The English Thor­ough­bred

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This map sum­ma­rizes the cre­ation of the English Thor­ough­bred. Its story be­gins with the im­por­ta­tion of Royal Hob­bies from Ire­land that were ex­ported east­ward to Eng­land, Scot­land and Italy be­gin­ning in Ro­man times 2,000 years ago. King Henry VIII’s 16th cen­tury sta­ble of elite rac­ing Hob­bies passed to his daugh­ter Queen El­iz­a­beth I and was still in ex­is­tence dur­ing the 17th cen­tury when King Charles II cre­ated the rules for Thor­ough­bred heat-rac­ing. Dur­ing this pe­riod North African Barbs (10) were im­ported to Eng­land; crossed with Hob­bies (11) they pro­duced the English Run­ning Horse (12). Mares of all three kinds were cov­ered by Turkmene stal­lions (13, rep­re­sent­ing the com­pact yet pow­er­ful Yo­mud type, and 14, the rang­ier Cir­cas­sian type; both drawn from 19th cen­tury pho­tos). The re­sult of these out­crosses was the am­b­ler­gal­loper type of Thor­ough­bred that had great pow­ers as a “stayer” (15). Dur­ing the 19th cen­tury, an in­fu­sion of Hart­draaver pro­duced large, heavy, high-step­ping trot­ting breeds such as the Cleve­land Bay and the Hack­ney (16), which were in­tended for use as driv­ing rather than rid­ing horses.

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