Being quite analytical, I have always held an interest in pedigrees. The analysis of success also fascinates me. Author Malcom Gladwell’s work, Outliers, Blink and David and Goliath shine a light on success from unexpected angles. Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner in Freakonomics use similar analysis to examine why drug dealers still live with their mums and why the Ku Klux Klan is like a group of Real Estate Agents. Really, they do.

Analysis requires looking at things from unexpected positions and being open to altering a perhaps long held belief or perception if the evidence suggests otherwise. It is through this prism that I decided to have a look at the pedigrees of the Grand Champion Bull and Grand Champion Female from Agribition 2017. Notta 151A Cause N Effect 309C and Notta 68L Lightning Lady 31X were respectively crowned Agribition king and queen 2017. And as it turns out, they are both bred on the same pedigree pattern!

Notta 68L Lightning Lady 31X

Both Cause N Effect and Lightning Lady are bred on a particular pattern that is known in the Thoroughbred world as the Rasmussen Factor. The Rasmussen Factor is when an individual is line bred to a superior female. Cause N Effect 309C’s sire, Notta 101Y Black Cap 151A, counts Janette Of P.A.R. 44H as his 4th dam, while his dam has Janette Of P.A.R. 44H as her 2nd dam. Lightning Lady 31X comes from the female family of Lightning Lady 19C as does her sire Starbank Lacerta 68L.

The Rasmussen Factor can be seen in the pedigrees of many great racehorses. From the immortal Carbine (1880), who had duplications of Brown Bess, to the current darling of the turf, Winx, who is line bred to the wonderful matron Natalma and her dam Almahmoud. Rekindling, the 2017 Melbourne Cup winner carries duplications of three great mares in Rough Shod, Lalun and Mumtaz Begum. This is a method of breeding that continues to produce greatness.

I also analysed the pedigrees of the 2016 and 2017 Agribition Champions, and it revealed that 11 of the 12 individuals are either bred using the Rassmusen Factor or are out of cows that are bred in this fashion.

When planning a mating pedigree is only but one consideration, and phenotype, in in my humble opinion, should always be considered first. But with evidence like this, pedigree patterns certainly deserve serious consideration.

Winx: 23 wins in a row and counting.