The Byerley Turk & Godolphin Arabian Conservation Project
This breeding programme was put into place during the writing of BYERLEY, The Thoroughbred’s Ticking Time Bomb.
The book investigated the history of the Thoroughbred breed and the fact that it rests upon only three male tail lines (or father-to-son lines). It explained how the descendants of these three stallions co-mingled to form three superior horses on the racecourse, and at stud.
Every Thoroughbred through to the present day has representation of the three bloodlines through these horses – MATCHEM, HEROD and ECLIPSE. Over 250 years of the breed we have yet to see a racehorse whose pedigree doesn’t contain these three bloodlines.
However, over the next 20 years, due to current breeding practices, it is inevitable that there will be a loss of one, or more, of these three male tail lines. As an industry, we have no idea what the implications are for the Thoroughbred breed.
The vacuum of genetic or scientific evidence leaves us in a precarious situation as we have less than a handful of stallions to keep these rarer male tail lines going. These stallions are, I believe, integral to the survival of the Thoroughbred Racehorse.
If you have any level of concern, I would welcome your thoughts and expertise on the various matings – and any ideas you might have on how to regenerate the two lines. It’s a big ask, and will probably take three or four generations to pull it off, but it’s not out of the question. One of the most important ingredients for any success will be acquiring the collective knowledge of the smartest and most successful students of bloodstock and pedigree.
Hopefully the project will inspire some action at some level – from discussion, to sharing knowledge, to perhaps even adding a mare to the project.
At the moment there is no financial enticement or bonus for you to do so, but I am hoping that in time it will be possible to put some sort of incentive in place. Presently the project is concentrating on exploring genetic research to validate what the study of over 1,600 pedigrees has born out, and that is that all three lines are integral to the existence of the breed.
Please contact me if you are interested in becoming part of this conservation project.
Currently the Byerley Turk & Godolphin Arabian Conservation Project consists of:
INDIAN HAVEN 2000 (Indian Ridge-Madame Dubois-Legend of France) PHOTO
Winner of the Irish 2000 Guineas
DREAMILY 2010 (New Approach-Idilic Calm-Indian Ridge)
EMILY CARR 2009 (Teofilo-Vimy Ridge-Indian Ridge)
SILKENVEIL 2007 (Indian Ridge-Line Ahead-Sadler’s Wells)
WANNABE SPECIAL 2012 (Galileo-Wannabe Posh-Grand Lodge)
DHEYAA 2013 (Dream Ahead-Lady Livius-Titus Livius)
HEDAAYA 2007 (Indian Ridge-Nausicaa-Diesis)
GOLDSBOROUGH colt (Pearl Secret-Emily Carr) In training with Andrew Balding
LOVE IS BLUE filly (Pearl Secret-Vivid Blue-Indian Ridge) In training in France with William Walton.
PEARL SECRET – EMILY CARR colt
PEARL SECRET – SILKENVEIL colt
PEARL SECRET – DREAMILY filly
INDIAN HAVEN – DREAMILY (filly)
INDIAN HAVEN – DHEYAA (filly)
INDIAN HAVEN – SILKENVEIL (colt)
INDIAN HAVEN – EMILY CARR (colt)
INDIAN HAVEN – WANNABE SPECIAL (colt)