The Triple Cross

There’s a variety of ways to cross horses, and a variety of types of crosses.  One type of cross I’ve worked with is the Triple Cross which is a multi-generation breeding project intended to develop a cross-bred horse that is a nearly even blend of three different breeds.  There are three methods of achieving this type of cross.  The easiest two involve a process I call flip-breeding in which the breeding is flipped between two extremes, and it has two variants, the other process is one I call a Triangle Breeding program due to how the three lines are bred together forming a triangle.

The flip method of breeding is rather simple, you start with two 50/50 crosses of breeds A/B and A/C.  Breed the 50/50 crosses to breed A creating a 75/25 A/B cross and a 75/25 A/C cross.  Breed the 75/25 A/B cross to breed B and the 75/25 A/C cross to breed C.  This will create a 37.5/62.5 A/B cross and 37.5/62.5 A/C cross.  The next generation breed those back to the A breed, and continue flipping the breed being bred back to each generation.  Eventually you will get to a point in which the horses will have about 33% of the A breed and 66% of the B and C breed.  Anytime the A breed is low in both horses, you can breed those together and the resulting horse will be close to having 33% of each breed.

The variant of this is to use a 50/50 cross of the B/C breeds to flip the breeding between a purebred of the A breed and the 50/50 cross.  This is much cleaner and simpler.  Simply start by breeding a purebred with the 50/50 cross to get a 50/25/25 (A/B/C) cross, and breed that to the purebred line A to get a 75/12.5/12.5 (A/B/C) cross.  The breed that to a 50/50 B/C cross to get a 37.5/32.25/32.25 (A/B/C) cross, and keep flipping the breeding between the purebred A line and the 50/50 B/C line.  Eventually you’ll get close to a 33/33/33 (A/B/C) triple cross in which the A breed should remain dominant throughout.  If instead of breeding the 50/25/25 (A/B/C) cross to the purebred A line you breed it to the 50/50 B/C cross instead, the dominant breed will vary between the B and C breeds somewhat randomly.

The final method is one I call the Triangle Breeding program which relies on a closed breeding pool of about 4 horses in each generation breeding them in, roughly, a triangle formation formed by 3 breeding lines of horses starting with purebred horses of breeds A, B and C.  Line A to Line B, Line B to Line C, Line C to Line A.  So, starting with 3 lines of purebreds, A, B and C, you breed Line A with Line B to create the next generation of Line A, Breed Line B with Line C to create the next generation of Line B and do the same with Line C and Line A to create the next generation of Line C.  Keep repeating this process with each successive generation of the three Lines (A, B and C) and by the 8th generation you will get to an almost even blend of 33% of each breed in the three lines with each line having one breed dominant over the other two, and by 21 generations there will be an even 33.33333% of each breed.

Each method will, in fact, hit the same points in the generational sequence at the same time, the first two methods; however, are far easier to manage and not as complicated to keep track of in the long run.

Some graphs from when I devised the Triangle Breeding program initially.


Easy Cross

On Howrse International I run a cross breeding project called Proekt Haos.  In order to figure out the best pair for breeding to get the foal either one or two generations down the line I wanted, I devised a spreadsheet method of doing this.  This endeavor, however, was time-consuming due to having to constantly copy and paste the cells, connect them to the next generation etc.  So I created a spreadsheet that would do all of this for me, and all I have to do now is enter the stats of the horses in question, including the breed percentages.  What I came up with after several modifications is what I call Easy Cross, a spreadsheet that can calculate, out to 6 generations, crosses based on the starting horses including truncation of the breeding list at 5 breeds, calculating out the new percentage based on a ratio.  All you have to do is enter the horses information on the first page, and the horses names on the second page at the top where the pairings are set.  The spreadsheet will then do the rest.  The spreadsheet also includes the higher GP horses for each breed (on the International version of Howrse), so you can use the name of the breed instead of having to look it up on the game and put the information in yourself.

The spreadsheet was created with Open Office, and I’m not sure if Excel would break it or not.

There are several sheets.  The first sheet (named Horses)  is where the player can enter the data for their horses: name, GP stats, breeds, percentages.  The GP doesn’t have to be entered as the sheet will auto-calculate that once the stats and the horse’s name as entered.  Some breed names are truncated like Arabian Horse is listed as Arabian, Paint Horse as Paint.

The second sheet is Easy Cross which is where the horses are entered at the top where they should appear in the genealogy tree, and the spreadsheet will do the rest.  The names have to be the same as entered either on the Horses sheet or by breed name.  If you pick a name for two horses or that is the same as one of the breeds, this will break the spreadsheet as it uses lookup functions to find all the information being referenced and one error early will cause errors to appear later.

The third sheet is Easy Cross List which is contains all the information being referenced on the Easy Cross sheet.  This contains no user modifiable data unless they want to update the breed stats for their version of the game or the stats become outdated.  As of creating the spreadsheet initially, the stats of the breeds were the top GP horses of each breed, and, as the GP increases daily, they probably aren’t the top GP for the breeds, most likely.

The fourth sheet is just some useful information about the spreadsheet.

I’ve hosted the file on MediaFire here: Easy Cross

As it was created using Open Office, and I do not have MS Excel installed I do not know if it is compatible with MS Excel.

A couple sceenshots of the spreadsheet (linked to the full-size image on imageshack)