Posted by Sadie from D007072.N1.Vanderbilt.Edu (188.8.131.52) on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 at 8:04PM :
In Reply to: "King of the Wind" father of thorou posted by Sadie from D007072.N1.Vanderbilt.Edu (184.108.40.206) on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 at 7:54PM :
"Today, all modern thoroughbreds trace in male line to one of the three linefounding stallions. Herod, Eclipse, and Matchem, the descendants of Byerley Turk, Darley Arabian, and Godolphin Arabian."
Introduction to Thoroughbred Racing
by Lynn K. Joris
Thoroughbred horse racing has its roots in seventeenth century England. Horses of so-called Oriental blood, which actually originated from anywhere between and including North Africa and Turkey, were crossed with native British stock, most notably the famed 'Royal Mares'. The result was a new breed, the thoroughbred. These early racehorses were asked to cover a distance of four miles just to complete a single heat. In these contests, the winner was generally the first horse to win two heats. Ordinarily, it was over by the third heat, but occasionally four or even five heats would be required to win. Sprinters were not highly prized.
The first star of the early British turf was Spanker, a son of Darcy Yellow Turk and Old Peg who handily beat all other horses of his day. The names of those defeated and the details of specific events have been forgotten in the mists of time. While Spanker's male line did not survive, his name adorns many early pedigrees, and his blood was an important ingredient in the creation of the thoroughbred.
Spanker sired Old Careless, the broodmare sire of the first great racehorse, Flying Childers. A son of Darley Arabian, one of the three foundation sires of the thoroughbred, Flying Childers was never beaten. Extraordinary feats were credited to the bay stallion, and he was called "Mile a Minute Childers." He sired two significant sons, Blaze and Snip. Blaze, in addition to his contributions to the thoroughbred also became the foundation sire of the Hackney when crossed with mares of Norfolk Roadster blood. Snip sired Snap.
A saying among mid-eighteenth century horse breeders was "Snap for speed and Matchem for truth and daylight." The grandson of Flying Childers excelled as a broodmare sire, and while the male line was not carried on, the contribution was lasting, for Snap sired the dam of Matchem's son Conductor, through whom all modern male line descendants of Matchem trace.
Matchem was from the line of the Godolphin Arabian, and was actually the third of the great linefounders. The first was Herod, an unbeaten bay stallion from the line of the Byerley Turk. While not the first Eastern stallion to be imported, Captain Byerley's charger was the earliest of the three whose male lines survived. Through his son Jigg the Byerley Turk was responsible for the leading sire of the 1720's, Partner. Partner sired Tartar, who in turn sired Herod for the Duke of Cumberland in 1758. Herod's broodmare sire was Blaze, by Flying Childers.
Next came the most famous linefounder, and a horse unequaled in racing history: Eclipse. Also bred by the Duke of Cumberland, Eclipse was foaled on April 1, 1764, during a solar eclipse. His sire was Marske, a male line descendant of the Darley Arabian through Bartlett's Childers, a full brother to Flying Childers. His dam was Spiletta, a successful race mare and the daughter of Regulus, the most famous son of the Godolphin Arabian.
The Godolphin Arabian's male line survived through Matchem, who was sired by Cade, a son of the Godolphin Arabian.
Today, all modern thoroughbreds trace in male line to one of the three linefounding stallions. Herod, Eclipse, and Matchem, the descendants of Byerley Turk, Darley Arabian, and Godolphin Arabian.
By the time Herod, Eclipse, and Matchem were enjoying stud careers, the face of racing was changing. Four mile heats were left to the Americans, and the English had begun racing younger horses and shorter distances, measured in eighths of a mile, or furlongs. The three-year-olds moved into center stage, and the classics were born as the nineteenth century approached.
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