The Thoroughbred racehorse is the result of more than 300 years of selective breeding based on the racecourse test. Today the only criterion for being labelled a Thoroughbred is having both parents registered as Thoroughbreds. Before the advent of the stud book, however, there was no such breed and the name developed from breeders advertising their 'running horses' as being 'thorough bred'. During this period the only criterion for being labelled a 'running horse' was the ability to run faster than other horses and so win his owner the stakes and the vast fortunes afforded by gambling. As there were no rules regarding the breeding of running horses, breeders would use any stock available to them and upgrade using the many imported stallions and mares of eastern origin.
Conformation for the Purpose: The Make, Shape and Performance of the Horse, by Susan McBane, published in 2000, page 129, says of the Thoroughbred, - "It is a dolichomorphic type of horse yet cannot be termed a true hot-blood because there are many blank spaces in the early years of foundation pedigrees during the eighteenth century which are almost certain to have been heavy-horse and pony mares".
The Horse, in the Stable and the Field, by John Henry Walsh and I J Lupton, 1861, chapter VI, pages 53 to 55, The English Thoroughbred Horse, General History, says - "We have no record of the existence of the horse in England until the time of the Roman invasion of the island, when we know that large numbers were found here ready to oppose the landing, and used both in chariots and as cavalry. But this country never became remarkable for her breed of horses until after the time of the Stuarts, who paid great attention to this animal, and caused numbers of Arab stallions and mares to be imported. In the time of Henry the Eighth, the want of good horses was so much felt, that an Act was passed, forbidding any entire horse of a greater age than two years, and less than fifteen hands high, to be turned out in any common or waste land in the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridge, Buckingham, Huntingdon, Essex, Kent, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Oxford, Berkshire, Worcester, Gloucester, Somerset, Bedfordshire, Warwickshire, Northampton, Yorkshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Lancashire, Salop, Leicester, Hereford, Lincoln, and North or South Wales. In other counties the limit was put at fourteen hands, but for what reason I am not aware. Small weedy mares and foals were also ordered to be destroyed ; and the owners of horses infected with a contagious disease, who turned them out, were fined ten shillings. Still, the deficiency was so great, that in the time of the threatened invasion by the Spanish Armada, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, only three thousand horses could be collected for the cavalry ; and, to procure these, a serious interruption was produced in the internal traffic of the kingdom, which was then carried on by means of pack-horses. It appears, however, that on board the Spanish ships there were a great number of the Andalusian horses, which were then considered the best in Europe ; and these being taken possession of by the victorious Admiral for his mistress, were of great service in improving the breed. In her reign coaches were invented, and this was another reason for encouraging the size and strength of the horse ; the depth of the ruts and the steep hills on all the roads of the country demanding much greater power than at present, and six horses being the smallest team in use. For the purpose of carrying the mail-clad men-at-arms, a powerful horse of great size had long been wanted, but not of quite the same colossal proportions as was required for the use of the heavy lumbering coaches which were now introduced. In course of time, however, after gunpowder was invented, armour became useless, and then a lighter horse was in request. Racing had long been established in a few small meetings every year ; but no sooner was a light cavalry demanded than a double impetus was given to the amusement, and Arabs, Barbs, and Turks were imported in large numbers, for the purpose of breeding animals suited either to the turf or the saddle. This was in the middle of the seventeenth century, during which time a number of books on the management of the horse were published in France and England, showing the interest which was generally taken in the subject. Of these, the most celebrated is the magnificently illustrated work of the Duke of Newcastle, who occupied himself in writing it at Antwerp, during his banishment in the time of the Commonwealth, between 1650 and 1660. He describes the horses of his time as follows :— 'The Turkish horse stands high, though of unequal shape, being remarkably beautiful and active, with plenty of power, and excellent wind, but rarely possesses a good mouth. Much praise is given to the grandeur of carriage of the Neapolitan horse ; and, in truth, they are fine horses, those I have seen being both large, strong, and full of spirit. I have not only seen several Spanish horses, but several have been in my possession. They are extremely beautiful, and the most eligible of any, either to form subjects for the artist, or to carry a monarch, when, surrounded by the pomp and dignity of majesty, he would show himself to his people ; for they are neither so intemperate as the Barbs, nor so large as the Neapolitans, but the perfection of both. The Barb possesses a superb and high action, is an excellent trotter and galloper, and very active when in motion. Although generally not so strong as other breeds, when well chosen I do not know a more noble horse ; and I have read strange accounts of their courage—for example, when so badly wounded that their entrails have protruded, they have carried their riders safe and sound out of danger, with the same spirit with which they entered it, and then dropped dead.' From the engravings in this book, the war-horse of that period closely resembled the Flemish or Hanoverian blacks which we now have, but of greater substance, the man in armour weighing between twenty and twenty-five stone. But even supposing this to be the horse of the country in the time of the second Charles, a very few crosses of Arab blood would fine it down, till in appearance it would not be distinguishable from its Eastern progenitor. One-eighth of cold blood is not very perceptible, and this proportion would exist in the third cross, and would therefore occupy only ten or a dozen years to produce it. Gradually a breed of horses was established, which has been celebrated throughout the world for the last century, for speed, stoutness, and beauty; in all which qualities the present stock excels their parents on both sides. Much of this excellence is doubtless due to the climate and soil of the country, which encourage the growth of those fine grasses that exactly suit the delicate stomach of this animal But without care and judgment in the selection and breeding of the horse, our ancestors never could have arrived at such extraordinary success ; and whether this depended upon chance or preconceived theory, nearly equal merit is due, for there is as much credit in seizing hold of facts which upset a prejudice, as in acting upon those that support it. For a century and a half we have carefully preserved the pedigrees of our pure bred horses, and for more than a third of that time they have been recorded in the Stud-book by the Messrs. Weatherby".
The Post and the Paddock, by The Druid, chapter XIII, Breeding of Hunters, page 223, says - "Breeding for the turf has in fact become such a mere lottery, that many racing men trouble themselves very little as to whether a sire is perfect in the points where their mares are deficient ; but if they fancy a horse or his running, they take a subscription, and leave the rest to fortune. 'Everything can gallop a bit,' was an old hunter-breeder's confession of faith to us, 'with your eight stone seven of saddle and satin on his back ; but it's not everything that can check hounds with twelve stone of scarlet!' One of them also assured us that he could never get the exact cut of a hunter he had set his mind on, till in despair he put his short-legged cart mare to a thorough-bred horse. Her first filly foal was laid up in lavender till she was rising five, and then crossed with a thorough-bred ; and this union inaugurated a long line of fast, weight-carrying hunters, which have been the apple of his eye for years. Others, while they think that to carry weight nothing can beat the cross of a blood-horse with an active, high-shouldered cart mare, as firmly maintain that the second remove is never so good as the first".
An advertisement in the Newcastle Courant, Saturday, November 29, 1764, number 4598, says - "To be Sold, a Grey Colt, rising four Years old, handsome and strong, lately from Grass, and now broke. He was got by Admiral Sir Charles Saunders’s Grey Mountain Barb, and out of a Daughter of Regulus; which Regulus Mare has bred three winning Things to the Black Barb; She was out of the Dam of Sampson and Baboon, a daughter of Hip, son of the famous Bay Barb, his Great Grandam, by Spark, Son of the famous Honeycomb Punch, Son of the Taffilet Barb; his Great Great Grandam, by Snake; and that Snake Mare was own sister to Williams’s famous Squirrel, his Great Great Great Grandam, by a Son of Hautboy, out of a Brimmer Mare. He is about 15 hands high".
If the "Snake Mare was own sister to Williams’s famous Squirrel" then the next dam cannot be a mare by a Son of Hautboy. The following pedigrees of Squirrel and his brother Easby Snake show quite clearly that their dam was by the Acaster Turk out of the mare by a Son of Hautboy.
INTRO TO GSB GSB PRIOR NEWCASTLE COURANT Brimmer mare Brimmer mare Royal Mare Busler mare | | | | | | | | | | | | Son of the Pulleine Son of Pulleyne's Ld Darcy's Mare Hoyboy mare Chesnut Arabian mare Arabian mare by Layton Gray Barb | | | | | | | | | | | | | Akaster Turk mare Akaster Turk mare Acastr Turk mare Duke of Rutland's | | | grey Turk mare | | | | | | | | | | | | WILLIAMS'S SQUIRREL WILLIAMS'S SQUIRREL MR WILLIAMS' SQUIRRELL MR ELLERKER'S CHESNUT by a Son of Snake by Lister's Snake by Old Snake HORSE SNAKE 1719 1719 by Snake son of Lister's Turk
It would seem from this evidence that the Snake mare was out of the Acaster Turk mare, but the General Stud Book, the Racing Calendar and the various stallion advertisements cannot confirm this. The Snake mare is always said to be out of the Son of Hautboy mare. The following two quotes are of great interest:
The Sportsman's Calendar, by William Henry Scott, 1818, pages 117 and 118, says - "The appellations by which the Courser is distinguished in common use, are, the racer, race-horse, or running horse: a horse which is truly bred for the course, both by sire and dam, whether he be able to race or not, is denominated thorough bred, or bred. A horse having a shew of racing blood is called a blood-horse. The produce of a bred horse and common bred mare, or vice versa, is styled half-bred; that of a half-bred mare and bred horse three parts bred; and that from a three part bred mare and a bred horse seven- eights bred. Horses of the last description have occasionally proved racers, as Sampson, the last Driver, and a few others".
The Horse, by William Youatt, 1843, page 67, says - "It is now admitted that the present English thorough-bred horse is of foreign extraction, improved and perfected by the influence of climate and diligent cultivation. There are some exceptions, as in the cases of Sampson and Bay Malton, in each of which, although the best horses of their day, there was a cross of vulgar blood ; but they are only deviations from a general rule. In our best racing-stables this is an acknowledged principle ; and it is not, when properly considered, in the slightest degree derogatory to the credit of our country. The British climate and British skill made the thorough-bred horse what he is. The beautiful tales of Eastern countries and somewhat remote days may lead us to imagine that the Arabian horse possesses marvellous powers; but it cannot admit of a doubt that the English-trained horse is more beautiful and far swifter and stouter than the justly-famed coursers of the desert. In the burning plains of the East and the frozen climate of Russia, he has invariably beaten every antagonist on his native ground. It has been already stated that, a few years ago, Recruit, an English horse of moderate reputation, easily beat Pyramus, the best Arabian on the Bengal side of India. It must not be objected that the number of Eastern horses imported is far too small to produce so numerous a progeny. It will be recollected that the thousands of wild horses on the plains of South America descended from only two stallions and four mares, which the early Spanish adventurers left behind them. Whatever may be the truth as to the origin of the race-horse, the strictest attention has for the last fifty years been paid to his pedigree. In the descent of almost every modern racer, not the slightest flaw can be discovered : or when, with the splendid exceptions of Sampson and Bay Malton, one drop of common blood has mingled with the pure stream, it has been immediately detected in the inferiority of form and deficiency of stamina, and it has required two or three generations to wipe away the stain and get rid of its consequences".
The History and Delineation of the Horse in all his Varieties, by John Lawrence, published in 1809, page 228, says - "When Sampson was led out at Malton, to start for his first race, I have been told by a spectator, that the grooms made themselves merry with the idea, that Mr. Robinson had brought a Coach-horse to start for the plate ; my informant represented him as a true game Horse, and as having a great stride. Some of his stock were the best runners of their time, and if great sums were lost by training them, it does not appear to have been justly chargeable on the Horses. But Sampson's blood has always been unfashionable, chiefly, I believe, because the stock ran to so large a size".
Pick's Turf Register, volume 1, page xxiv in the index, says - "Sampson was 15 hands 2 inches high ; The dimensions of his fore-leg from the hair of the hoof to the middle of the fetlock-joint, 4 inches, From the fetlock-joint to the bend of the knee, 11 inches, From the bend of the knee to the elbow, 19 inches, Round his leg below the knee, (narrowest part), 8 1/2 inches, And round his hind leg, (narrowest part), 9 inches. The above was taken by the late Lord Rockingham himself. Sampson was the largest boned blood-horse that ever was bred, and the Gentleman who communicated the above observes, that he has tried a great number since, but has not found one to equal him".
The accepted pedigree of Sampson shows crosses of Blaze, Hip, Spark, Son of Snake, Son of Hautboy, Brimmer, Bustler and Willoughby Barb. To my knowledge no other Thoroughbred descendant of these stallions was ever described as a "Coach-horse". It is hard to believe that two predominantly Arabian bred parents could ever throw a foal that could be described as such. The following quotes will show that the Newcastle Courant advertisement of 1764 was deliberately falsified to show that the Snake mare was own sister to Squirrel, when in fact they were grandaughter and grandson of the Son of Hautboy mare through different daughters.
The Horse in all his Varieties and Uses, by John Lawrence, published in 1829, pages 281 to 283, says - "Nobody yet ever did, or ever could assert positively, that Jigg was not thorough bred, but the case is very different with respect to Sampson ; since nobody in the sporting world, either of past or present days, ever supposed him so. Nor was the said world at all surprised at Robinson's people furnishing their stallion with a good and true pedigree, a thing so much to their advantage. A bolder stroke still, was aimed by the publisher of the third volume of Pick's Turf Register, in the flashy portrait prefixed, of that grave and sober animal the Darley Arabian, obviously worked up from that of Highflier. Having formerly taken great pains to obtain a copy for publication, of the only original portrait in existence of the Darley Arabian, I noticed the above eyetrap, when it first appeared; and in a late advertisement of the book, I observe, the said portrait is not mentioned. Having seen a number of Sampson's immediate get, those in the Lord Marquis of Rockingham's stud and others, and all of them, Malton perhaps less than any other, in their heads, size and form, having the appearance of being a degree or two deficient in racing blood, I was convinced, that the then universal opinion on that point was well grounded. I was (in 1778) an enthusiast, collecting materials for a book on the horse; it happened, that I wanted a trusty and steady man for a particular service, and opportunely for the matter now under discussion, a Yorkshireman about threescore years of age, was recommended to me, who had been recently employed in certain stables. I soon found that his early life had been spent in the running stables of the north, and that he had known Sampson, whence he was always afterwards named by us, ' Old Sampson;' he was very intelligent on the subject of racing stock, and his report was as follows. He took the mare to Blaze, for the cover which produced Sampson; helped to bit and break the colt, rode him exercise, and afterwards took him to Malton for his first start, where, before the race, he was ridiculed for bringing a great coachhorse to contend against racers. On the sale of Sampson, this man left the service of James Preston, Esq. and went with the colt, into that of Mr. Robinson. His account of Sampson's dam, was, that she appeared about three parts bred, a hunting figure, and by report, a daughter of Hip, which, however, could not be authenticated ; and that such fact was then notorious and not disputed in the Yorkshire stables. I do not remember the mare being described to me as black, but how else could Sampson have assumed that colour, seeing that Blaze his sire and both the Hips were bay; unless he inherited it from the black Barb, grandsire of Blaze. Sampson was one of the truest four mile horses that our Turf has produced, beating all the best racers of his time, and was but once beaten, or even whipped, until in his last race, his eyes and constitution failed him, when he was beat by Thwackum, which he had before beaten. Sampson also proved a capital stallion, and though it was the fashion at Newmarket, to blame Lord Rockingham for breeding from such a horse, his Lordship had a string of fine and powerful horses, and among the most successful. The mares of Engineer, a son of Sampson, were at one period, in great request for the stud, and that blood runs through many of our best pedigrees. Mr. Tattersall lately showed me a portrait of Sampson in his flesh, in which his defect of blood appears far more obvious than in one which I had of him, galloping. I have been thus particular to demonstrate by the most striking fact known, that the miss of a single dip of true blood does not mar the racer, stallion or mare".
Treatise on the Breeding and Management of Livestock, by Richard Parkinson, volume 1, published in 1810, in the introduction, pages xix - xxi, says - "It may be proper to say a few words respecting the crosses which will be found recommended in this work, and of which many breeders, at first sight, may disapprove, I was at one period as much against them as any man, but time and experience have taught me to the contrary. I have always endeavoured, when speaking of crosses, to lay down systems for the regulation of them, an observance of which would, I am persuaded, be ultimately attended with great benefit to the country. I will, in this place, give one or two extraordinary crosses that have been tried, with a favourable result. The first I shall notice is in the pedigree of the celebrated racer Samson, bred by Mr. Robinson., which won five royal plates at six years old, and was sire of Engineer, Bay-Malton, Solon, Pilgrim, Tom-Tinker, Bishop, and King-Priam, all horses that could run well.—Samson was got by Blaze ; Blaze by the Flying Childers; Childers by Darley's Arabian, his dam by Hip, grandam by Spark, son of Honeycomb-Punch, great grandam by Snake, great great grandam by a cart-horse that covered mares at 2s. 6d. a mare, great great great grandam was Lord D'Arcy's Queen. This information is given by a well-known trainer, the oldest now living; and, although the cart- horse is not mentioned in the Racing Calendar or Stud- books, he asserts it to be a true pedigree: it is certainly a most interesting and rare circumstance in favour of crosses. This trainer further says, that Samson won seven royal plates, and was never beat but once, when he was blind and ill-rode, or he would have won that race also: the horse that beat him was Grenadier, got by Blaze, and belonged to Mr. Whitty, of Malton; consequently, being brother to Samson by the sire, of the same blood. Samson likewise got many good racers, and among them Bay-Malton, that run against the best horses in England at that time, and never was beat: which shews he was not a chance horse, but that he gained power by the cross of the cart-horse. While I lived in Yorkshire, I heard this cross very frequently mentioned; and having a very high opinion of crosses in animals, I have been at much trouble to investigate the utility of the proceeding, and the information hence acquired has induced me strongly to recommend it in this treatise. It is a well-known fact, that Lord Orford improved his greyhounds by a cross with the bulldog; but the progress was not so rapid, as he was seven crosses before he got the greyhounds to run to perfection again, and the race-horse required only three. From this cross, and some other results I could mention, I am clearly of opinion that the dray-horse might be brought to very high perfection by one cross of the race-horse: if a second cross had been taken with the cart-horse, the breed would have been entirely spoiled for racing. The breeder must, therefore, be careful not to go too far in whatever he may wish to improve the breed of his animals. In cattle, it may be remembered, the heifer shewn as a sight at Smithfield, of a mixed breed, was so nearly perfect, that there was not a critic could find a fault in her. Mr. Pell's ox, also of a mixed breed, shewn in the year 1807, was allowed to excel every other ox exhibited of the best old-established or improved breeds — Hereford, Devon, Sussex, &c. In regard to sheep, it may be seen in this work what a most excellent breed Mr. James Clothier raised by a mixed breed: in hogs, my hogs at Slane ; &c. &,c. Since it is fairly decided, by well-authenticated facts, that the race-horse has been improved by a cross of the cart-horse, and the greyhound by the bulldog, there does not a doubt remain in my mind but all other animals might also be improved by a judicious cross. Those two species of animals both wanted power, which the race-horse obtained from the cart-horse, and the grey-hound from the bulldog. In the crosses that have been unsuccessfully taken, the failure has arisen from want of judgment; as, for instance, where great benefit has been obtained by one cross, a second at times has greatly injured the breed. Thus, in the crosses that have been taken by breeders in cattle, sheep, &c. the breeder seeing a great improvement from his first trial, has persevered in a second, third, and so on; whereas, he ought to have returned to the sort with which he began: if his object were fat, and he had taken the cross from a small animal with that perfection, but possessing many other very objectionable qualities, such as light weight to the scale, short of wool, &c. by holding to that unprofitable kind, the breed would continue getting worse and worse".
The Practical Grazier; or, A Treatise on the Proper Selection and Management of Live Stock, by Andrew Henderson, 1826, Section II, On Crossing, pages 279 and 280, says - "That great improvements have been, and may still be made, by judiciously coupling animals of the same species with one another, both of the same and different kinds, must be generally admitted ; at the same time, it must however be observed and confessed that numerous and unprofitable attempts have been made by injudicious matching ; proceeding most frequently from a wish to have all at once the desired object accomplished. For example, how common was it a few years ago, with a view of producing an offspring that might be suitable for the saddle, plough, or harness, to couple small slender mares (perhaps half or three parts blood) with strong, rough-legged, coarse, heavy work horses. But experience has proved, to the satisfaction and mortification of all who have tried such an experiment, that such offspring possesses neither the expected property of strength of the one parent, nor any degree of the life or activity of the other ; in short, instead of being calculated for various purposes, as was expected, they are found to answer none. There have been likewise similar failures in attempting to improve neat-cattle and sheep, such as the bulls of the improved Lancashire or long- horned breed being coupled with Galloway cows ; likewise bulls of other improved English breeds are allowed to have done much injury to the stock in various parts of Scotland where they have been introduced. Although the improved Leicester tups have, in some instances, made considerable improvements on various flocks, yet in many they have failed where the ewes with which they were coupled were too great a contrast. Such circumstances as the above would clearly dictate the impropriety of coupling together animals so widely different in their forms and constitution ; although once coupling of such may sometimes have the desired effect, when followed up by always breeding for a time from the best of the offspring, coupled with animals of the original blood ; of which the following are most satisfactory instances. Many of the trainers of blood horses in England will tell you that the celebrated racer Samson (which won five royal plates when six years old) sprung from a cart-horse; and the following was asserted by an old well-known trainer to be a true pedigree. 'Samson was got by Blaze ; Blaze by the Flying Childers ; Childers by Darley's Arabian; his dam by Hip, grandam by Spark, son of Honeycomb-Punch, great grandam by Snake, great great grandam by a cart-horse that covered mares at two shillings and sixpence each, great great great grandam was Lord D'Arcy's Queen'. Samson having got many good racers, among which was Bay Malton, that never was beaten, shows that he was not a chance horse, but that he had gained power by the cross of the cart-horse. It is likewise asserted as a well-known fact, that Lord Orford improved his greyhounds by a cross with the bull-dog; but the progress was not so rapid, as he had seven crosses before he got the greyhounds to run to perfection again, and the racehorse required only three. If another cross had been repeated with the cart-horse or bull-dog, the probability is, that their progeny would be entirely spoiled for running".
A letter written by John Lawrence to The Sporting Magazine, volume I, second series, number III, July 1830, pages 164 and 165, says - "It is most true that 'all blood horses do not show blood alike.' Some, at every period, have been encumbered with large coarse heads, yet with no ground of imputation on their blood. I remember a remarkable proof of this in the stock of Jolly Roger, which were nearly all large and long-headed, though he was as pure a bred horse as any in England, being a son of old Regulus out of a mare equal in blood, that bred other racers. With regard to judging of the defect of blood in a horse from his external figure, it must be rather left to the practised eye than to any certain rules which can be laid down. Undoubtedly, large size, with coarseness and abrupt setting on of the head, are very suspicious indications : much, however, may be determined by a general defect of delicacy and symmetry throughout the whole frame ; and should this coarseness be found also in the hoofs and in the bones of the legs, it is decisive. All the Sampsons, to Mambrino inclusive, plainly exhibited, more or less, these signs of a blot in the escutcheon of their sire and grandsire. In course, such indications were less visible in the horses when in high training and drawn fine, but they always returned with the flesh of the horses; and Mambrino, as a covering stallion in his box, manifested in truth an appearance of high racing blood, yet joined with the dashing figure and port of both the war horse and coach-horse ; and in such style has Stubbs most correctly and admirably portrayed him. From Mambrino have originated a race of the finest, highest- priced, and most useful coach- cattle of this country. With this horse, that is to say, at the third generation, all traces of the common cross in Sampson's stock seem to have been obliterated, and to be no longer visible in those racers which had that blood in their pedigrees. The sudden call for Engineer mares, which I formerly mentioned, did not continue long, and was as suddenly forgotten. At the time that Lord Somerville was so intent on the Merino improvement, I made a sketch in my cattle-book, denoting how many crosses of the Spaniard must follow with English sheep before they became perfectly Merino ; when the laughable idea entered my head, that it must be a parallel case with horses ; and that if a true English or Belgic cart mare were put to a bred stallion, and the succeeding produce, horse or mare, were continued to breed from racing stock through a certain number of generations, the ultimate produce must necessarily be thorough-bred racers, all the cart blood having in such course been washed out. Such a roundabout process might perhaps furnish thumping racers ; but would they really be able to race? My liberal but earnest opponent has, I judge, been in no part of his letter less fortunate than in his double-entry-heads of the evidence. In the first place, Pick, compiler of the Register, who knew about as much of racers as they knew about him, accepted, as a thing in course, that pedigree of Sampson which his proprietor had bequeathed to sporting posterity. Nobody ever disputed Sampson's claim both as a capital racer and stallion. The boy, then young and raw no doubt, did not 'tell somebody' that Sampson's dam was not thorough-bred, but he heard from every body that the mare was not bred, and that it was further never ascertained that she was got by Hip, but only so reported. The last was then about fifteen, bred in the stables, and, in course, might pretend to some judgment of his own as to the mare's show of blood, which he afterwards declared to me did not appear to be more than three parts. When I saw him at the age of threescore, he shewed himself a very sensible, steady, and acute man, and a good judge of racing stock. By way of analogy, when I was about nine or ten years old, I rode a grandaughter of Sampson, and have at this moment, in my mental optics, a view of the degree of racing blood which she possessed ; and I think it is a match in which the Yorkshireman had a right to beat me, giving him, as I did, five years. No one who sees the portrait of Sampson, in Mr. Tattersall's possession, an old one, no doubt from the life, will wonder at the jokes passed upon my old man by the good people of Malton, when he took the horse thither to enter for the Plate. But the universal agreement in opinion of men of the Turf, during the training of Sampson's immediate stock, surely ought to be decisive ; and in all the inquiries that I made among those, I never met with one single person who supposed the old stallion to have been thorough-bred".
FAIRFAX'S MOROCCO BARB <===================> HELMSLEY TURK | | | -------------------------------- | | | Old Morocco Mare = DARCY'S YELLOW TURK | BUSTLER | | | | ------------------- -------------> | <-------------- ------------------ | | | | | | SPANKER Darcy's Grey Royal = DARCY'S WHITE TURK BRIMMER = mare MERLIN | | | | | --------------------- ------- | | | | | | Charming Jenny | HAUTBOY | MERLIN | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | Old Grey Royal = SON OF HAUTBOY = mare WOODCOCK | | [GREY HAUTBOY] | | 1702 ----------------- | | | | | | | CART-HORSE JIGG = Grey Wilkes Darcy's Queen = DARCY'S MONTAGUE | [SNAKE] | | | | ------------> | <-------------------------- | \ / | | | mare = SON OF SNAKE = Acaster Turk mare | | | | | | | | | | mare EASBY SNAKE mare by Snake by Snake | | | 1721 | | ---------- ----------- | \ / mare Mother Western by Spark | 1731 | | | | | | mare Spilletta by Hip by Regulus | | 1749 | | | | SAMPSON ECLIPSE by Blaze by Marske 1745 1764
The following chart shows the accumulation of cart-horse blood in the pedigree of Stockwell. Horses shown in red have no contamination.
Queen = HALF-CROWN CART-HORSE | -------------- | SON OF SNAKE = mare | ---- | SPARK = mare | ---- | HIP = mare | ---- | BLAZE = mare | ---- | Young Greyhound mare = SAMPSON = Regulus mare | 1745 | | | | | Blank mare = ENGINEER = Cade mare Cantatrice = TANTRUM | 1755 | 1767 | -------- --------------------------------------> | <--------------------------------- | | | ECLIPSE = mare HIGHFLYER = Termagant ALFRED = mare | | 1772 | 1770 ----- -------- ---- | | | KING HEROD = Frenzy BENINGBROUGH = Evelina HIGHFLYER = mare | 1774 | 1791 | 1775 ------- ------- ---- | | | Laura = PHOENOMENON = Atalanta Minstrel = ORVILLE = Eleanor ALEXANDER = mare | 1780 | | 1799 | | 1780 | | | | ----- | | | | | Oberon mare = STRIPLING Rosalind = HAMBLETONIAN | | BUZZARD = mare | 1795 1788 | | | | 1790 -------- -------- | | ---- | | | | | Caprice = OCTAVIAN WHITELOCK = Coriander mare | | Bacchante = SELIM | 1807 1803 | | | | 1802 -------- | | | ----- | | | | | WHISKER = Floranthe BLACKLOCK = Gadabout MULEY = Clare | | 1818 1814 | 1812 1810 | | -------- -------------- | | | | | | ECONOMIST = Miss Pratt | Trampoline = SULTAN 1825 | 1825 | | 1816 | | | | | | BIRDCATCHER = Echidna Marpessa = GLENCOE | 1838 1830 | 1831 -------------------- --------------------- | | THE BARON = Pocahontas 1842 | 1837 | | STOCKWELL 1849
The Horse, in the Stable and the Field, by John Henry Walsh and I J Lupton, 1861, chapter VIII, page 112, Agricultural and Dray Horses, The Old English Black Cart-Horse, says - "From time immemorial this country has possessed a heavy and comparatively misshapen animal, the more active of which were formerly used as chargers or pack-horses, while the others were devoted to the plough, and, as time wore on, to the lumbering vehicles of the period of Queen Elizabeth and her immediate successors. In colour almost invariably black, with a great fiddle-case in the place of head, and feet concealed in long masses of hair, depending from misshapen legs, he united flat sides, upright shoulders, mean and narrow hips, and very drooping quarters. Still, plain as he was, he did his work willingly, and would pull at a dead weight till he dropped. This last quality was necessary enough at the first introduction of wheel carriages, for the roads were so bad that the wheels were constantly buried up to their naves in the deep ruts cut into them at the bottom of every hill, or wherever there was not a clear course for the water to run off. True pulling was, therefore, considered the first and most essential attribute of the cart or heavy carriage horse ; and as without it the traveller or carter would be constantly left in the " Slough of Despond," it is not to be wondered at that such was the case. The figure of the war-horse, as represented in the Duke of Newcastle's celebrated treatise, was common enough fifty years ago among the agricultural horses of any district but that immediately north of the estuary of the Thames, where the Suffolk Punch had been produced at an earlier period, and perhaps a limited extent of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Such an animal is represented in the annexed engraving, -which may, however, be regarded as, in some respects, exaggerating its characteristics. The short quarter looks still plainer from being foreshortened, and the shoulder is rendered more upright from the position adopted in grazing ; but the coarse head, the hairy legs, the small comparative girth, and the general mean appearance, are well rendered, and are by no means unfavourable to the animal as he really existed".
The following are accounts of the conformation of the Hip mare and some of her descendants:
"She appeared about three parts bred, a hunting figure".
"When Sampson was led out at Malton, to start for his first race, I have been told by a spectator, that the grooms made themselves merry with the idea, that Mr. Robinson had brought a Coach-horse to start for the plate".
"He was a very difficult horse to ride, and so inanimate and dead-skinned, that nothing but a whip that would curl well round him could make any impression whatever. His stock were generally large, plain and brown, and many of them had rather cart-horse heads. There was a great deal of the Coach-horse about him, and he stood very much over with one knee, and his son Don Juan, who was put to Cleveland mares near Catterick Bridge, got some of the best coaching stock that ever went to a Yorkshire fair".
"Orville's best son, Emilius, inherited his plain head, but was not so coarse. He was a muscular, compact horse, with a great chest and arms, on short legs, and peculiarly straight hind ones. Add to this, a great middle piece, and good back ribs, with a muscular neck, not too long, and rather inclined to arch. He looked, in fact, quite as much a hunter as a blood-horse; and some very excellent ones he got too, at Riddlesworth, where latterly he had very few blood-mares at fifty guineas".
"The coarse, coffin-headed Margrave".
"Whitelock was a naggish sort of horse with a big coarse head and plump
[Plump (Middle Dutch, plomp, bulky) - (esp. of a person or animal or part of the body) having a full rounded shape; fleshy; filled out].
"He was a great black-brown, with a stride which required half-a-mile to settle itself in, a head like a half moon, with eyes quite in his cheeks, and quarters and shoulders as fine as horse could wear. Perhaps to the eye he might be rather light in the fore ribs, though the tape told a different tale, and the hocks of his stock generally stood well away from them, a formation which requires great strength in the loin to support. The hunting field was quite as much their sphere as the race-course".
"Like his sire, he had a great ugly head with convex profile".
"Of great size, and, barring his fiddle head, possessing splendid symmetry with fine action".
"To Blacklock, the other illustrious descendant of King Fergus, the British
turf is almost as much indebted as to Orville, and happily he continues to be
now well preserved in the male line. No pedigree in the 'Stud Book' better exemplifies
the necessity of 'selection' in order to breed a first-class racehorse, which
Blacklock undoubtedly was, irrespective of his immense fiddle-head, which was
so ugly that, even in horse-loving Yorkshire, he was known as the 'Bishop Burton
"No blood in the stud-book is better-winded or runs better when full of flesh, which shows that the internal conformation is good, and ought to be perpetuated. Their aptitude for a distance displays itself in a muscular neck, without which few horses ever yet stayed; and they have also great depth from the withers to the shoulder-points, and an imense roundness of rib in making the curve from the spine. Voltigeur and Fandango have all these fine characteristics".
"Light in bone in his limbs, but not in his head, which was as large and as common as that of his sire".
"A Roman nosed horse, who transmitted this peculiarity to his get".
"This king among horses had a rough, vulgar, Roman head".
"He was a big horse, and his head was more refined than that of his sire's and most of other of Blacklock's offspring".
"He had a remarkably fine barrel, and a ringbone on the off fore-foot; and some of his carriage-horses were as good and lofty as they could be for their purpose".
"Did not bring a bid when put up for sale as a yearling, due, perhaps, to a heavy thick neck and thick body".
"Barnton is, like Melbourne, a coarse-headed, lengthy, rough style of horse".
"more like a cart-horse than a racer".
"Low in stature, being under 15 hands in height, but very thick, with good bone and great length".
"A large leggy foal with the Blacklock fiddle-head".
"The birth was not an easy one, the foal being large and leggy, with a great fiddle head, the chief characteristic of the Blacklock family. The foal was in fact a monster in more respects than one, but Mr. Watts was not disconcerted at her appearance, but rather the contrary, as it afforded another convincing proof of 'how like begets like'. Mr. Watts there and then vowed he'd never put a saddle on her back, but keep the big-headed one, whom he named Echidna, to breed from".
"While his head was not as horrific as his dam's, The Baron, nonetheless, had a readily identifiable Roman nose, a trait seen in many of his immediate descendants".
Pocahontas - Marpessa - Muley
"Some years back, when attending Stamford races, I saw her at the Burghley Paddocks, and thought her lacking in quality, but was much struck with her fine size and great bone, which she happily transmitted to most of her progeny, but particularly to Stockwell, Rataplan and King Tom, through whom, as well as by her daughters Ayacanora, Auricula and auracaria, her blood is to be found in nearly all the best runners of the present time".
"A massive horse with immense bone and, despite a bad way of going, was a good performer".
"The very incarnation of ugliness"
"He was plain-headed, with more than a hint of a Roman nose, had tied-in shoulders, and a hind end that was likened to that of a cart horse's".
"His shoulders may not have been handsome, and their awkward setting accounted for his inelegant style of action; but the great depth from the withers to the shoulder point was grand and so was the brisket; whilst the back was splendid, indicating the great weight-carrier which he proved himself to be. The quarters were somewhat gross, but well shaped, and the thighs, for a thoroughbred, immense. But the fact is, his great characteristic was bone, and that this was united with his other inherited qualities in a just degree on the right side of excess is sufficiently maintained by his performances, and still more so by his descendants; for, in regard to stoutness, it would be difficult to exagerate in value the services of Stockwell in the stud. In short, the best qualities of The Baron and Pocahontas united in him to the great advantage of the British turf; and the great Roman head of the former, inherited from his fiddle-headed dam Echidna, was happily only partially reproduced".
"Camel's shoulders and withers were high almost to deformity; and his quarters were so cloven and large, and his tail set on so low, that as you looked at him from behind, and missed his fine blood-like head, he seemed as strong and coarse as a cart-horse".
"Camel was not a particularly handsome horse, and had coarse heavy quarters, which is said to have been the result of an accident when a yearling. This, however, is open to doubt, for some of his descendants were far from perfect on their quarters".
"Described as having immensely powerful quarters and second thighs".
Touchstone - Camel
"His body combined power with symmetry, and his high withers and well-placed muscular, though rather heavy, shoulders were capped by a head and neck of singular beauty".
A History of the Earth and Animated Nature, by Oliver Goldsmith, volume 1, 1852, page 401, says - "We owe much of the superiority of our present breed of greyhounds to the perseverance and judgment of the late Earl of Orford, of Houghton in Norfolk; and it is supposed he obtained the great depth of chest and strength of his breed from crossing with the bulldog. At his death his greyhounds were sold by auction, and some of his best were purchased by Colonel Thornton; from one of them was produced the best greyhound that ever appeared, Snowball ; although indeed he was nearly equalled by his brothers, Major and Sylvia, who were all of the same litter. They were never beaten, and may be considered as examples of the most perfect greyhound. The shape, make, elegant structure, and other characteristics of high blood, were equally distinguishable in all the three; the colour of Snowball was a jet black, and, when in good running condition, was as fine in the skin as black satin. Major and Sylvia were singularly but beautifully brindled".
The Dog, by Willliam Youatt and Elisha Jarrett Lewis, 1857, pages 61 to 63, says of the Greyhound - "The breed had probably begun to degenerate, and that process would seem to have slowly progressed. Towards the close of the last century, Lord Orford, a nobleman enthusiastically devoted to coursing, imagined, and rightly, that the greyhound of his day was deficient in courage and perseverance. He bethought himself how this could best be rectified, and he adopted a plan which brought upon him much ridicule at the time, but ultimately redounded to his credit. He selected a bull-dog, one of the smooth rat-tailed species, and he crossed one of his greyhound bitches with him. He kept the female whelps and crossed them with some of his fleetest dogs, and the consequence was, that, after the sixth or seventh generation, there was not a vestige left of the form of the bulldog; but his courage and his indomitable perseverance remained, and, having once started after his game, he did not relinquish chase until he fell exhausted or perhaps died. This cross is now almost universally adopted. It is one of the secrets in the breeding of the greyhound. Of the stanchness of the well-bred greyhound, the following is a satisfactory example. A hare was started before a brace of greyhounds, and ran by them for several miles. When they were found, both the dogs and the hare lay dead within a few yards of each other. A labouring man had seen them turn her several times; but it did not appear that either of them had caught her, for there was no wound upon her. A favourite bitch of this breed was Czarina, bred by Lord Orford, and purchased at his decease by Colonel Thornton : she won every match for which she started, and they were no fewer than forty-seven. Lord Orford had matched her for a stake of considerable magnitude; but, before the appointed day arrived, he became seriously ill and was confined to his chamber. On the morning of the course he eluded the watchfulness of his attendant, saddled his favourite piebald pony, and, at the moment of starting, appeared on the course. No one had power to restrain him, and all entreaties were in vain. He peremptorily insisted on the dogs being started, and he would ride after them. His favourite bitch displayed her superiority at every stroke; she won the stakes : but at the moment of highest exultation he fell from his pony, and, pitching on his head, almost immediately expired. With all his eccentricities, he was a kind, benevolent, and honourable man. In the thirteenth year of her age, and in defiance of the strange verses just now quoted, Czarina began to breed, and two of her progeny, Claret and young Czarina, challenged the whole kingdom and won their matches. Major, and Snowball, without a white spot about him, inherited all the excellence of their dam. The former was rather the fleeter of the two, but the stanchness of Snowball nothing could exceed. A Scotch greyhound, who had beaten every opponent in his own country, was at this time brought to England, and challenged every dog in the kingdom. The challenge was accepted by Snowball, who beat him in a two-mile course. Snowball won the Malton cup on four successive years, was never beaten, and some of his blood is now to be traced in almost every good dog in every part of the kingdom, at least in all those that are accustomed to hunt in an open country. The last match run by Snowball was against Mr. Plumber's celebrated greyhound Speed ; and, so severely contested was it, that Speed died soon afterwards. A son of the old dog, called Young Snowball, who almost equalled his father, was sold for one hundred guineas".
On the Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin, Dover edition, 2006, unabridged republication of the work originally published by John Murray in 1859, page 135, says - "How strongly these domestic instincts, habits, and dispositions are inherited, and how curiously they become mingled, is well shown when different breeds of dogs are crossed. Thus it is known that a cross with a bull-dog has affected for many generations the courage and obstinacy of greyhounds; and a cross with a greyhound has given to a whole family of shepherd-dogs a tendency to hunt hares".
Pictures of Sporting Life and Character, by Lord William Pitt Lennox, volume 1, 1860, pages 63 and 64, says - "The Earl of Orford first formed the extraordinary and eccentric idea of improving the breed of the greyhound by a cross with the bulldog; and, after a patient trial of seven removes, he obtained possession of the finest greyhounds ever seen, with the small ear, the rat tail, the skin sleek and smooth, without hair; together with that innate courage, to die on the field rather than relinquish the chase. From this cross, Colonel Thornton derived his famous breed — Czarina, Old Jupiter, Snowball, Major, Sylvia, Venus, Blacksmith, and Young Snowball. To show the game of the greyhound and the timid object of his pursuit, we will mention an anecdote that was told us a few days ago, when visiting in Nottinghamshire. A party of gentlemen from Mansfield, who were coursing near Sherwood Forest, started a hare close to the race-course, which proved to be a teaser, both to the biped and quadruped. Sprightly puss led the way over hill and dale in gallant style, and, confident of her fleetness, bade defiance to her speedy followers. On coming near the silent tomb of the pious Thompson, whose remains are interred in the open forest, she dashed furiously among the ling, and, making a double, Mr. Mellor's dog,. Dart, came in contact with the poor animal, when, for a short time, all sight was lost, both of dog and hare, but at length brave Dart was discovered lying prostrate on his back, and matchless puss, extended almost breathless beneath his loins, was actually taken up alive by one of the party".
The Greyhound in 1864, by John Henry Walsh, page 246, says - "There is still one point which must be considered in the selection of the cross, namely, whether it is advisable or not to use those breeds which are notoriously crossed with the bulldog. In the early days of public coursing, Lord Orford, Lord Rivers, Mr. Etwall, Mr. Raimes, Sir James Boswell and Mr. Fyson all adopted this cross, and their example was followed in more recent times by Mr. Lawrence, who, like Mr. Etwall with 'Egypt,' used his brother 'Lopez' at the stud with success. These two dogs had a double strain of the bulldog, taking one through their sire 'Vraye Foy,' who was twelve removes from the bulldog, and another from their dam 'Elf,' the ninth in descent from that breed. But though ten years ago it looked as if the stock of 'Vraye Foy' would rival that of 'Figaro' and 'Foremost,' yet it is now apparent that the son of 'King Cob' has almost extinguished them both, and that the bulldog strains exhibited in 'The Czar,' 'Egypt,' and 'Lopez,' have not been so successful as I formerly anticipated. 'Blue Hat,' 'Patent,' and 'Chloe,' are the three best modern instances of greyhounds in which the bulldog cross is exhibited, and they all possess it very remotely, the first getting it through the 'Czar,' who was descended from Mr. Etwall's 'Eurus,' on the side of his dam, the second from 'Egypt,' and the third from 'Lopez'—these three, however, speak strongly in favour of the strain; but Mr. Hanley, of the 1st Life Guards, who has persevered in trying the experiment to the sixth remove, has as yet done nothing to show its advantage. Commencing with a granddaughter of 'King Cob,' which he put to 'Chicken,' a thoroughbred bulldog, he has successively put the produce to 'Blunder ' and 'Preston,' bred by himself, but without very illustrious parentage ; then to 'Bedlamite' and 'Brightsteel,' and since then to his dog 'His Grace,' but as yet the produce have shown none of the properties of a first class greyhound, except in appearance, one of them, 'His Excellency,' having taken the first prize at the dog show held at Islington in May 1864. It may be alleged that there has not yet been sufficient time to test the experiment, or that Mr. Hanley was unfortunate in selecting his early greyhound crosses, and this latter point may probably have had something to do with his failure, if such is to be the result of so much pains and expense; but certainly as yet the produce have not come up even to the form exhibited by the dog which he used. At present, therefore, the experiment may be considered a failure, but there is no knowing what indefatigable perseverance may accomplish. My own belief is that the bulldog cross developes the animal courage, and that it also somewhat increases the mental faculties, so that the dog is inclined to run cunning but not slack. This point should therefore be considered; but as I fancy it will be found that the increase of jealousy and courage will almost always overpower the tendency to lurch, the advantages will more than counterbalance the disadvantages to the public courser. I am inclined to believe that the bulldog cross will in most cases prevent a greyhound from running well through more than two seasons. The puppy has more tact, and soon comes to his best; but that state is not so long maintained, for as soon as he becomes careless of his game, and finds that he has no difficulty in killing, he loses his zest more rapidly than the true-bred greyhound. I much doubt, therefore, whether this cross is so well adapted to private coursing, or to the use of those who expect their dogs to run through as many seasons as 'Sandy,' 'Emperor,' or 'Cerito' have done. To those who are contented with two seasons, the blood of those above mentioned is, I believe, the best now out, and may be resorted to with the greatest confidence".