Modern Thoroughbred Sire Lines

We occasionally discuss "rare" sire lines in this space, and later this week we're going to take a look at the remaining Teddy line.  While I'm more of a "female family" advocate in most breeding considerations, I also appreciate the Y-chromosome diversity that still exists within the Thoroughbred breed.  By request, here's a brief overview of what's out there.

Thoroughbred Sire Lines

Of the "founding three" Thoroughbred patriarchs that remain in tail-male descent, it appears the Byerly/Herod line is in trouble internationally, and is effectively dead in the U.S..  While Europe and Australia both have viable branches of the line, no break-out stallion has emerged in recent years to guarantee future propagation.  Shy of a standout son or grandson of Indian Ridge (IRE) (pedigree) developing in the next few years, the line of Ahonoora and Djebel and Tourbillon and My Babu might have permanently waned. 

The Godolphin line through Matchem is plodding onward, but seems to survive each generation with only one new branch-maker.  A while back we had branches of the 1850 stud West Australian that gave us Sassafras (pedigree) and Hastings (pedigree). Then we were down to Fair Play's offspring, including a line through the Bunty Lawless stud Windfields (pedigree), Where only a couple of decades ago it was possible to find old stalwart Man o'War through a couple of different sons and grandsons, we now look to his great-great-grandson In Reality as the new patriarch of the Godolphin line.  This bloodline has some current standouts and looks healthy for at least another couple of generations.

The Darley line through Eclipse is clearly dominant.  I've indented the following to help depict the tail-male lineage and its several branches:

A. Two lines of the 1775 Eclipse son King Fergus live on through his sixth-great-grandson St. Simon, who was born in 1881.  The modern St. Simon lines exist through Ribot sons His Majesty (pedigree) and Tom Rolfe (pedigree), and through Prince Rose sons Prince Bio (pedigree) and Princequillo (pedigree).  (Watch for future posts on these lines....) 

B. The bulk of modern-day sire lines descend from another Eclipse son:  the oddly-named Pot-8-O's.

1. In 1822, Camel (a great-grandson of Pot-8-O's) branched off. We've previously discussed the continuation of this line through Himyar sons Domino and Plaudit.

2. The Pot-8-O's line continued mainly through his great-great-grandson Irish Birdcatcher.

a. It branched off again with the 1857 stallion Oxford, whose fourth-great-grandson Blandford has a living line through Monsun in Germany, and another through Cipayo in South America.  That Cipayo branch has a chute in the U.S. with Seattle Fitz (ARG) (SRO), who we've discussed on several occasions.

b. Pot-8-O's Irish Birdcatcher line of Eclipse branched off again when his 1877 great-great-grandson Bend Or sired patriarchs Bona Vista (whose line is represented through Nasrullah and Northern Dancer and Raise a Native and Turn-to and Buckpasser) and Ormonde. 

i. Ormonde blood survives today primarily through his own great-great-grandson Teddy (1913), the third-great-grandsire of Damascus (pedigree). 

ii. Somewhere around 90% of North American Thoroughbreds trace through Bona Vista, most of them through the 1913 stallion Phalaris (pedigree).

LIke I promised, just a quick look at the sire lines that've made it to modern-day Thoroughbred breeding.  We'll look more in-depth at Teddy in the next couple of days.

In the meantime... do you have a favorite founding sire or a later branch?  I've talked about Himyar as my favorite line of Eclipse, and I'm a big fan of Matchem bloodlines.  What are your preferences?


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