Racing in England dates back to 1074 and in the mid 1400’s even the Pope was the patron of racing. However, it has been the last 200 years that
the Thoroughbred has emerged as the star, the Prima Donna.
The term "Thoroughbred" designates and defines a specific breed of
horse registered in the stud book. The horse is a distinct breed kept
pure for many generations.
Each Thoroughbred of today traces back to three (3) Middle Eastern
stallions imported to Great Britain in the 1700's:
- The Darley Arabian
- The Byerly Turk
- The Godolphin Arabian
It is a quirk of fate that the Darley Arabian was considered useless as a racehorse and never started in a race.
Other than siring the great and undefeated Flying Childers, he was not
even a successful sire of winners. However, four generations later his
line produced Eclipse, destined to become one of the greatest horses of
all time. His male line became the strongest breeding line in the modern
world and today more than 80% of modern Thoroughbreds including the
great USA Racehorse Secretariat, are descended from him.
The incomparable Man O’War was among the 15% of the modern
Thoroughbreds that descended from Matchem, a grandson of the Darley
Arabian. This horse was a present from the Emperor of Morocco to the
King of France before he came into the hands of Lord Godolphin in
The great Eclipse who left his mark on the entire breed, was so fiery
tempered in his youth that he was almost gelded. Instead, he was loaned
to a local rough rider who rode him by day for normal business and at
night to raid neighbouring farms – he was the most renowned poacher in
Whether the Thoroughbred performs as a top-class stakes winner or
competes only at country racing level, the horse embodies a spirit and
majesty not seen in any other equine. Whether the horse is racing for
$3,000 to the winner or $2 million to the winner, the horse itself, puts
in its best effort and in doing so provides a range of emotional highs
and lows that is unequaled in any other business.
Racing is truly an international sport with the Thoroughbred as its
centre. Breeding farms are abundant and can be found all over the
country, as can racetracks, expert Thoroughbred trainers, veterinarians,
jockeys and registered bloodstock agents. So, no matter where you call
home, an opportunity to race the matchless Thoroughbred is near you.