When to consider gelding?

Hey guys, as a newer stable I could really use some advice when it comes to colts and when to think about gelding them.

I have a few colts that haven’t done anything other than run dead last or close to, however they are only 3 yrs old. My thinking is maybe they are still getting adjusted to life on the track, but at what point (or after approx. how many races with no OTB) should I consider gelding them? I realize some horses could take years to mature into racing but also run the risk of missing out on a nice career as a gelding.

I understand its all part of the gamble of owning a stable I’m just trying to get some insight. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

So I might not be the best source of advice (I’ve never had much luck in the stakes lol) but from what I gather, every horse has a career “peak” that is guaranteed to be at least a year. Plenty of successful horses haven’t hit their prime until 4 or 5, like Loveofthegame, for instance.

Gelding is a bit of a gamble, because you can’t really know if your horse is in their peak or not. I’d check their pedigree, their siblings etc, to try and see when those horses peaked, and make the call that way. I also tend not to geld at 3, but if the horse seems inconsistent, it might help!

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Pretty much what Madison said. In my experience, most horses will peak at 3 or 4, though I have had them peak at 2 or 5 a fair amount, too. As a personal rule, I never geld, but mostly that’s because I am a hopeless idealist when it comes to my horses and keep hoping that my favorites will finally find their groove.

If you are seriously considering gelding, I’d suggest following Madison’s advice and checking the pedigree (parents/siblings/even grandparents). Make sure you don’t have a horse born from late-peak parents. Also check for SC talent in the pedigree. This probably goes without saying, but make sure you’ve tried the horse at different distances and both on dirt and turf. It could be you’re running the horse in the wrong kind of race. An example is my horse, NCh. Fractal. I thought I was breeding her for turf, since both parents mostly excelled on turf, but Fractal actually ended up being very happy on dirt.

I would also eliminate all other possible negative factors, such as a jockey who doesn’t know or doesn’t like the horse, unfavorable equipment, or sub-par fitness/energy.

If all those factors have been eliminated and you still think there are more pros than cons to gelding the colt, gelding is always an option, though still a gamble.

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I don’t geld many. If horse isn’t performing look at the workout comments and rank. If colt constantly plays up or is clearly a moody so and so that’s when he goes for the op
Obviously this is the last resort after changing equipment combinations and try jumps trial to see if his future maybe brighter over jumps?

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I used to geld older horses, but I seem to have a knack for breeding horses that are late bloomers on the track so I stopped. I’ve never stud qualified a horse either so I wouldn’t say I’m exactly an authority. :neutral_face:

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I go through phases of being rather snip-happy, but I’ve yet to have a successful gelding. I echo what others have said that I usually try to wait until older than 3 and also trying jump trials, etc.

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I also try to go through the hoops of equipment and jump trials before gelding (if they’re under 4 years of age), and overall I don’t geld often. I feel most of the geldings I’ve owned over the years I purchased already gelded.

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Thanks everyone for the advice! I’ll hang in there with these guys and see if we can find their stride!