Last week, Emma posted about notorious stallions and how a few of them show up in her horse’s pedigree. I have grown more and more curious with Thoroughbred pedigrees over the years … considering I have owned a few off-track characters this shouldn’t be surprising.
But then, I am not really looking at racing pedigrees for racing talent. I am more curious to find what results in jumping talent! No doubt any Thoroughbred can clear a 3′ fence and all have the athleticism to perform in a variety of horse sports, but what do Thoroughbred pedigrees show as far as athleticism to excel at jumping, in scope, form, carefulness, and willingness?
I DON’T EFFING KNOW.
There’s not really an answer, other than possibly to notice patterns in the pedigrees of ex-racehorses you have had your own experiences with. Based on my personal experience, I tend to lean toward both Danzig and Alydar progeny as showing jumping talent. Even so, it’s a guessing game, as both stallions were prolific, especially Alydar. These are pedigrees cultivated out of a desire to breed top talent on the racetrack. These are not the pedigrees of top showjumping mounts, curated for scope, although Thoroughbred blood heavily influences many of those pedigrees. (You’ll want to click on the pedigree to make it bigger.)
I knew Eli had jumping talent before I set eyes on his pedigree, and only after the fact did his pedigree confirm any inklings I might still have toward a preference for Danzig and Alydar progeny. But I can also see that’s all on his sire’s side. I am less familiar with his dam’s lines, although his dam earned about what Eli did racing in fewer starts.
For former racehorses in new careers, we can really only work backwards, take educated guesses and possibly start to recognize patterns over time if we are looking for clues in the pedigrees about jumping talent.
I know Emma’s post related more to temperament than talent, but we all know I have a little, let’s say, flexibility when it comes to temperament as long as the talent is there. When I look back at the pictures of the sires in Eli’s pedigree I am most struck by, of course, Danzig and the look not only of arrogance, but utter contempt for everything coloring the horse’s countenance. Secondly, however, I am completely captivated by the conformation, fine head, and air of magnanimity and composure of his dam’s sire, Irish Tower. No idea how I got all that out of one picture, but after taking another long look at Eli’s pedigree thanks to Emma, I might be curious to follow Irish Tower progeny in the future, too.
If Thoroughbred pedigrees have you overwhelmed, stoke that confusion fire by reading this gem on Danzig and his far-reaching influence! You can also click through all the way back to foundation stallions on your horse’s pedigree on the Thoroughbred Database. You will probably get to the Darley Arabian and recognize a few names on your way back. I know most of y’all probably already know all this, but for first-time TB owners or people who have never searched for their Thoroughbred online, I hope this helps!
And if you’re interested in finding video or photos of your own Thoroughbred ex-racehorse but don’t know how, look up your horse’s Jockey Club name on Equibase. If your fur kid raced like mine did, check the Results tab for racetracks. From there, you can watch replay video from the tracks’ websites if your fur kid is young enough (Eli is, just barely)! To watch the video directly from Equibase, you’d need a membership. After watching a few races with Eli in them, I have a little idea about where his fear of/angst about crops may have originated. Coady Photography also allows you to search by Jockey Club names, which reminds me–I need to go buy that one winner’s circle picture of Eli that I found!