The English Thoroughbred
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.