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Through examining ancestress Mowerina (1843), the writer came across on-line, two antique books of British and German thoroughbred breeding.

Mowerina is the common ancestress of Danzig, Invincible Spirit, Rockefeller, Bletchingly. 


Invincible Spirit – to busy to smile for the camera. (TBL photo)

The books site the stallion era of Carbine, Stockwell, St. Florian, Sir Hugo, Isinglass and many more. They provide some truly remarkable insights upon the subject matter of  ‘thoroughbred’, together with the consistent and somewhat forgotten quality strains of bygone era.

Many may conclude ancestral-breeding history is all-very-well and surmise easily, the old-hat breeding competences are too different today.

Big question, do best principles really change?

Over some considerable time, TBL concluded no matter of in-breeding or out-cross breeding as tool, theory or philosophy…. classic breeding is undoubtedly, optimal contribution from primary and potent great-grand individuals, both sire and maternal : they are genuine contributors due to ‘type’, of the ‘blood’ befitting.

As it was…. to be well acquainted with knowing formative origins of the dam, her maternal tap-roots/siring generational influences, for a well-rounded planned mating.

Therein, a superior individual regardless for either breeding or racing beckons.

Earliest breeding as we know it, was from deliberate infusions of select ‘blood’ arriving from the prominent ‘desert’ horse-breeds.  Is hence, the term hybrid.

An equally confusing habit was to label horses of Eastern origin ‘Arabians’, Turks, Barbs indiscriminately and irrespective of their real breeding and country of origin; and the more reprehensible practice of describing animals, and particularly mares, as Arabians, Turks or Barbs merely because their sires were such. The Classic Racehorse – Peter Willett

These unknown strains permeated richly through developing lines, generational phrases, and as such are the passages of evolutionary breeding. Akin to in-breeding, the incestualising intensive both ‘narrowed’ or exploited but would naturally ripen genetically over the period through the generations. In the same way, and opportunistically, some pedigrees today will exhibit similar features.

To ripen genetically, is the ‘softening’ of extremes, bringing about a quality pedigree (in the zone), which is best discoverable upon the fifth remove where former high quality siring lines are almost like gold.

Dominance builds upon a nucleus, as type, and we don’t mean black-type producer. The potential depends on remembering its own quality.

Today, when saying the ‘nice-type’… it can have many contexts: considerations like characteristics, traits, producer, performance, constitutional, body-type and even ahem, acceptable ‘faults’, amongst others.

The Type conveys ‘genus’. Genus is the ‘stock’ origin.

Origins classify (female families) changing, unfolding, evolving at every given sire, the generational developments mark out vital hybrid thoroughbred. What infuses, permeates through the bottom any maternal lines is always eye-opening.

Desirable trait breeding still figuratively applies, though perhaps rather subjective on a market ‘selling’ objective: financial incentives (of stallion) as customary criteria, has overtaken time-old practiced principles.

As it always was…assess the emerging maternal pedigree. The latency inverses towards a ‘long’ backcrossing to dominant predecessors, transported back (to the immediate individual) with her well-chosen and ‘correct’ sire which encompasses alike, complementary genotype relationships.

And ever more so with deliberation – reflect physique and aptitude. Find at opposite ‘balancing’ those physical/structural and temperament elements: stamina is never dispensable for ‘want’ of more speed or further early maturing. Pursue highest quality merits guiding them to future breeding stability rather than through immediacy of a stallion providing all.

So bloody important people – the genotype pedigree is the evaluation of individuals (as collective influences) to identify strains which strictly maintain ‘vital’ bloodlines, its natural- vitality in the strictest, purest sense and the physical assessment(s) of the horse  to enable or sustain ‘fit for purpose’ racing.

Then…is the methodology that simple?

No, it is however part catalyst.

Breeding antiquity clarifies the differing prototypes as they appeared.

The fine legged British thoroughbred to the heavier density of ‘bone’ of the American thoroughbred. The German – robust. South American – resilience. Yet, if we examine fuller pedigree their greater predecessors are same.

Evidently stud influences, environmental influences and racing distant performance drive the breeding landscape. Similarly the pecuniary influences which can and will ‘compete’.

As evolution progresses, it factors at every mating if we should see it that way. It is to view a ‘collective’ emergence, per the maternal generation.

These generational stages are to become breeding patterns, somewhat nicks, but more so deliver the future.

Breeding by popularity of course,will emerge a type. For example, the ‘strain’ observed by the popularity of Danehill’s sire female lines (Almahmoud, the second dam of Northern Dancer, Halo to fourth dam of Danehill and Machiavellian) penetrate commonplace.


Alamahoud’s grand-dam – Mother Goose

The generational permutations shape a constant contributing density towards phenotype ‘strain’, as such the long after effects of ‘it’, with that Northern Dancer (Nearco) physicality.

Yet generally we shall see, the classic-superior stayer is back-boned by greater Hyperion factoring.

Consider the archetype breeding practice: its insurmountable global influence and  done almost invisibly, by custom.

“through one of blood-horse structure, to such an extent that his name (Diomed) occurs in the pedigree of every modern Thoroughbred”. Racing in America, John Hervey

1966 – 62.5% of the pedigrees of prominent horses in England and Ireland (that season) contained Dormello blood.

Consequently German pedigrees became saturated with the strains of Dark Ronald and Louviers in the same way that American pedigrees were saturated with the strains derived from Diomed in the middle of the nineteenth century; by the time peace returned, after 1945, the German thoroughbred was crying out for suitable outcrosses. Peter Willett – The Classic Racehorse

Pedigree lines are importantly, genus & phenotype: ‘type’, ‘gait’, constitutional ability. The prevalent lines within thoroughbred breeding shall spectacle the developments across the circle.

It can appear a lacking diversity to a mere few siring line individuals. Yet, by paradoxical arrangement, the unfailing eternal representation of thoroughbred is present: for the sire provides the ‘Y’ trail of the female.

All said and done, will breeding and racing improve beyond average expectation?

If ‘you-tubed’… the dominant superior performer exemplifies distinguishing factors will aside from pedigree, performance, speed n’ stamina as time.

It must be effectiveness of ‘type’, efficiency rhythm n’ motion, output as performance, for the purpose perfect.

This structural and mechanical propulsion advances over another – a factor which takes ‘advantage’ and or, limits other horses.

In the nutshell – orbiting speed, stride length, flexion and extension.

The pedigree interprets the phenotype. The phenotype interprets the pedigree.

For better… is the thoroughbred individual.

Without analytics there are indications in the thoroughbred sciences which point to similar principles genus has the direction.


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