Sir — Having read your “Hackney horse of the year” show report
(19 October), I wondered if there were any Hackney breeders who have Mathias genes in their bloodlines. He stood at my father’s uncle’s stud, Thornholme in Scotland, at the beginning of the last century.
Mathias was a successful stallion in the UK and would travel by the White Star Line shipping company to America for their breeding season.
There was a tale, which I have not been able to verify, that a very good mare — Manila — who was in-foal to Mathias, was lost at sea crossing the Atlantic. The more imaginative members of the family said she’d been in the hold with some other animals on the White Star Line’s Titanic!