Storm Cat, a leading sire who was pensioned last year after experiencing fertility problems at the Young family’s Overbrook Farm near Lexington, might return to the sire ranks as a Quarter Horse stallion. The Quarter Horse breeding industry permits artificial insemination and allows for a Thoroughbred/Quarter Horse mix.
The idea was ignited last year when Storm Cat was examined by Dr. Dickson Varner from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. Varner is Professor of Theriogenology and Pin Oak Stud Chair of Stallion Reproduction.
“We had enlisted the help of Dr. Varner when Storm Cat was experiencing fertility problems, and he came up with the idea to store some of the semen from his dismounts,” said Ric Waldman, who managed Storm Cat’s stallion career. “And then it grew into the prospect of using that semen to impregnate Quarter Horse mares.
“Dr. Varner is helping us connect to the Quarter Horse community. There is stored semen at A&M. The semen will have to be treated, and they have the science to do it.”
Storm Cat, 26, is not the first Thoroughbred stallion to sire foals from Quarter Horse mares. Leading sire Alydar did so when he stood at Calumet Farm near Lexington.
“I was told that Hennessy (by Storm Cat) had two stakes winners out of five Quarter Horse mares,” Waldman said about the deceased stallion.
Storm Cat (Storm Bird--Terlingua, by Secretariat) twice was the leading sire by progeny earnings. He has sired 168 stakes winners. His fee as a Quarter Horse stallion will be $20,000, a far cry from his top fee of $500,000 as recently as 2007.
According to Waldman, the Quarter Horse community can benefit from Storm Cat as a stallion.
“Storm Cat is arguably the greatest Thoroughbred stallion of the modern era combining speed and precocity,” Waldman said. “And then there is the fact that he’s an outcross.”