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Fair Play in TB sporthorse lines

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  • Fair Play in TB sporthorse lines

    So far I've finished less than one third of Dr. Birdsall's 1981 three volume set of Sport Horse pedigrees. Because of the era, most of them are TBs or TBxs, with the majority full TBs.

    The one constant that has jumped out from the pages so is that Fair Play lines, wherever they come from are golden. Not only do you have Man O' War and Display and all their progeny, but Chance Play is an excellent line as well. Lots of mares who trace back to this are found also.

    I was completely surprised at how many Fair Play descendants from all lines have been so good for sport horses. Man O'War we all knew, and there are many of his descendants who appear, but so many of the Fair Plays? That was a revelation.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
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  • #2
    Not to me.

    Chance Play, for one, shows up quite a bit.

    Re: Fair Play
    Besides the Pocahontas, which I don't know if that's a conduit for jump or not, Hastings had two crosses of West Australian, and his dam, Cinderella, went back to the mare Lollypop twice. Lollypop was inbred to Blacklock and I think you've identified that line for jump. (To King Fergus)

    Fair Play's dam, Fairy Gold, carries at least one line of Hermit, by Newminster, who was the sire of Lord Clifton and he the sire of Hampton- and we know that line produced jumpers.

    The thing really beginning to stand out to me is how often you will find a mare line in the background, somewhere, of these influential- over generations- horses that was intensely line bred or inbred.

    The dam of Chance Play carries at least one cross of Hampton and one of Hermit, which is the same sire line. She also brings in Pocahontas yet again.

    Think maybe there was an affinity there for crosses with Newminster in the line. MOW's dam Mahubah had it as well as his sire, Fair Play.

    But the inbreeding carried by Lollypop in Cinderalla's pedigree is interesting.

    As well before, I've mentioned what I think is a staggering amount of Pocahontas in the backround of MOW. It would seem that the negative trait she could have passed on, didn't happen in this instance. (Roaring? I can never keep that one straight....) But would Pocahontas also be a conduit for jump?

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Oh, absolutely, Pocahontas was a jumping conduit. See if you can find the thread I started with the title of something like "Any Hanoverian pedigree gurus around".

      The very great Trakehner stallion Abglanz (or Absatz or both) had lines to no fewer than 4 of her offspring. Phalaris is sire line to Stockwell. Two early Hannoverian lines are Alnok, son of Adeptus, sireline Stockwell; and Fling, whose sire's dam sire line and damsire line are both King, son of Kingdom, son of Kingcraft, son of King Tom. Lady Langden, Hampton's dam, is sired by Kettledrum, son of Rataplan. Saint Simon's damsire is King Tom. Robert The Devil's (Stockwell) son, The Black Devil, is one of the early Hanoverian sires. Most, if not all, of the more recent importations from TB land to Germany have been Phalaris line.

      Pocahontas is sireline to Buzzard/Alexander Mare, and damsire line is King Fergus. She has an almost uncountable number of lines to Croft's Partner, grandsire of Herod.

      As far as I can tell, Pocahontas is almost as strong in German WB breeding through her sons (mostly, although the Trakehner people also used at least two of her daughters), as she is in TBs.

      I completely agree with you about the mares and linebreeding (or inbreeding). If all domesticated horses carry only one version of the Y chromosome, which seems to have been established, and all of the other genetic material is a mixture of genes from both males and females, the fixation on tail male doesn't seem to have any scientific basis. The genes that make males function as males are all 99.99995% identical.

      One interesting historical tidbit is that, according to Ellen Parker, the stud groom at the farm where Galopin was bred claimed that his sire was The Flying Dutchman who was also the sire of his dam, Flying Duchess. That would shift a huge number of horses from the Eclipse family to the Herod family, including Saint Simon and Galliard and away from the Blacklock/King Fergus branch of Eclipse.

      Another thing that is holding up well from Dr. Birdsall's pedigree research is my hypothesis that having all three of the sire families on the first page of the pedigree produces TB performance winners. He only has published a four generation pedigree instead of the usual five.
      Last edited by vineyridge; Feb. 28, 2009, 08:36 PM.
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      • #4
        Man o' War and Chance Play were out of mares descended from Rock Sand.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by grayarabpony View Post
          Man o' War and Chance Play were out of mares descended from Rock Sand.
          True, but Chance Play's first dam's sire line is Hampton.

          It will be very interesting when I see how the Cluster Mares work out with sport horses.
          "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
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          • Original Poster

            #6
            I think there is something important that happened when Touchstone was crossed back into the Buzzard/Alexander Mare crew.
            Cats, the Otis mare, dam of Lanercost, the one that you identified in some inbreeding, is sireline Buzzard through a Matchem/Snap Mare line.
            Last edited by vineyridge; Feb. 28, 2009, 08:14 PM.
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            • #7
              I am going to be the dissenter here: Fair Play is not a plus in a pedigree to me....rather he is a minus. Fair Play is by the notoriously ill tempered Hastings. Worse yet is the Man O War line which adds in the flaky Rock Sand. The ability is only going to get you as far as the brains....and the Fair Play/ Rock Sand lines come up short in that department.
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              • Original Poster

                #8
                If you didn't use lines that had reputations for producing b*stards, you couldn't have Nearco, Nasrullah, Bold Ruler, Hail To Reason (Halo/Roberto), Hoist The Flag, Ribot, Nijinsky, and the list goes on. Without those lines, there would be no American TB sport horses.
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                • #9
                  Man O War is found in many many TB jumpers, the Rock Sand line as well, infact Furioso -was from the Rock Sand line.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
                    If you didn't use lines that had reputations for producing b*stards, you couldn't have Nearco, Nasrullah, Bold Ruler, Hail To Reason (Halo/Roberto), Hoist The Flag, Ribot, Nijinsky, and the list goes on. Without those lines, there would be no American TB sport horses.
                    That is indeed true. Ya can't get around it, but it is the very reason I don't like the see those guys LINEbred in a sporthorse pedigree either.
                    Last edited by camohn; Feb. 28, 2009, 09:36 PM.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nsm View Post
                      Man O War is found in many many TB jumpers, the Rock Sand line as well, infact Furioso -was from the Rock Sand line.
                      Oh yes....they certainly can jump. That is a separate issue from being well tempered though. There is also a difference between difficult in a hot and opinionated sort of way (Bold Ruler/Nasrullah line) and downright nasty (like Halo and Hastings. I think Ribot was also in that boat.) Man O War and War Admiral were certainly not known for their sunny dispositions. Rock Sand's dam was known as "a trainers nightmare" and RS was also very tempermental.
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                      • #12
                        There are many TB stallions that are or have been recently on the USEF leading sires lists that come from Man O War lines

                        War Relic
                        Intent --- Shelter Half
                        Relic ----Babamist
                        ----Talent Town
                        -----Two Davids
                        Great War, a Man O War son sired Circus Rose.

                        There are a considerable number of War Admiral line horses but a lot of them come from his daughter Busanda. Buckpasser, etc.

                        Many of the horses reported to have nasty temperaments are so far back in the pedigrees that it makes no difference.

                        camohn likes to complain about Halo. That amuses me as I have a Halo grandson that's very older ammie friendly. Everybody's mileage varies. LOL

                        I like seeing Man O War anywhere in the pedigree. They can jump and that's what I'm interested in.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
                          If you didn't use lines that had reputations for producing b*stards, you couldn't have Nearco, Nasrullah, Bold Ruler, Hail To Reason (Halo/Roberto), Hoist The Flag, Ribot, Nijinsky, and the list goes on. Without those lines, there would be no American TB sport horses.
                          Also on that note: Sporthorse breeders have those personalities to work with because 98% of the TB industry is driven by racing and temperment is not a consideration. Speed is all important. Correct confo is sorta important. (An issue for some, not for others and many confo flaws will be overlooked if the horse is fast enough.) It's a closed book, that's the raw material a breeder may be stuck with in lines that can jump....but OTOH a sporthorse breeder is better off trying to balance it as much as possible with a better tempered lot too. I have a US Flag mare. Floaty mover, jumps the moon....she is NOT a people person to say the least.
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                          • #14
                            I'll be a dissenter too. Fair Play was born over 100 years ago. His influence on the modern TB is negligible and the fact that he shows up a lot if you click back on PQ has to do with the amplification over time. Take a look some time of the amount of Domino you can find if you search specifically for him. Not to mention St Simon, Bay Ronald, Bend Or and others from 1880-1910 or so.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PineTreeFarm View Post

                              camohn likes to complain about Halo. That amuses me as I have a Halo grandson that's very older ammie friendly. Everybody's mileage varies. LOL

                              .
                              Yes, getting more generations in there helps.
                              What is to like about a stallion so famous for being so nasty? His son Silver Ghost is just as bad. While not as nasty, many of his other direct sons are noted for being "tough". It's not a sporthorse ideal.
                              But getting back to Fair Play on topic: no denying he is in a lot of jumper lines. My point is that he is not ALL good. And sporthorse breeders need to know the bad with the good as an ill tempered sporthose is not an easy to market one. Race folks don't care that much about temperment but sporthorse owners DO.
                              Last edited by camohn; Feb. 28, 2009, 10:48 PM.
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                              • #16
                                Man o' War's disposition was fine once he was retired from racing. He was hot when racing fit, no doubt about it, but he mellowed after retirement.

                                The Twist line and Out and About both have a LOT of Man o' War. Quirky and hot, not very amateur-friendly, it's true, but not nasty or crazy.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  My uncle stood Cool Halo years ago - a very good mover and impressive horse to look at. I had a couple of his offspring to sell. Moved well but did not jump or the other way around. Cool Halo was very difficult and ill tempered. However, he sired PaleFace who ran Rolex 2008 but that was about it. Not all the horses that Dr Birdsall mentioned would be competitive today. A good lot of those horse showed with a "bit of help".

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by camohn View Post
                                    I have a US Flag mare. Floaty mover, jumps the moon....she is NOT a people person to say the least.
                                    Do you mean descended from American Flag?

                                    Never mind. I just found US Flag on all breed query.
                                    Last edited by grayarabpony; Mar. 1, 2009, 11:13 AM.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by camohn View Post
                                      Yes, getting more generations in there helps.
                                      What is to like about a stallion so famous for being so nasty? His son Silver Ghost is just as bad. While not as nasty, many of his other direct sons are noted for being "tough". It's not a sporthorse ideal.
                                      What's to like about a 'nasty' stallion is the horses he produces. A sporthorse ideal implies the horse has to be able to do a job. Many high performance horses don't want to hang out with their owner and play cute horse all day. So what. They get the job done.
                                      But if your ideal sporthorse is a school horse type with no brilliance that's OK too but that horse isn't going to go very far.
                                      Many of the best performing horses are a little quirky. Once you know about it you can deal with it.

                                      I think some of the stallions that get bad reps can be victims of circumstance. In the sport horse world stallions regularly compete and get used to being in tight quarters with mares, gelding and other stallions with a minimum of fuss. It's expected of them.
                                      But race horse stallions never learn much about manners. They are super fit and live in stalls much of the day. Not much social contact with other horses and maybe only contact with a few humans.
                                      When they retire from racing they are no longer ridden. So there isn't much expectation in how they interact with anybody. And they never really were 'broke to ride'. They were broke to race instead. Hormones cause a lot of problems. Gelding offspring don't always behave like their bad actor sires.
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                                      • #20
                                        Agreed. Don't forget that some of these 'nasty' stallions were often handled by not so knowledgeable track hands, in unnatural conditions, confined, fitted up, and frustrated.
                                        Does not mean to say they passed it on. A line of talent has to come from somewhere, passed down, so Fair Play is relevant in pedigrees, especially in selectively bred sporthorse pedigrees - I think, anyway. He must have been liked way back to be used in breeding sporthorses. Consolidated with others with desirable traits to concentrate down the line.
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