Five memorable mares

29 04 2007

Tell a gelding, ask a stallion, discuss it with a mare


Oh yes, you know what I’m talkin’ about! Here are some ladies you should meet.

1. Ruffian

Foaled in 1972, this niece of Secretariat is considered by many to be the greatest racing filly of the modern era, if not all time. She won all ten starts against fillies, but in a televised match race with Foolish Pleasure on July 6, 1975, both sesamoid bones in her right foreleg snapped. Her jockey, Jacinto Vasquez, tried to pull her up, but she ran on for another 50 yards, unwilling to give up the race. Attempts were made to save her but after waking from anesthesia Ruffian fractured the new cast causing greater damage and she was euthanized. Ruffian is buried near the finish line in the infield at Belmont Park. It has been said of her “The only race she ever lost was the race to save her life.” Read more | The Ruffian Breyer

2. Kincsem


Image source

Foaled in Hungrary in 1874, Kincsem’s (“my treasure”) total of 54 victories (1876–79) without defeat remains the best unbeaten record in the history of flat (Thoroughbred) racing. A mare sired by Cambuscan out of Water Nymph (both English-bred horses), she raced in Austria, England, France, and Germany, as well as in her native country. There is a life sized statue of her near the stadium at Kincsem Park in Budapest where the Kincsem Museum is located.

3. and 3.1 Royal Blue Boon

Addressing that critical QH shortage

Royal Blue Boon is considered to be the first lady of cutting: earned $381,764.41 in the arena, including the championship of the 1984 Atlantic Coast Futurity in Augusta, Ga., and impressive finishes in the National Cutting Horse Association Triple Crown events. She also produced 18 foals with 16 performers earning $2,498,079 for an average of $156,129.96. A clone produced from Royal Blue Boon was born last year.

4. Obizuth


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Gorgeous girl, yes? What’s even more remarkable is that she’s a purebred Friesian! Her 1996 birth was not an easy one:

Peeling the clinging, filmy membrane away from the foal’s mouth and nose, I discovered two things simultaneously. First off, the foal was very much alive and, by its expression, highly offended that I took so long to do my job. Second, it wasn’t blue and cold at all. Instead, it was red and warm.

Further exploration revealed that it was a she and that she had a red body, cream legs, a red mane, a red/cream tail, and a smallish white star on her forehead. In a nutshell, she was a coppery chestnut. I knelt there entranced by the odd spectacle. It was profoundly disturbing, because we all know that Friesian horses only come in black, right?

Mom broke the spell by joining me in the stall. Her next words had a certain comforting logic, “I told you it wasn’t dead.”

That was just over five months ago, and the filly, subsequently named Obizuth, is now even redder.

She was proven purebred via blood testing, and grudgingly granted registration, though none of her foals would be eligible. Black is so dominant in the Friesian gene pool now (greys and chestnuts used to be found as well) that it’s remarkable that two heterozygous blacks would find each other to produce her. (More on black/chestnut genetics)

5. Cupid

Cupid and friend

Image source

ARrow Cupid and Arrow are a mare and foal with a story that will go straight to the heart of any horse lover! Cupid, the demure bay Pinto dam of Arrow, is an intelligent and sensitive horse that had endured a hard-knock life until 1999. At auction that year, her petite frame thin and weak and with her luck nearly run out, a New England farmer named Buck Kalinowksi saw her. What would catch someone’s eye on this unpromising animal? It was the perfect heart-shaped marking on her forehead, which Buck remarked on to himself after almost incidentally sweeping aside her lank forelock to better judge her. After paying $325 for her, Buck loaded up the mare and headed back home to his farm. Now named Cupid, the mare warmed up to her new owners and soon after was the barn’s favored riding pony. That winter, however, Cupid revealed a little secret she’d been keeping. Unnoticed one winter’s night, Cupid quietly lay down in her stall and foaled a colt. And as if fate had planned it, the little black Pinto foal had a most unusual marking over his hindquarters: a marking unmistakably shaped like a white arrow, pointed over his spine. The colt and his unique marking was a fitting complement to the serendipity, compassion, and love that gave Cupid her second chance at life at Hillside Equestrian Meadows in Wolcott, Connecticut.

Cupid and Arrow have also been immortalized by Breyer.

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The Ten Commandments for show ring parents

Things you probably shouldn’t say around non-horse people

16 reasons to date a horseback rider

Five Things You Don’t Know About Me

The truth about horse people

Five famous black horses

Five breeds you’ve (probably) never heard of

Five competitive equine world records

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8 responses

30 04 2007

Another great mare is Dawn Run, you can see her famous gold cup win on youTube

2 05 2007

Damn you, I always cry when I see that Ruffian video. Of course, I cried for days after the race, too.

19 06 2007

One great mare that I still haven’t gotten around to writing a song about (I wrote the Ruffian song in the YouTube video, hence the same screen name here) is Reckless, who served the Marines in the Korean War, and after the war, was shipped back to the States, and promoted to honorary Sargeant.

26 01 2008
quiz: which great Thoroughbred racehorse are you? « raincoaster

[…] Thoroughbred racehorse are you? Well, I AM the greatest. But I don’t think they had Ruffian on this, so what the hell kind of a quiz is that? […]

5 05 2008
26 08 2008

what about Makybe Diva, 3 Melbourne cups in a row

3 03 2009
8 11 2011
Friesian Horses

Beautiful horses. My stallion has a place in my heart, but I absolutely adore my mares. I breed friesians and can understand your frustrations with registration.

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