Emma kind of unintentionally started this unofficial blog hop last week when she posted about her new horse’s pedigree. The comments were great, and led to lots of good discussion… so many thoroughbred fans out there. She encouraged other people to post about their thoroughbred’s pedigree too, so here I am. Such a people pleaser (everyone who knows me is probably laughing hysterically at that).
I’ve owned and ridden my fair share of TB’s, plus I am a breeding nerd, so this one is right up my alley. Over the years I’ve developed some opinions (shocking) on which lines I really like, which ones I don’t, and just how much it matters in the big picture. Short version – I don’t put a ton of stake in it, but sometimes it can give you an idea of the horse, what it might be good at, and what it might be like. When I’m looking at TBs, especially ones that are fresh off the track or still on the track, I absolutely DO look at and consider the pedigree. While it usually won’t be enough to turn me away completely if I really like the horse but not the pedigree, it can definitely make me go from 90% interested to 50% interested if I see some lines that I don’t like, or 50% interested to 90% interested if I see some lines that I really do like. That’s kind of what happened with Henry. I liked him on video and I loved him on paper.
Digging into his pedigree – first of all, his JC name is Hesalmostsweet and while he is registered, he never actually raced, just trained. I had him DNA verified to confirm his identity for TIP since he was not tattooed and I didn’t get papers. He is, indeed, Hesalmostsweet, and I have the fancy official JC letter to prove it. (So everyone who keeps insisting he’s QH or Appendix – STOP IT, he just has a big butt! That means you, BOBBY!)
Henry did not exactly come from a blueblood Kentucky background. He was born at a small private farm in Arkansas, by a stallion named Skeet, who stood at stud for a whopping $500. Skeet himself was a decent racehorse, winning some minor stakes races on the dirt and turf. However, he has very few registered offspring, and dropped off the map in 2008. I can’t find what happened to him after that nor have I been able to track down any of the handful of his registered offspring. As it was, I had to seriously scour the internet to find any pictures of him.
The apple didn’t fall far from the tree on that one. Aside from color, Henry and Skeet pretty identical, right on down to the weird faces and tongue.
Skeet’s sire was Dove Hunt
who has produced at least one upper level eventer that I can find, 2* horse and NAYJC competitor Case Closed:
Dove Hunt’s sire is the famous Danzig, also known as a big part of the reason I was so interested in Henry. I’ve had very positive experiences with Danzig line horses in the past… I’ve found them to be honest, good learners, and very correct jumpers. Henry has definitely lived up to that. I always stop and take a closer look when I see Danzig in a pedigree.
as well as one of my favorite eventers ever: Ziggy
just to name a few.
Moving on to the dam’s side of Henry’s pedigree, things get a lot harder to dig up. His dam, Lona Thump, raced but didn’t do very well, and then produced a few offspring that never did anything. Her sire, Royal N Trouble, at one time stood at Broken Word Farm in Arkansas. Which, if you google it, comes up with a bunch of stories like this: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/172992/arkansas-trainer-charged-with-animal-cruelty
So, uh… big yikes. Unfortunately I can’t find much info on what ever became of Royal N Trouble.
Royal N Trouble’s sire was Royal and Regal, who you can spy in this particular little video that some of you may have seen a time or two before:
At one point he was 3rd, but faded to ultimately finish 8th.
Other names that stood out to me in Henry’s pedigree were Wavering Monarch, The Minstrel, Key to the Mint, or if you go even further – T.V. Lark, Sir Gaylord, Graustark, Sea Bird, Buckpasser, etc. There’s nothing flashy in his pedigree, racehorse-wise. No big name Kentucky sires and nothing particularly fashionable, which to me is kind of a plus. It’s not always good things that come along with those big names. Henry’s is basically just a solid, sporty TB pedigree, without any of the glitz and glamour.
And really… that’s pretty much what Henny is, too.