…………….but did you really?’   A lot of it can be extrapolated to Appaloosa Sport Horses.  Just because a horse is _called_  an Appaloosa Sport Horse, doesn’t mean it _is_ an Appaloosa Sport Horse….



Line breeding :  Breeding related horses that have a common ancestor at least once in the first three generations of both parents pedigrees

Outcrossing :  Breeding two horses of the same breed but of different types, strains or varieties

Cross breeding :  Breeding two horses of different breeds in order to create a *****HYBRID***** 


For more information on breeding Sport Horses, read this article :

<title>Appaloosa Sport Horses - Linebreeding, Appaloosa Sport Horse, Jg Appaloosa, Leopard Rock, Thoroughbred,</title>

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Firstly, consider this: The Thoroughbred as a breed originated from just three stallions. The Godolphin Arabian, the Byerly Turk and the Darley Arabian*. In fact, recent research found that, in 95% of modern Thoroughbred racehorses, the Y-chromosome can be traced back to this single stallion*!


Possibly the most important tool a horse breeder has at their disposal are the pedigrees of their breeding stock. After everything else has been considered (from conformation to coat colour and absolutely everything else possible in between!) - the intelligent and competent use of a pedigree is what separates a skilled horse breeder (i.e. a breeder with an ‘eye’ for a horse) and someone who simply breeds hoping the result will be successful.  Please note that when referring to linebreeding it is assumed that one is linebreeding World Class specimens and bloodlines worthy of linebreeding, which have proven themselves over many generations.  There is no other way, bar linebreeding, to set the desired recognisable phenotype and genotype one wishes to consistently produce.


The most respected and successful Thoroughbred breeders, amongst others, have throughout time employed line breeding of their finest animals as their key tool to create equine masterpieces. To this end, we have purchased three Sport Horse Appaloosa fillies linebred to Wap’s Spot 2 to cross them to our stallion Many Moons, who is completely unrelated, who himself is prepotent and passes his exemplary traits on to his foals and gives them elegance and star quality.  A colt with the most outstanding pedigree and movement has also been recently imported so that we have both male and females similarly bred from this line so that we have endless options as to how to keep this unique bloodline alive and thriving for generations to come.


The purpose and reason for line breeding is simple: to produce horses who can pass on their [superior] traits i.e. homozygosity. One line breeds in order to set the desired characteristics by increasing homozygosity, which allows a horse to pass on their traits generation after generation. Line breeding sets the ‘type’ (i.e. phenotype) and genetic material (i.e. genotype) thereby allowing the horses to reproduce themselves accurately and reliably. This entrenches (by doubling up or tripling up - depending upon the extent of the line breeding) the desirable traits when one is developing a breed or a type for a specific purpose. In our case, that is for the Olympic equine sport disciplines of dressage, show jumping, eventing as well as in hand showing (conformation classes).


A word of caution:  This should only be practiced with superior quality animals [such as in the case of the stallions Wap’s Spot 2 and Reflection exhibit in themselves and their extended pedigrees] with no conformational defects or heritable abnormalities and that, in the case of a sire, he is prepotent and his offspring bear all his good attributes. It goes without saying that one uses both the conformation of the said animals as well as the pedigree when making breeding decisions. It is not sufficient to go simply by pedigree alone, or by phenotype alone. The two are inseparable.  An equally important factor when linebreeding is when one outcrosses, to ensure that the unrelated horse is of at least equal type and quality.  Otherwise all the line breeding in the world will  not achieve results.


It is a fact that to breed a great horse one needs great parents.  Of absolute equal importance are the grandparents and their parents, and so it goes on.  Every horse in the pedigree is important—the closer up it is, and the more it is line bred to, the greater the importance. That is why we have researched our horses’ pedigrees to the Nth degree to ensure that we are breeding with the best sport horse type [and purebred Appaloosas] available in the world. Apart from requiring a very high standard of conformation, our horses have excellent temperaments and an abundance of talent for the various Olympic disciplines, which are characteristics of this particular line (due to the line breeding), and of our stallion Many Moons.

             The Darley Arabian                                                               Byerly Turk                                                                               The Godolphin Arabian

All of our horses  trace back to all three of the Arab stallions pictured above - the founders of the Thoroughbred breed.

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Leopard Rock Sport Horse Appaloosas

South Africa

Tel:  082.714.5811

International:  +2782.714.5811



Nearco, the Italian Thoroughbred , who was himself linebred, and described by Thoroughbred Heritage as "one of the greatest racehorses of the Twentieth Century" and "one of the most important sires of the century."  He is the most important Thoroughbred to appear in Warmblood pedigrees.  He appears too in the pedigrees of Mamma Mia, Lexy and Diana.  In the case of Legacy, Nearco’s sire Pharos appears both top and bottom. 

Nearco is quadruple bred and our stallion Many Moons is eight times bred, to the great St Simon, one of the most influential Thoroughbred stallions of all time, unbeaten in his race career :

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‘There is no substitute for Quality’