Questions of the Novice: What is a Thoroughbred?- Old Turfman Answers and Goes into Details, Daily Racing Form, 1922-08-22


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QUESTIONS OF THE NOVICE What Is a Thoroughbred? Old Turfman Answers and Goes Into Details. Reports from all parts of this country and Canada where racing is being conducted tell of many first-time visitors among the big gatherings at the various tracks. Many of them had never been on a race track before and know little or nothing about horses, racing or anything pertaining to the great outdoor sport. Many the questions asked of old turfmen. The question most asked by the novice is, "What is a thoroughbred?" To such a query a horseman of high standing and well versed in the lore of the turf replied that when ap- plied to horses the term thoroughbred is i understood to mean an animal of a breed I that has been bred in England for genera-I tions to race at the running gait. Horses I were raced in England for at least six hun-! dred years, and probably considerable more than that, before the thoroughbred breed was established. During all those years the breeders of race horses in England had doubtless endeavored to improve the spaed and other race-winning qualities of their racing stock by careful selections of sires and dams of demonstrated merit, j The eminent English writer J. H. Walsh Stonehenge, author of the valuable standard work "The Horse in the Stable and the Field," stated that the breed of race horses known as thoroughbred was established ; about 1750. The foundation stock from which this breed was created, as stated by Stone- j henge, was as follows: First Native mares used for racing and J bred from Spanish and English strains, the former most probably descended from the Barbs and Morocco. Second Markhams Arabian, imported in the, time of James the First, and most probably there is not now the slightest strain of his blood extant. Third Places White Turk, extensively used, and to him most of our best horses can be traced through Matchem. Fourth The three Turks, brought over from the siege of Vienna in 1684. Fifth The royal mares imported by Charles the Second, who sent his "Master of the Horse to the Levant" especially to procure them. These are also mentioned in all the best pedigrees. TWO CLASSES OF THOROUGHBREDS. There are two classes of thoroughbreds, one of which includes only such descendants of King Charles royal mares as were by pure Barb, Arabian or Turk stallions, without the admixture of other blood ; while the other class includes animals that are direct descendants in the paternal line of the first class and have interited not less than five unbroken crosses in the maternal line of the thoroughbred of the first class. As we understand it all such animals, regardless of their speed ability or other race-winning qualities, were eligible to registration as thoroughbred in the old English Stud Book and no distinction was made there between the two classes above-named. All horses are thoroughbred whose sires and dams trace in every line to animals that are registered in the English Stud Book, whether they are clean-cut and show quality or not- The thoroughbred horse of America is a descendant of the English thoroughbred. There were three horses to one or the other of which the English thoroughbred is largely indebted for his most valuable qualities. They were Byerly Turk, Darley Arabian and Godolphin Arabian, all of which were un- doubtedly pure-bred horses of the desert. Most of the best thoroughbreds of the present time are descendants of English Eclipse, Matchem or King Herod. Eclipse was a direct descendant in the paternal line of Darley Arabian ; Matchem of Godolphin Arabian and Herod of Byerly Turk. The dam of Herod was in-bred to Darley Arabian through Flying Childers. The dam of Matchem was by Crofts Partner, a son of Jigg, by Byerly Turk, and the dam of Eclipse was by Regulus, a son of Godolphin Arabian.

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