What is a Werk Nick Rating?


Over the years Werk Nick Ratings® have proven to be an invaluable tool in the stallion selection process and in identifying horses for purchase.

Affinity between sire-lines was long ago observed by some of the world’s best thoroughbred breeders. Today we are able to quantify what was once only a subjective judgment based on the observations of a relatively small population.

Werk Nick Ratings® are essentially that objective measurement of the success, or lack therefore, of sire-line crosses. Success, in this case, being the winners of unrestricted stakes races with a purse of at least $50,000. With our unique database, containing the pedigrees of all such winners since 1980 (over 30,000 winners), we are able to easily measure what sire-line crosses have succeeded in producing stakes winners and compare those numbers with the stakes winning population on the whole.

Often a sire line may appear to be successful with a particular broodmare sire line. However, if the level of success is no better than that line’s success with the entire population, then there is not a true nick.

In order to codify the Nick Ratings for easier use, a letter-grade scale was developed. As in the scholastic setting, the scales ranges from A through F with A+, A++, and even an A+++ in rare cases. The percentages shown below the deviation from the norm that has been observed by the sire-line cross in question. On this scale -15% to +15% (C) is considered average, meaning that the sire-line cross has yielded results that are statistically no better and no worse than what would be expected with the entire population.

It must be stressed that a below “Average” Werk Nick Rating® does not guarantee or even predict failure. It means only that, to date, the particular sire-line cross has fallen at least 16% short of what would be expected. Nicks can and do change over time.

Consequently, an above Average Nick Rating must be kept in proper perspective as there are other factors that must be considered when arranging a mating or selecting a horse for purchase.

The Werk Nick Rating® Scale is shown below:

Werk Nick Rating® Potential Variant
A+++ Best of the Best
A++ Superior +1501
A+ Superb +500 to +1500
A Outstanding +150 to +499
B+ Very Good +100 to +149
B Good +50 to +99
C+ Acceptable +16 to +49
C Average -15 to +15
D+ Weak -16 to -34
D Poor -35 to -49
F Unsuccessful -50
0 SW Zero Stakes Winners 0 SW