Pedigree Assignment (also referred to as breeding model horses or by the abbreviation PA) is one of the oldest and best-loved aspects of the hobby. It is a simple procedure. Just as many people like to assign a name, breed, age, and gender to their beloved models, many take the idea a step further and assign a pedigree to their horses.
This practice provides collectors with an educational link to the real horse world. Through PA, one can learn about famous bloodlines, color genetics, traits passed down through sires and dams, and type characteristics found within breeds. It’s also a great way to make friends, enjoy prestige through your top sires and dams, and is easily the cheapest activity in the model horse hobby! Whether you own one or a thousand models, every person can gain knowledge and interaction through PA.
If you decide to create a pedigree for your model, there are several things you will need to consider. First, what will your horse’s name be? Most reputable breeders will ask that foals from their stable follow real horse naming guidelines. For example, all Trakehners are named starting with the first letter of their dam’s name. Another example would be that male Lipizzans are named combining the sire’s family name with the dam’s name. A colt by the stallion Maestoso Byla out of the dam Sorsina would be named Maestoso Sorsina. It’s important to research these naming rules!
Next, consider your model’s breed. Does the mold you have make a good representation of the breed you would like it to be? Breeders want the foals produced out of their stable to be of good quality. Think about the breed characteristics for each model and do your best to find a breed where it fits in best.
If the breed you are considering has several “types” (such as the Arabian), you might want to find bloodlines that match the body best. For example, a Polish Arabian pedigree might be best for the Proud Arabian Stallion, and an Egyptian Arabian pedigree might be better suited for your Classics Arabian Mare.
Now look at the color of your model. Is that color appropriate for the breed you would like it to be? Breeders have become very educated about color types and genetics, and will not let you make a wild pinto horse a Friesian! Avoid common mistakes with coloration - don't have a "purebred" palomino Arabian, for example.
Carina and Selene are painted as historical Lipizzaners. For pedigree assignment, they will need to be assigned a modern Iberian breed that allows appaloosa patterns, such as the Tiger Horse.
What can make things tricky is that actual breed registries will sometimes call colors by different names. For example, The Jockey Club will call grey horses "roans." It's a good idea to brush up on the color requirements for each breed that you may be less than familiar with. Some surprising colors DO appear in a breed, but are so rare that you may have a time and a half trying to find parents for them. An example is as a sabino Standardbred. Most breeders will ask that you follow color genetic rules. So be safe, make sure that you will be able to find at least one parent that is the same color as your foal.
Whew! That's a lot of work, but it's well worth it to have a model that you are positive is a close to a breed standard as possible! Not only will others be eager to breed from your well-researched sires and dams, but you will have a show entry that is glowing with a carefully researched pedigree that is sure to improve in the winners ring!
Now all that's left (and this is the fun part!) is picking out a set of parents for your impressive new model.
The International Pedigree Assignment and Bloodline Research Association ("IPABRA") is currently the most active pedigree assignment club. For more information on model horse pedigrees, visit their website at ipabra.org.