Colonial Foundation Mares

Colonial Foundation Mares

Featured Image: ‘Skeletine’; a colonial-bred daughter of ‘Skeleton’

New Research Affects Traditional Organization of Female Lines

In the August 2002 edition of the journal Animal Genetics, Dr Emmeline Hill and her colleagues at the Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, published “History and Integrity of Thoroughbred Dam Lines Revealed in Equine mtDNA Variation,” a ground-breaking study that changes much of what we thought we knew about the early history of the thoroughbred, and that affects the pedigrees virtually every thoroughbred now living. The study examined pedigrees of horses associated with the English Foundation Mares, and does not address the other families, but it is highly likely further genetic research will have an impact on these families as well.

The original article and a discussion of how the analysis of mtDNA in thoroughbred horses has affected the traditional Lowe families are in the Genetics section.

These are female families which had proved themselves, but were ineligible for inclusion in Stud Books as they were not traceable to a mare in the General Stud Book.

Early Australian horse races, like their English counterparts, focused on endurance, with two or three mile heats run one-half hour apart; up until 1870 or so, racehorses could be asked to run a total of nine miles within an hour’s time. Many of these horses were of part Arabian, part Thoroughbred, or Anglo-Arab breeding.

The Colonial taproot mares were imported over a long span of time, from 1818 to the 1870s. Beginning around 1820, at first sporadically, and then with increasing frequency, especially after 1870, “pure” thoroughbred mares were brought into Australasia, primarily from England, and the use of imported non-throughbred mares declined. But by then, the Colonial mares had established a number of speedy and durable families that excelled on the race course. The Australian and New Zealand Stud Books recognise and accept some of these families, and they have been numbered in The Family Tables of Racehorses.

Many of these families include early imported Arabian influence in the sire line. The oldest of the families is C15, Cariboo (in New Zealand, Myrtle), named for a mare born between 1812-1815, by an Arabian called (Old) Hector, who was imported into Sydney from Calcutta in 1806, from a daughter of an imported English or Cape-bred stallion named Rockingham, purported to be a thoroughbred grandson of the stallion by the same name in England. The Rockingham mare’s dam was one of the so-called Cape Mares–mares who arrived on the ship Brittania in 1795, from either South Africa or India.

Several other mares in this group of foundation mares were almost certainly thoroughbred, but their pedigrees were either lost or otherwise considered unprovable. Among these was Cutty Sark (C3) who arrived in Sydney in 1826, along with the mare Spaewife, the latter’s pedigree was confirmed and she is entered in the GSB, but Cutty Sark’s pedigree, despite many efforts, could not be traced effectively. The Betty family (C10) derived from a “pure” English mare named Old Betty, imported prior to 1818 by an early colonist, D’Arcy Wentworth, a distant relative of the renowned early thoroughbred breeders in England, the Wentworth and D’Arcy families.

A number of mares of untraceable descent in this group were bred and owned by individuals who created thoroughbred breeding and racing in Australia and New Zealand. Their progeny often became top stakes winners. Some of the families are still well-represented on the turf today, in Australia, New Zealand, and in other countries.

In addition to the mares listed in the Family Tables of Racehorses, numbered C-1 through C-36, there were many, many mares who established long or short-lived families in Australia and New Zealand. Most are now extinct, but some continue to produce good winners. In the Australian Stud Book they are noted as “NSB” (non-stud book) or “NTB” (non-thoroughbred). These families were identified in detail, and each family numbered, in The Australasian Racehorse, by New Zealand Racing Conference secretary W.H.E. Wanklyn, and updated by turf writer A.F. Howarth (“Blair Athol”) in 1949. After that, Douglas Barrie selected and re-numbered what he perceived to be the most significant colonial families in The Australian Bloodhorse (1956). The present, univerally-adopted system is based on the most recent compilation of The Family Tables of Racehorses, compiled by Toru Shirai (Japan: Thoroughbred Pedigree Center, 1990).

In Volume 23 (1950-1952) of the Australian Stud Book, nineteen Colonial families were officially accepted into the stud book. The relevant excerpt can be viewed here. A more general discussion of the role of non-stud book mares is included in Michael Ford’s History of the Australian Stud Book.

Principal Sources Used in the Compilation of this Section

The Australian Bloodhorse by Douglas Barrie (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1956)
The Australasian Racehorse by W.H.E. Wanklyn, ed. A.F. Howarth (Christchurch: Christchurch Press Co. Ltd., 1959)
The History of Australian Thoroughbred Racing by Harold Freedman and Andrew Lemon (Victoria: Classic Reproductions, 1987)
Horsemen of the First Frontier (1788-1900) and The Serpents Legacy by Keith R. Binney (Australia: Volcanic Productions, 2006)
Tapestry of the Turf: The History of New Zealand Racing 1840-1987, by John Costello and Pat Finnegan (Auckland: MOA Publications Ltd., 1988)
Thoroughbred Sires of Australia and New Zealand, by W.J. McFadden (Sydney: Angus & Robertson Ltd., n.d.)
Special Thanks to Richard Davis, Keith Binney, and the Australian Stud Book for additional assistance

CLICK on the Family Name to View History and Descent Line

C1. SAPPHO (18–)

(Grey. By Marquis out of mare by Zohrab. Bred by John Lee of Bathurst NSW. )
One of the most numerous and successful colonial families in Australia, through Saphho the Younger. Notable descendants: Etra Weenie (1889), Diffidence (1865), Kingsborough (1871), Lawrence (1940), Lecturer, Meriwee, Powerscourt
C2. YATTERINA (1865)
(By Yattendon – Koh-I-noor by Vanguard, Kate by Gratis*, Flirt by Steeltrap*, Brunette by Camerton*)
Still successful in New Zealand. Notable descendants: Chatspa (1942), Constant Lady, Fusilier, General Soult, Jalna (1955), Linmarch (1930), Matchlock, Queen March (1920), Salutation, Te Kara (1918)
C3. CUTTY SARK (imp. 1826)
(Chestnut. Pedigree Unknown. Imported into NSW from England in 1826, along with Spaewife*, Peter Fin* and Prince Regent. New Zealand Stud Book calls this family Ouida (1879, by Yattendon))
Notable descendants: Archer (1856), Artillery, Dalray, The Barb (1863), Star Stranger
C4. GIPSY (1840)
(Black. By Emigrant. Her dam said to be by Bay Camerton* from a Steeltrap* mare. Bred in NSW by Charles Smith and sent to New Zealand in 1844.)
Successful in the second half of the 19th century, still has descendants on both sides of the Tasman. Notable descendants: Azecena, Calumny (1869), Defamation, Envy, Gipsy King, Leonara, Manton (1885)
C5. DINAH (1844)
(Bay. Reputed to be by Gratis* out of a mare by Rous’ Emigrant*, mare by Bay Camerton*. Bred in NSW, taken overland to Melbourne from Sydney “with a mob of horses.”)
Notable descendants: Briseis (1873), Caspian, Ebor, Eleanor, Mermaid, *Newhaven (1893), Sea Spray
C6. ADELINE (186-)
(By Kingston* from a mare by William Tell, from Lucy by Marquis, from mare by Nimrod. Bred in NSW.)
Notable descendants: *Amiable, Eracre, Glenacre, Kuvera, Oakleigh, Shakuni, Star Affair
C7. BLACK SWAN (1874)
(By Yattendon out of Maid of the Lake (pedigree unknown; bred at Ravensworth NSW by Captain Bourn Russell), NSW.)
Notable descendants: Denacre, Dividend (1901), Heros, Lady Trenton, Lord Cardigan (1900), Lord Nolan, Peter, Rainbird (1941)
C8. LILLA (1856)
(By New Chum out of Eva by Young Marquis, mare by The Gardener, mare by Toss*. Bred by William Lee in NSW)
Notable descendants: Acre (1914), All Love (1938), Blue Era (1958), Cunnamulla, Ibex (1898), Javelin, Maltine (1904), Stromboli, Woodlands
(By Camerton* out of The English Mare*, an imported mare of unknown pedigree)
Notable descendants: Governess, Kalo, Normanby, Pugilist, Randwick, Young Marquis
C10. BETTY (c. 1829)
(By (Old) Hector) out of Old Betty*, an imported English mare. Bred in NSW.)
A successful and prolific Australasian racing family, primarily stayers. Notable descendants: Balfour, Bargo, De la Salle, Favo, Highborn, Rego Lad, The Assyrian, Togo
C11. BELHARI (1861)
(By Indian Warrior* out of Blink Bonny by Egremont, Mrs. Burt by Snoozer*. Bred in Victoria. )
Descendants throughout Australasia, but primarily in eastern NSW. Notable descendants: Bundoora, Lord Acre, Scotland, Skirmisher
C12. CONTESSA (1869)
(By Gemma di Vergy out of a mare by Euclid, Messenger by Satellite* (arabian). Bred by C.G. Tindal of Grafton, NSW)
Notable descendants: Binnia (1902), Lochano, Marvel Loch, Noreen, Strathroy
C13. EMPRESS (c. 1875)
(By Tamerlane out of Kerosene by Pioneer*. Bred in QLD.)
Notable descendants: Alexis, Czarina, Realm, Stralia
C14. HERIS (c.1872)
(By Gemma di Vergy out of Lady of the Lake by Cheddar*, Ladylike by New Warrior*. Bred in NSW)
Notable descendants: Famous (1899), Giru, Gravity, Virtu (1903)
C15. CARIBOO (c.1813)
(By Hector* out of mare by Rockingham*. A branch of what is sometimes called the Myrtle Family (1869))
Notable descendants: Acrasia, Blarney Stone, Blue Cross, Cerise and Blue, Jorrocks (1833), Little Bernie, Marvel (1886)
C16. STEELTRAP MARE (c.1834)
(Chestnut. By Steeltrap* out of unknown mare; also known as Col. Wrenche’s chestnut mare. Bred in NSW)
Notable descendants: Bylong, Donald (1921), Phoebe, Secundus, Spear Chief (1943), Spear Vale, Stanley, Sweetmeat (1875), Triton, Zulu (1877)
C17. SHARKIE (c. 1846)
(Bay. By Riddlesworth out of an imported mare of unknown pedigree)
Notable descendants: Advance (1896), Beaulivre (1936), Diabolo, Fishhook, Ma Cherie, Silver Link (1915), Whaitiri
C18. MISS ROWE (1835)
(Bay. By Sir Hercules out of Miss Millar by Wanderer*, a mare by an arabian)
Notable descendants: Ariel, Lady Scholar, Omega, Peeress (1865), Vagabond (1914), Venus, Transit
C19. JOSEPHINE (1869)
(Bay. By Boiardo* out of Wano by Cossack, Fair Helen by Rous’ Emigrant*. Bred near Melbourne, Victoria)
Through daughter Brassolis, established a successful New Zealand family still producing classic winners. Notable descendants: Fluency, Gay Ballerina (1926), La Gloria, La Moderne, Los Angeles (1904), Nonette (1898), Travel Boy (1956)
C20. SYBIL (1855)
(Bay. By Riddlesworth* out of mare (c.1845) by Aether*, from a NSW mare of unknown pedigree)
Notable descendants: Concentrate, Equitas, Lady Christine, Oratory, Oratress, Oratrix
C21. SYLPH (1865)
(Bay. By Impudence out of Creeping Jane by Plenipo (arabian). Bred in VIC. Family of Irish Queen and Elvo, through whom latter day winners descend)
Notable descendants: Bacchus, Caesar (1934), Fidelity, Crusader, Irish Queen, Sal Volatile, Sedition
C22. MUSKET MAID (18–)
(By Musket* out of Miss Ariel by Dainty Ariel, mare by Pacific*. Bred in New Zealand)
Notable descendants: Master Soult (1905), Prince Soult, Sutala, Waiuku (NZ, 1890)
C23. WINNIE (1878)
(By Kingfisher out of Dolly Varden by Pacific*, Brunette by Von Tromp. Bred in New Zealand)
Notable descendants: Cheval de Volee (1933), Coleridge (1952), Gwilliam G, Kakama, Miss Winsome, Neenah
C24. BEATRICE (1862)
(By Pitsford*, Lucretia by St. John*, from a mare bred by Mr. G. Rouse. Known in Australia as the Beatrice Family, with branches descending from two daughters, Sound (1877) and Laverna)
Notable descendants: Cyclone, Katanga (1936), Marauder, Mollison (1925), Molly’s Robe, Megaphone, Vaccine
C25. DUDU (1846)
(Bay. Imported parents of unknown breeding. Bred in NSW and sent to New Zealand)
Notable descendants: Adelaide, Asteroid, Lottie, Maheno, Mystificaiton, Quadroon
C26. MOTH (1847)
(Bay. By Boyd’s Camel* out of Miss Foote by Herald*, Yellow Jenny by Model* (arabian), mare by (Old) Hector*, mare imported from Cape of Good Hope)
Notable descendants: Atlantic (1875), Brigadier, Crackshot (1887), Irish Note (1940), Ladybird (1858), Pink Terrace, St. James
C27. SLANDER (1836)
(Bay. By Traducer* out of Annie Laurie by Cap-A-Pie*, Bell Brand believed to be by Dover*, Sophy by Skilhinda, Sally Brass by Langtonian, Kitty by Bay Camerton*. Bred in Canterbury, New Zealand)
Notable descendants: Billingsgate, Englefield, Foul Shot, Speculation, St. Paul (1893)
C28. WOODSTOCK (18–)
(Chestnut. By Theorem* out of an English thoroughbred mare of unknown breeding)
A successful New Zealand family. Notable descendants: Heiress, Roman Consul (1962), Sinking Fund, Tiresome, Toxeuma, Wolverine
C29. PERI (1841)
(Bay. By Gratis* out of Aspic by Satellite* (arabian). Bred in NSW.)
Now extinct. Notable descendants: Regno (1859), Tarragon (1858), Veno (1849), Warrior
C30. BLACK BESS (AUSTIN’S) (c.1830)
(Pedigree unknown. Bred in NSW and sent to VIC in 1841)
Now extinct. Notable descendants: Fortunatus (1888), Imperial (1869)
C31. JEWESS (18–)
(By Marquis out of an arabian mare whose parents were imported by the A.A. Co. in 1835. In the stud of James and John Lee)
Notable descendants: Democrat, Easingwold (1918), Frisco (1883), Regina, Sydney, The Duke
C32. FAIR ELLEN (1850)
(Grey. By Rory O’More* out of Camarine by Forester, Faintail by The Caliph* (arabian). Bred in Victoria)
Notable descendants: Freestone (1861), Lady Ellen, Toryboy (1857)
(By Cossack out of Queen of Hearts by Dover*)
Now extinct. Notable descendants: Glencoe (1864), Glentilt (1880), Loftus (1787), Meteor (18–)
C34. SPRAY (1850)
(Chestnut. By Donizetti* out of Lady Anne by Whisker*, mare by Tros*, arabian mare. Bred in NSW and sent to New Zealand)
Highly successful family in mid 19th century. Notable descendants: Bell of the Isle, British Lion, Flying Jib, Scud, Stormbird, Templeton
C35. BELLA (c. 1850)
(A purebred arabian imported into New Zealand from NSW by Major Durie)
Notable descendants: Castashore (1892), Elsa (1873), Top Rank
C36. ROSEBUD (1850)
(Chestnut. By Il Barbiere out of a mare bred in NSW and imported into NZ without pedigree)
Notable descendants: Black Rose, Chancellor, Gold Salute (1936), Palisade, Otto, Peronilla, Star Rose
(Chestnut. By Gratis*, out of Roan Kit by Stride*, out of Cleodora by Hector [arabian])
Notable descendants: Opera (1860), Tambourini (1868), Resolution (1880), Bisox (1922), Refresher (1926)
(Brown. By Tros*, out of Polly by Baron, out of an arabian mare)
Notable descendants: Revoke (1857), Trump Card (1974), Piuthair (1922)
NSB. FLIRT (1849)
(By New Warrior, out of Dozey by Bookworm, out of a mare by Cap-a-Pie, out of a mare by Bay Camerton)
Notable descendants: Vanitas (1891), Dandy (1895), Lady Ruenalf (1904), Dame Acre (1913), Eastcourt (1913)
(Bay. By Traducer, out of Hypatia by Nutwith, out of Phyllis by Gratis)
Notable descendants: Maritana (1870), Don Caesar (1886)

Colonial Family Quick Links
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#5 #6 #7 #8
#9 #10 #11 #12
#13 #14 #15 #16
#17 #18 #19 #20
#21 #22 #23 #24
#25 #26 #27 #28
#29 #30 #31 #32
#33 #34 #35 #36
NSB: Princess NSB: Finesse
NSB: Maritana NSB: Flirt