Maryland and the Throughbred, Daily Racing Form, 1922-12-22


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Maryland and the Thoroughbred Fifth Installment. Another interesting filly was sold at Saratoga in 1921, she combines all the best blood of W. K. Vanderbilts French stud. She is by Sea Sick Brumelli, by Maintenon, grand-dam by Prestige. Those three stallions were Mr. Vanderbilts three great horses and Brumelli was about the most successful mare he ever owned. The consequence is that this filly, Brumellini, combines the concentrated blood of his entire stud the result of the thought which he has devoted to the breeding of thoroughbred horses which has proven so successful for him. She may be good, she may be bad ; but its an interesting experiment to the breeder. Now the leading stallions in England today are Sunstar, Polymelus and The Te-trarch. Here the dead Star Shoot was the premier stallion for a long time. The dead Celt now heads the list for Mr. Hancock ; Mr. Whitneys Broomstick stands at the top, and Mr. Belmonts Fair Play, the sire of Man o War, is in great demand ; but there are many others and our stock has been vastly improved during the past five or six years. Things can be proved and disproved to the hearts content Some say that old mares do not produce as well as young mares. Some say they do not want the first foal of a mare, but to show that one must not be too theoretical z.nd that success depends upon other things than mere statistics I might say that Gay Crusader, the best horse England has had for years, was a first foal. Bonnie Mary, one of the fastest fillies that has been in this country for years, was the daughter of Belgravia. She was the daughter of Bonnie Gal, she the daughter of Bonnie Doon and she the daughter of the great Queen Mary. Queen Mary was foaled in 1843 ; Bonnie Mary was foaled in 1917, which leaves seventy-four years for four mares, an average remember, an average of eighteen years per mare. So who can say that old mares are not good producers, or that first foals are not of value. Another statement often heard is that mares which have raced hard do not produce well. There seems to be good reason for this: their vitality has been used up. It may bo that their nervous system is wrecked, and there may bo some other good reasons. Take a mare like Sceptre, a great English mare. Her progeny was no more than normal, but the offspring of her daughters are abnormal, and in Buchan and Craig-an-Eran, her grandsons, we have the two best horses of their respective years in England. Per contra, the case of the famous mare Beeswing is remarkable. Back in the 1840s she won the Newcastle Cup in six different years. She won the Doncaster Cup in four different years hree of them in succession and she won the Ascot Cup at two miles. One would have thought that that was enough for a marc to do, but on going into the stud she produced Newminster, a great horse and one of the greatest sires. He was the founder of the Hampton line of horses, now in the ascendancy in England through Bayardo, Gay Crusader and Gainsborough, and in this country soon to be through Wrack, Ambassador and Crown Prince ; and this is all in a large part due to Beeswing. She was a stayer of great merit: and so was Hampton, and so are the Hampton horses. On the other hand take the well-known mare Blue Bonnet, which won the St. Loger in 1842, a great racing mare and one of the idols of England at the time. She had about a dozen foals, all by the best horses, such as Flying Dutchman, Von Tromp and others, and not one of their names remains in the memory. This seems to be inexplicable, but I believe a possible answer lies in the fact that Beeswing was a model of perfection in conformation. This may have aided her own nervous system or her powers of transmission, but at all events she must have given to her progeny a perfect skeleton. Blue Bonnet, on the other hand, was a long, lanky mare with great merit in certain respects, but not a perfect animal by any stretch of the imagination. Could she, therefore, impart to her foals so perfect a skeleton as Beeswing could? This is speculation, of course, but I think it is interesting, for it merely emphasises the fact that the great horse needs everything blood, soundness and conformation and the final result is the combination which is necessary to beat the fifth of a second and which makes him a great horse. The great authority. Count Lehndorff, used to say that the brood mare of value was the mare of perfect type and excellent performance not necessarily the one which wins races, but the one which challenges the winner and finishes in the money constantly, and steadily shows her ability to race, her desire to race and her gameness in the struggle when called upon. SELECTION OF MARES. It should be remembered that all stallions are selected by public approval and by the weeding out process, but unfortunately all mares are not so selected. A good many too many are bred, such mares being wholly improper for the purpose. Therefore comes the belief, which I have adopted as a motto at Belair, that "on the quality of the matrons depends the success of a stud," for it is the owner of the stud who must select his matrons, and it is useless to select anything but the best. They should be mares coming from great mares and with as many other great mares in their pedigree as possible. The importance of great mares in the pedigree of a matron cannot be exaggerated. The best only can beget the best. It is the foundation upon which all rests. The names to be remembered are perhaps the following. The great producing mares of England were : Pocahontas, Queen Mary, Beeswing, Blink Bonny, Feronia, Atalanta, Concussion, Quiver, Agnes, Violet, Vertumna, Paraffin, Memoir, La Fleche, Sanda, Maid Marian and Sceptre. The mares of America were: Alice Carneal, Ballet, Bourbon Belle, Modesty, Lady Reel, Jaconet, Maria West, Aerolite, Red and Blue, Mannie Grey, Maggie B. B. and Fairy Gold. These are of course not all, but time and again in great horses you will see these names reappearing. The affection one gets for a great producing mare of the days gone by is real and enduring.

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