Putting off stallion retirement?

So since my return to “active” status I’ve been nosing around and I have to say I’m shocked by a few developments. Number one that it is way more difficult than I remember 3 years ago to get the early to mid season breeding spots and it’s not even breeding season yet. Second, there is currently a stallion to mare ratio of 37 mares for each stud. And of course, each stud is allowed 30 mares.  Stallions seem to often retire around age 5, in which case means they are unproven until 8-9 years old if their 1st crop hits maturity at 2-3yrs old, at least, then at 10 they are suddenly in the running to be retired. I wish we had more time to learn and play with their strengths and weaknesses, nicks, etc before they leave us.  Seems like to me stallions are retiring before 15 way too frequently. I also wish we had more variability in the stallion pool. I’m wondering if stallions retired at 15-25 like RL would be beneficial.

For instance, the oldest fully FF created stallion (not a RL stud) is Harvard Bound, a 2001 stud. He is 15 years old. Top studs Nightfight and Foolhardy are 2004 stallions so it’s likely we may lose them in the next couple of years. Seems soon with their first crops 3 and 5yrs old, respectively.

Broodmare retirement, on the other hand, I feel is in a “sweet spot” because although the mares may not breed for as many years as in real life, the earlier retirement reflects a more likely total foals produced number that accounts for how common barren years are with real retired race mares. Plus, it is nice to keep their expanding numbers in check.

Anyway, anybody feel likewise or am I the only person thinking this?

I don’t see any problem with things. Like in RL, there’s competition in breeding and to me if you don’t get a breeding spot, you don’t get a breeding spot – not like there’s a shortage of studs to choose from. As for the retirement thing, I’m pretty sure this is random and didn’t Shanthi say that the # of times a horse races at particular ages effects their lifespan? Like raced a ton at 2/3 = shorter breeding and life ages? I may have misread something wrong at some point. The retirement age average might also have something to do with when FF was made since I imagine many studs retired around the same time? Some of the older members might know more.

Though as I was browsing I saw Cool Thief had retired. When did that happen? His oldest crop are yearlings.

Couple months ago :frowning:

I agree that stallions seem to be disappearing too “early”.  I would of course love to see them stand at stud longer, but the tragedy is realistic.

Competition for spots is good, though, as it forces us to reconsider some of the newer, lesser known stallions as well.  I don’t see how competition would be much affected by stallions having a few more years at stud, as they would still only get 30 mares per year.  Still, I think we have more stallions hitting the requirements these days, so each retirement seems to come with far more new stallion options.

To summarize: I don’t think it’s a major issue.  For sentimental/fun/knowledge-based reasons, I would personally like to see stallions at stud longer - not even necessarily extending the “maximum” retirement age (as that seems just fine), but maybe just increasing the “minimum” retirement age.

Wow. He was only 9. That is very young. We had owned him very briefly.

There was a reduction in both racing and breeding lifespans due to excessively low NE. I’ve disabled that in the past couple of years, but will probably re-enable it in the rewrite. Basically, regardless of age, if you constantly race your horses and don’t give them a break at the farm, they’ll hit their has-been age (for racing) earlier than they normally would have, and they’ll retire from breeding earlier as well. Unless you race a horse for years without a break, though, the reduction in lifespan would be a factor of weeks, not years.

I wanted to wait until other people weighed in before voicing my opinion, but personally speaking, I don’t think the 1:37 ratio of mares to studs is an issue. I don’t think every mare in the game needs to be bred (and, being owned by FF, not every mare will be). I also don’t think every foal needs to be born early in the year, so competition for the “best” breeding slots seems fair to me.

As it stands now, for current/retired stallions, their average retirement (or death) age is 13.5. That’s a bit on the low end of the range (age 10 to 20), but with a pretty limited sample it’s not too bad.

I’m open to the idea of matching stallions’ retirement age range to that of broodmares (15 to 25 rather than 10 to 20), but stallions do generally retire from breeding earlier than mares, and obviously they can produce a lot more offspring in a year than a mare will.

I guess I feel like studs are gone before we can play with their genes much and that there should be a healthy competition for mares.  I’ve owned 6 stallions while a member of FF and always liked the competition for mares. It seemed appropriate. Then again thinking back on it stallions were expensive and stud fees were low. Maybe now if stud fees meet demand stallions will actually be a nice revenue stream.

Obviously, I am for a stud retirement age increase another 5 years.

2 cents, spent. :slight_smile:

I’m with you Jade. I would like to see studs around a little longer. I know I have a biased opinion because I would like to keep Nightfight for as long as possible, but in general it would be neat to play a bit longer with them.

Yeah, horses race later in age in FF than in RL, where in FF more money can be made on the track, usually… I think that’s an awesome aspect of the game and my good runners I always wanted to enjoy longer on the track.

Shanthi, I didn’t know (or forgot lol) about the low NE leads to early retirement effect. Good to know. So as long as you farm rest them on a regular basis they won’t be too affected even if they race to 6 or 7 years?

Yeah, as long as their NE level doesn’t stay low for months on end they can race up until age 10.

As to the sentimental aspect, having raced most of my stallions myself, and managed their stud careers, obviously I’d like them to last at stud as long as possible. That said, I think the current system allows for a good stud to prove himself.

Slew O’Scots will be 14 next year, and will have 3 sons at stud (Edinburgh, To Die For, and Mantle of Power). Personally, I think that’s plenty to replace a stallion.

Foolhardy (a year younger) has a son at stud and another qualified, plus a promising 2yo colt, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up with 3+ sons at stud as well.

Nightfight has at least one stud qualified son, even though his babies are only 3.

The strong lines will carry on, and new bloodlines crop up as well, to keep it interesting. :slight_smile:

I think things are okay at the moment. My main frustration has been around the breeding slots - can be difficult to get my favourite March / April bookings.
I’d like stallions to stay around a little longer, but they probably don’t need to be around as long as broodmares.
Shanthi made a great point re strong lines leaving behind stallions to replace then. Like To Do For, I’m No Fool, etc. we have a lot of young stallions now - I’ve noticed more GCh and Nch retiring (who I personally don’t choose to breed to) so there is potential for fresh lines to develop particularly if after a few crops they prove themselves with a couple of good foals from presumably lower class mares.