Todman: Conformation

Todman: Conformation

Featured Image: Image Page 47; Ross Du Bourg ‘The Australian and New Zealand Thoroughbred’

Ross Du Bourg writes in his seminal treatise ‘The Australian and New Zealand Thoroughbred’:

“Todman had a most unusual torso and peculiarly balanced physique; he was long-backed, low slung and high-rumped, and when I saw him on Baramul Stud on his fourteenth birthday his coat was very light and washed-out. He was clearly unique, and his stock inherited a large portion of his galloping ability, which transcends all considerations of outward physical beauty. Todman died at the Thompson family’s neighbouring historic Widden Stud on 13 June 1976 when within a few weeks of his twenty-second birthday”.

I think I would concur with much of this opinion. However I would never have commented on his coat condition and colour when Mr A O Ellison was still alive! Many of Star Kingdom’s offspring inherited the body shape described by Ross; notably Biscay and his descendants. Biscay had the longest ‘barrel’, largest quarters and flattest croup of any sire I have ever seen. He was superbly muscled. His dam ‘Makapura’ (Imp. by Big Game) had a robust body shape and hind-quarters with which even ‘Jameka’ Williams would have felt ‘diminished’! Conversely his super sire son ‘Bletchingly was short-coupled, short barrel, short rein and short-necked. He had the same rippling musculature as both his illustrious sire and grandsire.

Many good judges and articulate scribes wax eloquent about ‘conformation’. Many of the most ‘shapely’ cannot run fast. The most expensive, arguably ‘perfect’’ yearling of all time by Northern Dancer couldn’t trot. George Ryder always used to say somewhat acerbically ‘there are no looking races’!