Thoroughbred Syndicates Study Pedigree At Thoroughbred Auctions
The thoroughbred is known as one of the most beautiful and powerful animals in the world. They are coveted for their speed and athleticism on the race track. But the thoroughbred is not a breed that has been around as long as many other horse breeds. It wasn’t until the 17th and 18th centuries that the thoroughbred was bred by English horsemen. From that time on they have been known as the breed with the best mix of speed and stamina in the world.
All thoroughbreds can be traced back to three stallions from the Middles East that were brought to England as gifts or even spoils of war. The first was the Byerly Turk, who was captured by Captain Robert Byerly in a battle in 1686. Captain Byerly brought the horse back with him to Ireland and maintained him as his war horse. Byerly eventually moved to England and the horse was at that point retired to stud.
The next stallion was the Darley Arabian who was purchased by Thomas Darley in Syria in 1704 and shipped back to England to stand at stud. He stood about 15 hands and was the great-great-great grandsire of the Champion Eclipse. In addition, recent research shows that 95% of thoroughbreds today can be traced back to the Darley Arabian who has proven to be extremely influential.
The Godolphin Arabian, the last of the original thoroughbred stallions, was given as a gift in France to a Duke and later purchased by Edward Coke who brought the stallion to stand in England in 1729. After Mr. Coke’s death the stallion was left to Francis the second Earl of Godolphin in 1733. The Godolphin Arabian also sired Regulus who was the sire of Eclipse’s dam. The Godolphin Arabian also went on to have a very influential career at stud, only breeding to the best English mares.
By the end of the 18th century horseracing was off and running in England and Classic races like the St. Leger Stakes, the Epsom Derby, and Epsom Oaks were established. With the creation of these races came more selective breeding for speed and stamina. By the 19th century size in thoroughbreds also began to increase, where the winner of the Epsom Derby, Bay Middleton, stood over 16 hands high, a full hand higher than the Darley Arabian.
Breeding continued to evolve especially with the importing of thoroughbreds to the United States. The first thoroughbreds were imported in 1730 and the original breeding grounds were mainly Virginia, Maryland, and South Carolina. But after the American Civil War and a larger amount of thoroughbreds were being imported and bred in the U.S., racing evolved into shorter races from 5 furlongs up to 1.5 miles instead of 4 mile races that were ran in heats. With the change in racing distances also came a change in breeding practices and breeding locations. Kentucky became the heartland for thoroughbred breeding as it remains today mainly because of its fertile land that is full of nutrients from the natural limestone that lies beneath the grass.
As Kentucky remains the heart of thoroughbred country today, it also has evolved into holding the largest thoroughbred sales year in and year out. So, when thoroughbred partnerships are looking to purchase new horses each year they undoubtedly are reminded of the history of the thoroughbred as pour over the pedigree pages of each potential thoroughbred prospect. And thanks to the establishment of the Jockey Club and their excellent records we can trace all thoroughbreds today back to the foundation stallions that began their stud careers in England. Buying thoroughbred as part of a thoroughbred partnership, one gains a sense of pride in the history that is our sport of thoroughbred racing and should always remember and respect the beautiful animals that give us such great memories and enjoyment.
Blinkers On Racing Stable, a leader in thoroughbred horse racing partnerships, brings together the finest in thoroughbred horse racing expertise with the best in business know-how, and above all, a team of people you can trust, to manage your investment. We are committed to helping you experience the joys of thoroughbred horse ownership. For more information on thoroughbred partnerships visit our website or request an information package about our partnership. Keep up with horse racing in California by reading our Blog, finding us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, checking us out on LinkedIn, or visiting our YouTube Channel!