Noted Case of Inbreeding Cited, Daily Racing Form, 1922-12-08


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Noted Case of Inbreeding Cited 1 Some time ago, when dealing with the ad- vent and development of the Agnes family, 1 I expressed the view that a sort of elemen- tary influence emanated from the mare Betty Leedes, whose grandparents were Spanker and a daughter of Spanker, and the Old -Morocco mare, the dam of Spanker. This, ; to my knowledge, is the most incestuous in- -breeding which has ever been recorded. In those times, however, there was not nearly so great a danger of any ill effects of these j methods upon the constitution of the off- , spring as today, after a century and a , hairs consistent and, as a rule, injudicious : recourse to this procedure. The following four instances lend full support to the assumption that this inbreeding j to Spanker and his dam was highly successful: 1 Betty Leedes produced Bart-letts Childers, a phenomenal race horse, and the only son of the imported Darley Arabian, which succeeded in establishing a male line ; 2 Cade, the sire of Matchem, traces in fourth generation to Betty Leedes grand-dam, by Spanker out of Spankers dam ; 3 Jigg proved himself the only son of the imported Byerly Turk capable of founding a male line. Jiggs dam was a daughter of Spanker and his blood, in its most powerful accumulation, was returned when Cypon, a granddaughter of Flying Childers, was mated with Jiggs grandson Tartar and produced Herod ; 4 Diomed, the first Derby winner, traces to the same "Spanker" source. TUBEE FUNDAMENTAL SLUES. The three fundamental sires Eclipse, Herod and Matchem thus were strongly, if not incestuously, inbred to Spanker and his dam. The second elementary influence emanated from the Godolphin Barb, as I recently attempted to prove when dealing with the achievement of the Highflyer blood of Herod, which determined pure dominance in many impure lines. For my part I have, however, not the slightest doubt that without that close inbreeding to Spanker and his dam in the pedigrees of Frying and Bartletts Childers and Cade, the lines of Byerly Turk and Darley Arabian would have met the fate of those of the other eastern sires, i. e., an early extinction, for none of their numerous other sons, and not one of their daughters, achieved anything remarkable at the stud. The first line of Eclipse which found a firm footing was the branch established by the chestnut Pot-8-os, whose son Waxy winner of the Derby, handed it on to Whalebone also winner of the Derby. There cannot, however, be much doubt that the great individuality of these two horses was due to a predominant influence of the Herod element, for and particularly so in the case of Whalebone there is no Eclipse i blood in the other quarterings of their pedigrees that could have led to a consolidation of this paternal element. All the classic and other great winners sired by Waxy and , Whalebone were either bays or browns and some of them were so successful at the stud as the black Sir Hercules. How, then, may it be explained that Sir Hercules, though not nearly so good a race horse as, for example, Waxy Pope, Blucher, Lapdog and Spaniel the four Derby winners sired by , Waxy and Whalebone proved himself a . much better sire than these? BIRD CAT CHE 11 A SECOND RATEE. My answer to this question is that his i dam, Perl, returned to Whalebone some of ! the purest Eclipse blood then in existence . i. e., that of the chestnuts Mercury and Al-i . exander. This breeding accounts for the fact that though Sir Hercules in the black The Corsair, the bay Coronation and the j brown Faugh-a-Ballagh sired a trio of clas- . sic winners, his line was not handed on by either of these sons, but by the chestnut t Birdcatcher, which even amidst the then i moderate class of Irish horses was a second I rater only. Birdcatcher was undoubtedly r - strongly imbued-with the paternal blood, for - his dam, Guiccioli, was a daughter of the s ! Herod descendant, Bob Booty, and closely r inbred to Bagot, a son of Herod. In Bird-catchers - brother, the brown Faugh-a-, Ballagh, Herod characters evidently dominated, and as these do not appertain to the 1 ; j , , : j i ! . . . j t i I r - s ! r - compound of his male line, he failed to establish a line of his own, though a winner of the St. Leger and the Cesarewitch. To Echidna Birdcatcher bred the chestnut, The Baron. Echidna was a daughter of Economist, a grandson of Pot-S-os, and of Floranthe, by Octavian which traces to Phoenomenon, the only good chestnut sired by Herod and this evidently because his dam, Frenzy, was a chestnut daughter of Eclipse. Echidnas dam traces through both male lines Blacklock and Orville to Eclipse. It stands to reason that in the chestnut Glen-coe, the sire of Pocahontas, the Eclipse element dominated for his dam, the chestnut Trampoline, traces through both male lines Tramp and Waxy to Eclipse. One may search in vain for a mre more closely inbred to Eclipse than Marpessa, the dam of Pocahontas. Thus, to my mind, Stockwell personified the imaginable intensification of the Eclipse element. None of his bay or brown sons not even such splendid turf per- formers as Lord Lyon. The Marquis and Bothwell succeeded in establishing lines fit enough to survive, and as in these individuals maternal characters dominated we may now perceive the actual cause of their failure. The chestnut Oxford, though, like Bird-catcher, a moderate race horse, founded a second strong line. However, in the next generation, the blood of Whisper, a granddaughter of Touchstone, subjected, the line to a complete mutation, and there is no denying that the dominance of this female element, though it may have determined the great individuality of the bay Isonomy, seriously encroached upon its hereditary stoutness, for, in comparison with the successes of Stockwells direct chestnut descendants at the stud, the achievements of Isonomys best sons the bays Common and Isinglass were of a kind that does not make a survival of the Isonomy lines likely. GALL UNTILE WAS BEST SURE. The decidedly inferior quality of Commons and Isinglass chestnuts lends further support to the presumption that in Isonomy the Birdcatcher element was subordinate. The chestnut Gallinule proved himself the best sire among the sons of Isonomy, and he again, was a moderate race horse. The fact, however, that his daughters are much superior to his sons tends to affirm the view held by Captain Greer that he was not an Isonomy at all, but a Hermit. We may now come to understand why the blood of Birdcatcher stands inbreeding so well. It splendidly "nicked" in- several instances, and undoubtedly proved the most efficient hereditary element in Barcaldine, of whose lines only those founded by the chestnut Winkfield and Marco are going strong. But whether they will survive is another matter. I doubt it, considering that this last line of Matchem was reconstructed by the chief assistance of a female element. If the latter could achieve the same as the paternal blood, the Defence line of Whalebone to revert to another instance should not have been so short-lived, for The Emperor grandsire of the great Gladiateur traces in third generation of his female line to Defiance, which is also the dam of his sire. Defence. In Stockwell the consolidation of the Eclipse element has evidently reached its possible limit this point ought to be carefully considered. The further contribution from this source in subsequent generations led to a perceivable degeneration in the vitality of the line, I have shown above that the maternal Herod blood of Whalebone has paved the way for a renewed efficiency of the Eclipse blood which Peri, the dam of Sir Hercules, introduced. The same principle proved beneficial in the next generation, for the Herod blood of Birdcatchers dam sup-; plied a fresh opening for a wholesome effici-. ency of the further Eclipse blood returned by Echidna and Pocahontas, the dams of The Baron and StockwelL But since then breeders have consistently trespassed these bounds of judicious inbreeding, for the blood of Herod is no longer used to counterweight the inbreeding to Eclipse, but that of Eclipse is accumulated with a view to suppressing the Herod element. I dread to think of the i unavoidable consequences of these methods, all the more because a constitutionally weak--! er race horse is " asked to do three times as -1 much work as his hardy and sturdy ances-i tors. London Sporting Life. . , ; j ; ; j j I i j ; ; i : ! ; l i ! 1 I . 1

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