TRAC­ING AN­CES­TRY THROUGH SIRE LINES

EQUUS - - Insights Conformati­on -

Sire-line clas­si­fi­ca­tion in horse breeds is a re­flec­tion of the gen­eral his­tor­i­cal pref­er­ence in Euro­pean cul­ture for males over fe­males. One rea­son for con­fu­sion over the iden­tity of founder mares is that many were not even given names. Of­ten they were known---ex­actly as slaves or other chat­tel were known--by the name of their owner or breeder: “the Lowther Barb mare,” “a Sed­bury mare,” “Miss D’Arcy’s pet mare.” In a sim­i­lar way, fil­lies were fre­quently called after their sire: “By­er­ley Turk mare,” “Place’s White Turk mare,” “Old Mon­tague mare.” Some­times, they were “almost” given names, be­ing iden­ti­fied by par­tic­u­lar color or mark­ings: “Old Bald Peg,” “Cream Cheeks,” “Grey Wilkes.” While there are nu­mer­ous en­grav­ings and paint­ings of Thor­ough­bred founder sires, the first por­traits of Thor­ough­bred mares do not ap­pear un­til the time of Woot­ton and Stubbs in the mid-18th cen­tury, more than a hun­dred years after the time of Old Bald Peg, and even then the fe­male an­i­mal is almost never named.

The sit­u­a­tion is no dif­fer­ent to­day; stal­lions are far more of­ten pho­tographed than mares, and breed fanciers through­out the Bri­tish Com­mon­wealth coun­tries and in Amer­ica tend to re­mem­ber names in sire-lines rather than mem­o­riz­ing great mare lin­eages as the Be­douins do for their Ara­bi­ans. In this ar­ti­cle, I follow the cus­tom of sire-line rep­re­sen­ta­tion not be­cause I think it’s wis­est, but be­cause we like to present lots of pho­tos so that the reader may gain an eye for dif­fer­ent Thor­ough­bred blood­lines. It is also true that in a

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.