Even Horses Have Family Trees

by Mark

Many people would be surprised to know that the bloodlines of thoroughbred race horses are often better known to some members of the gambling profession than their own family’s genealogy. A certain serious stream of punters study the family trees of race horses to try and unlock the secrets of the track. Why some horse win again and again over certain distances and why some are champions and others are not. The ability to run like the wind is considered to be in the genes and in that magical DNA. Betting on a horse’s genealogy is considered to be an intelligent component of the betting selection process.

Even Horses Have Family Trees

The whole modern thoroughbred breed of horse can be traced back to three stallions of oriental breeding that were mated with local bred English mares in the seventeenth century. These Arabian, Barb and Turkoman bred stallions injected speed, agility and athleticism into the modern thoroughbred race horse. From the United Kingdom they were imported into North America, Australia, Europe, Japan and many other colonial racing hot spots. There is mention of the Byerley Turk male line dating back to a horse called Herod. The Godolphin Arabian is the dominant ancestor for most modern race horses today, via a stallion called Matchem. The Darley Arabian is the other foundation sire of the modern thoroughbred.

Of course, horse racing has existed in many cultures for far longer than this more recent official recognition of the modern thoroughbred breed of race horses. Horses were for millennia the fast vehicles of their day. Hot blooded males were attracted to this hot blooded species of horse for their thrills and ability to win races. The ancient Greeks and Romans loved their horse racing, both in chariot form and single riders. Every culture that rode horses in battle, generally raced them for recreation. Every great king and warrior is depicted on horseback charging into battle with his army around him.

In the twentieth century a stallion called Northern Dancer became the most influential and important sire of his age. A Kentucky Derby winner, Canadian-bred and sired by Nearctic with his dam Natalma by Native Dancer (another great sire). Many modern racing champions can be traced back to Northern Dancer on both sides of the globe. The pedigree of these horses has been strictly kept by their owners and breeders over decades and centuries. Horse racing is often called the sport of kings, and these powerful and wealthy people wish to own and race horses, which are the finest and the best of their breed.