Famous Horses in History - Thoroughbred

Second in a series of articles on Famous Horses.

All modern Thoroughbreds can trace their pedigrees to three stallions: The Byerley Turk, The Darley Arabian, and The Godolphin Arabian.

The Byerley Turk was born about 1684 a dark brown horse with a large frame, high head set and high tail carriage with a look of elegance and posessing courage and speed. He was captured in battle and used as a war horse until his owner retired when the horse was kept at stud in Ireland where he founded a Thoroughbred family.

The Darley Arabian was a bay Arabian stallion bought in Syria and imported into England in 1704. He was 15 hands high and very beautiful and refined. He was the great great grandsire of Eclipse. Most Thoroughbred racehorses can be traced back to the Darley Arabian.

The Godolphin Arabian, born about 1724, was from Yemen and was bought by the Earl of Godolphin in England. He was a 15 hand high bay with a high crest to his neck. Because he was considered inferior he was used as 'teaser stallion' but when a mare rejected the stallion she was intended for, the Godolphin Arabian was allowed to mate with her. Their foals were exceptionally fast on the track, and sired many foals themselves. Eclipse traces his dam lineage to the Godolphin Arabian. Seabiscuit, Man o' War, and War Admiral trace their sire line to the Godolphin Arabian.

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