1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Horse
HORSE (a word common to Teutonic languages in such forms as hors, hros, ros; cf. the Ger. ross), a name properly restricted to the domesticated horse (Equus caballus) and its wild or half-wild representatives, but in a zoological sense used as a general term for all the members of the family Equidae.
The distinctive characteristics of the family, and its position in the zoological system, are given in the articles Equidae and Perissodactyla. Here attention is concentrated on the leading features of the horse as contrasted with the other members of the same family, and subsequently on the anatomical structure of the former animal. The evolution of the existing representatives of the family from primitive extinct animals is summarized in the article Equidae.
Horse, Wild Horse, Pony.—The horse (Equus caballus) is distinguished from the others by the long hairs of the tail being more abundant and growing quite or nearly from the base as well as the end and sides, and also by possessing a small bare callosity on the inner side of the hind leg, just below the “hock” or heel joint, in addition to the one on the inner side of the fore-arm above the carpus or “knee,” common to all the genus. The mane is also longer and more flowing, and the ears are shorter, the limbs longer, and the head smaller.
Though existing horses are usually not marked in any definite manner, or only irregularly dappled, or spotted with light surrounded by a darker ring, many examples are met with showing a dark median dorsal streak like that found in all the other members of the genus, and even with dark stripes on the shoulders and legs.
Two distinct types of horse, in many instances largely modified by interbreeding, appear to exist. (1) The northern, or dun type, represented by the dun ponies of Norway (Equus caballus typicus), the closely allied Celtic pony (E. c. celticus) of Iceland, the Hebrides, &c., and the wild pony of Mongolia (E. c. przewalskii), with which the now extinct tarpan of the Russian steppes appears to have been identical. The prevalent colour is yellow-dun, with dark brown or black mane, tail and legs; in the wild forms the muzzle is often white and the root of the tail short-haired; while the head is relatively large and heavy. No depression exists in the skull in front of the eye. Most of the ordinary horses of N.W. Europe are descended from the dun type, with more or less admixture of Barb blood. (2) The southern, or Barb type, represented by Barbs, Arabs, thoroughbreds, &c. (E. c. asiaticus or libycus), in which the typical colour is bay with black “points” and often a white star on the forehead, and the mane and tail are long and full. The skull generally shows a slight depression in front of the socket of the eye, which, although now serving as the attachment for the muscle running to the nostril, may represent the face-gland of the extinct Hipparion. Many of the dark-coloured horses of Europe have Barb or Arab blood in their veins, this being markedly the case with the Old English black or Shire horse, the skull of which shows a distinct depression in front of the eye-socket. This depression is still more marked in the extinct Indian E. sivalensis, which may have been the ancestral form.
In Europe wild horses were abundant in the prehistoric Neolithic or polished-stone period. Judging from the quantity of their remains found associated with those of the men of that time, the chase of these animals must have been among man’s chief occupations, and horses must have furnished him with one of his most important food-supplies. The characters of the bones preserved, and certain rude but graphic representations carved on bones or reindeers’ antlers, enable us to know that they were rather small in size and heavy in build, with large heads and rough shaggy manes and tails, much like, in fact, the recently extinct tarpans or wild horses of the steppes of the south of Russia, and the still-surviving Mongolian wild pony or “Przewalski’s horse.” These horses were domesticated by the inhabitants of Europe before the dawn of history. Horses are now diffused by the agency of man throughout almost the whole of the inhabited parts of the globe, and the great modifications they have undergone in consequence of domestication, crossing, and selective breeding are well exemplified by comparing such extreme forms as the Shetland pony, dwarfed by uncongenial climate, the thoroughbred racer, and the London dray-horse. In Australia, as in America, horses imported by European settlers have escaped into unreclaimed lands and multiplied to a prodigious extent, roaming in vast herds over the wide and uncultivated plains.
Ass, Zebra, Quagga.—The next group is formed by the Asiatic wild asses, or kiangs and onagers, as they might well be called, in order to distinguish them from the wild asses of Africa. These asses have moderate ears, the tail rather long, and the back-stripe dark brown and running from head to tail. On the neck and withers this stripe is formed by the mane. There are two species of Asiatic wild ass, with several varieties. The first and largest has two races, the chigetai (Equus hemionus) of Mongolia, and the kiang (E. h. kiang) of Tibet, which is a redder animal. The onager (E. onager), of which there are several races, is smaller, with a broader dorsal stripe, bordered with white; the colour varying from sandy to greyish. This species ranges from Baluchistan and N.W. India to Persia, Syria and Arabia. These asses inhabit desert plains or open table-land; the kiang dwelling at elevations of about 14,000 ft. They are generally found in herds of from twenty to forty, although occasionally in larger numbers. All are fleet, and traverse rough ground with speed. On the lowlands they feed on dry grasses, and in Tibet on small woody plants. In India and Persia they are difficult to approach, although this is not the case in Tibet. Their sandy or chestnut colouring assimilates them to the horse, and separates them widely from the African wild asses, which are grey. The kiang has also larger and more horse-like hoofs, and the tail is haired higher up, thus approximating to Equus caballus przewalskii.
Among the striped species, or zebras and quaggas of Africa, the large Grévy’s zebra (Equus grevyi) of Somaliland and Abyssinia stands apart from the rest by the number and narrowness of its stripes, which have an altogether peculiar arrangement on the hind-quarters, the small size of the callosities on the fore-legs, the mane extending on to the withers and enormous rounded ears, thickly haired internally. The large size of the ears and the narrow stripes are in some degree at any rate adaptations to a life on scrub-clad plains.
Next comes the closely allied species with small pointed ears, of which the true quagga (E. quagga) of South Africa is now extinct. This animal has the dark stripes limited to the head, neck and shoulders, upon a brown ground. In the typical form, now also extinct, of the bonte-quagga, dauw, or Burchell’s zebra (E. burchelli), the ground-colour is white, and the stripes cover the body and upper part of the limbs. This was the commonest species in the great plains of South Africa, where it roamed in large herds, often in company with the quagga and numerous antelopes. The species ranges from the Orange river to the confines of Abyssinia, but its more northern representatives show a gradual increase in the striping of the legs, culminating in the north-east African E. burchelli granti, in which the stripes extend to the hoofs. The markings, too, are alternately black and white, in place of brown and creamy, with intermediate “shadow stripes,” as in the southern races.
Lastly, there is the true or mountain zebra (E. zebra), typically from the mountain ranges of Cape Colony, where it is now specially protected, but represented by E. zebra penricei in south-west Africa. In its relatively long ears and general build it approaches the African wild asses, from which it chiefly differs by the striping (which is markedly different from that of the quagga-group) and the reversal of the direction of the hairs along the spine.
The African wild ass (E. asinus) is the parent of the domesticated breed, and is a long-eared grey animal, with no forelock, and either a shoulder-stripe or dark barrings on the legs. There are two races, of which the Nubian E. a. africanus is the smaller, and has a continuous dorsal stripe and a shoulder-stripe but no bars on the legs. The Somali race (E. a somaliensis), on the other hand, is a larger and greyer animal, with an interrupted dorsal and no shoulder-stripe, but distinct leg-barrings.
Hybrids.—There are thus eight modifications of the horse-type at present existing, sufficiently distinct to be reckoned as species by most zoologists, and easily recognizable by their external characters. They are, however, all so closely allied that each will, at least in a state of domestication or captivity, breed with any of the others. Cases of fertile union are recorded between the horse and the quagga, the horse and the bonte-quagga or Burchell’s zebra, the horse and the onager and kiang or Asiatic wild asses, the common ass and the zebra, the ass and bonte-quagga, the ass and the onager, the onager and the zebra, and the onager and the bonte-quagga. The two species which are farthest removed in structure, the horse and the ass, produce, as is well known, hybrids or mules, which in certain qualities useful to man excel both their progenitors, and in some countries and for certain kinds of work are in greater requisition than either. Although occasional more or less doubtful instances have been recorded of female mules breeding with the males of one or other of the pure species, it is more than doubtful if any case has occurred of their breeding inter se, although the opportunities of doing so must have been great, as mules have been reared in immense numbers for at least several thousands of years. We may therefore consider it settled that the different species of the group are now in that degree of physiological differentiation which enables them to produce offspring with each other, but does not permit of the progeny continuing the race, at all events unless reinforced by the aid of one of the pure forms.
The several members of the group show mental differences quite as striking as those exhibited by their external form, and more than perhaps might be expected from the similarity of their brains. The patience of the ass, the high spirit of the horse, the obstinacy of the mule, have long been proverbial. It is very remarkable that, out of so many species, two only should have shown any aptitude for domestication, and that these should have been from time immemorial the universal and most useful companions and servants of man, while all the others remain in their native freedom to this day. It is, however, still a question whether this really arises from a different mental constitution causing a natural capacity for entering into relations with man, or whether it may not be owing to their having been brought gradually into this condition by long-continued and persevering efforts when the need of their services was felt. It is possible that one reason why most of the attempts to add new species to the list of our domestic animals in modern times have ended in failure is that it does not answer to do so in cases in which existing species supply all the principal purposes to which the new ones might be put. It can hardly be expected that zebras and bonte-quaggas fresh from their native mountains and plains can be brought into competition as beasts of burden and draught with horses and asses, whose useful qualities have been augmented by the training of thousands of generations of progenitors.
Not infrequently instances occur of domestic horses being produced with a small additional toe with complete hoof, usually on the inside of the principal toe, and, though far more rarely, three or more toes may be present. These malformations are often cited as instances of reversion to the condition of some of the earlier forms of equine animals previously mentioned. In some instances, however, the feet of such polydactyle horses bear little resemblance to those of the extinct Hipparion or Anchitherium, but look rather as if due to that tendency to reduplication of parts which occurs so frequently as a monstrous condition, especially among domesticated animals, and which, whatever its origin, certainly cannot in many instances, as the cases of entire limbs superadded, or of six digits in man, be attributed to reversion.
The anatomical structure of the horse has been described in detail in several works mentioned in the bibliography at the end of this section, though these have generally been written from the point of view of the veterinarian rather than of the comparative anatomist. The limits of the present article will only admit of the most salient points being indicated, particularly those in which the horse differs from other Ungulata. Unless otherwise specified, it must be understood that all that is stated here, although mostly derived from observation upon the horse, applies equally well to the other existing members of the group.
Skeleton.—The skull as a whole is greatly elongated, chiefly in consequence of the immense size of the face as compared with the hinder or true cranial portion. The basal line of the cranium from the lower border of the foramen magnum to the incisor border of the palate is nearly straight. The orbit, of nearly circular form, though small in proportion to the size of the whole skull, is distinctly marked, being completely surrounded by a strong ring of bone with prominent edges. Behind it, and freely communicating with it beneath the osseous bridge (the post-orbital process of the frontal) forming the boundary between them, is the small temporal fossa occupying the whole of the side of the cranium proper, and in front is the great flattened expanse of the “cheek,” formed chiefly by the maxilla, giving support to the long row of cheek-teeth, and having a prominent ridge running forward from below the orbit for the attachment of the masseter muscle. The lachrymal occupies a considerable space on the flat surface of the cheek in front of the orbit, and below it the jugal does the same. The latter sends a horizontal or slightly ascending process backwards below the orbit to join the under surface of the zygomatic process of the squamosal, which is remarkably large, and instead of ending as usual behind the orbit, runs forwards to join the greatly developed post-orbital process of the frontal, and even forms part of the posterior and inferior boundary of the orbit, an arrangement not met with in other mammals. The closure of the orbit behind distinguishes the skull of the horse from that of its allies the rhinoceros and tapir, and also from all of the perissodactyles of the Eocene period. In front of the brain cavity, the great tubular nasal cavities are provided with well-developed turbinal bones, and are roofed over by large nasals, broad behind, and ending in front in a narrow decurved point. The opening of the anterior nostrils is prolonged backwards on each side of the face between the nasals and the elongated slender premaxillae. The latter expand in front, and are curved downwards to form the semicircular alveolar border which supports the large incisor teeth. The palate is narrow in the interval between the incisor and molar teeth, in which are situated the large anterior palatine foramina. Between the molar teeth it is broader, and it ends posteriorly in a rounded excavated border opposite the hinder border of the penultimate molar tooth. It is mainly formed by the maxillae, as the palatines are very narrow. The pterygoids are delicate slender slips of bone attached to the hinder border of the palatines, and supported externally by, and generally welded with, the rough pterygoid plates of the alisphenoid, with no pterygoid fossa between. They slope obliquely forwards, and end in curved, compressed, hamular processes. There is a distinct alisphenoid canal for the passage of the internal maxillary artery. The base of the cranium is long and narrow; the alisphenoid is very obliquely perforated by the foramen rotundum, but the foramen ovale is confluent with the large foramen lacerum medium behind. The glenoid surface for the articulation of the mandible is greatly extended transversely, concave from side to side, convex from before backwards in front, and hollow behind, and is bounded posteriorly at its inner part by a prominent post-glenoid process. The squamosal enters considerably into the formation of the temporal fossa, and, besides sending the zygomatic process forwards, it sends down behind the meatus auditorius a post-tympanic process which aids to hold in place the otherwise loose tympano-periotic bone. Behind this the exoccipital gives off a long paroccipital process. The periotic and tympanic are welded together, but not with the squamosal. The former has a wide but shallow floccular fossa on its inner side, and sends backwards a considerable “pars mastoidea,” which appears on the outer surface of the skull between the post-tympanic process of the squamosal and the exoccipital. The tympanic forms a tubular meatus auditorius externus directed outwards and slightly backwards. It is not dilated into a distinct bulla, but ends in front in a pointed rod-like process. It completely embraces the truncated cylindrical tympanohyal, which is of great size, corresponding with the large development of the whole anterior arch of the hyoid. This consists mainly of a long and compressed stylohyal, expanded at the upper end, where it sends off a triangular posterior process. The basi-hyal is remarkable for the long, median, pointed, compressed “glossohyal” process, which it sends forward from its anterior border into the base of the tongue. A similar but less developed process is found in the rhinoceros and tapir. The lower jaw is large, especially the region of the angle, which is expanded and flattened, giving great surface for the attachment of the masseter muscle. The condyle is greatly elevated above the alveolar border; its articular surface is very wide transversely, and narrow and convex from before backwards. The coronoid process is slender, straight, and inclined backwards. The horizontal ramus, long, straight, and compressed, gradually narrows towards the symphysis, where it expands laterally to form with the ankylosed opposite ramus the wide, semicircular, shallow alveolar border for the incisor teeth.
|Fig. 1.—Side view of Skull of Horse, with the bone removed so as to expose the whole of the teeth.|
|Ma,||Jugal or malar bone.|
|i¹, i², and i³, The three incisor teeth.|
|c,||The canine tooth.|
|pm¹,||The situation of the rudimentary first premolar, which has been lost in the lower, but is present in the upper jaw.|
|pm², pm³, and pm4, The three fully developed premolar teeth.|
|m¹, m², and m³, The three true molar teeth.|
The vertebral column consists of seven cervical, eighteen dorsal, six lumbar, five sacral, and fifteen to eighteen caudal vertebrae There may be nineteen rib-bearing vertebrae, in which case five only will be reckoned as belonging to the lumbar series. The odontoid process of the axis is wide, flat, and hollowed above, as in the ruminants. The bodies of the cervical vertebrae are elongated, strongly keeled, and markedly opisthocoelous, or concave behind and convex in front. The neural laminae are broad, the spines almost obsolete, except in the seventh, and the transverse processes not largely developed. In the trunk vertebrae the opisthocoelous character of the centrum gradually diminishes. The spinous processes of the anterior thoracic region are high and compressed. To these is attached the powerful elastic ligament (ligamentum nuchae, or “paxwax”) which, passing forwards in the middle line of the neck above the neural arches of the cervical vertebrae—to which it is also connected—is attached to the occiput and supports the weight of the head. The transverse processes of the lumbar vertebrae are long, flattened, and project horizontally outwards or slightly forward from the arch. The metapophyses are moderately developed, and there are no anapophyses. The caudal vertebrae, except those quite at the base, are slender and cylindrical, without processes and without chevron bones beneath. The ribs are eighteen or nineteen in number on each side, flattened, and united to the sternum by short, stout, tolerably well ossified sternal ribs. The sternum consists of six pieces; the anterior or presternum is compressed and projects forwards like the prow of a boat. The segments which follow gradually widen, and the hinder part of the sternum is broad and flat.
As in all other ungulates, there are no clavicles. The scapula is long and slender, the supra-scapular border being rounded, and slowly and imperfectly ossified. The spine is very slightly developed; rather above the middle its edge is thickened and somewhat turned backwards, but it gradually subsides at the lower extremity without forming any acromial process. The coracoid is a prominent rounded nodule. The humerus is stout and rather short. The ulna is rudimentary, being represented by little more than the olecranon. The shaft gradually tapers below and is firmly welded to the radius. The latter bone is of nearly equal width throughout. The three bones of the first row of the carpus (scaphoid, lunar and cuneiform) are subequal in size. The second row consists of a broad and flat magnum, supporting the great third metacarpal, having to its radial side the trapezoid, and to its ulnar side the unciform, which are both small, and articulate inferiorally with the rudimentary second and fourth metacarpals. The pisiform is large and prominent, flattened and curved; it articulates partly with the cuneiform and partly with the lower end of the radius. The large metacarpal is called in veterinary anatomy “cannon bone”; the small lateral metacarpals, which gradually taper towards their lower extremities, and lie in close contact with the large one, are called “splint bones.” The single digit consists of a moderate-sized proximal (os suffraginis, or large pastern), a short middle (os coronae, or small pastern), and a wide, semi-lunar, ungual phalanx (os pedis, or coffin bone). There is a pair of large nodular sesamoids behind the metacarpo-phalangeal articulation, and a single large transversely-extended sesamoid behind the joint between the second and third phalanx, called the “navicular bone.”
The carpal joint, corresponding to the wrist of man, is commonly called the “knee” of the horse, the joint between the metacarpal and the first phalanx the “fetlock,” that between the first and second phalanges the “pastern,” and that between the second and third phalanges the “coffin joint.”
In the hinder limb the femur is marked, as in other perissodactyles, by the presence of a “third trochanter,” a flattened process, curving forwards and arising from the outer side of the bone, about one-third of the distance from the upper end. The fibula is reduced to a mere rod-like rudiment of the upper end. The lower part is absent or completely fused with the tibia. The calcaneum has a long and compressed calcaneal process. The astragalus has a large flat articular surface in front for the navicular, and a small one for the cuboid. The navicular and the external cuneiform bones are broad and flat. The cuboid is small, and the internal and middle cuneiform bones are small and united together. The metapodals and phalanges resemble very closely those of the fore limb, but the principal metatarsal is more laterally compressed at its upper end than is the corresponding metacarpal. The joint between the femur and tibia, corresponding to the knee of man, is called the “stifle-joint”; that between the tibia and tarsus, corresponding to the ankle of man, the “hock.” The bones and joints of the foot have the same names as in the fore limb. The horse is eminently “digitigrade,” standing on the extremity of the single digit of each foot, which is kept habitually in a position approaching to vertical.
The muscles of the limbs are modified from those of the ordinary mammalian type in accordance with the reduced condition of the bones and the simple requirements of flexion and extension of the joints, no such actions as pronation and supination, or opposition of digits, being possible or needed. The muscles therefore which perform these functions in other quadrupeds are absent or rudimentary.
Below the carpal and tarsal joints, the fore and hind limbs correspond almost exactly in structure as well as function. On the anterior or extensor surface of the limb a powerful tendon (7 in fig. 2), that of the anterior extensor of the phalanges (corresponding to the extensor communis digitorum of the arm and extensor longus digitorum of the foot of man) passes down over the metacarpal bone and phalanges, to be inserted mainly into the upper edge of the anterior surface of the last phalanx or pedal bone. There is also a much smaller second extensor on the outer side of this in each limb, the lateral extensor of the phalanges. In the fore-leg the tendon of this muscle (which corresponds with the extensor minimi digiti of man) receives a slip from that of the principal extensor, and is inserted into the first phalanx. In the hind-leg (where it is the homologue apparently of the peroneus brevis of man) the tendon becomes blended with that of the large extensor.
|Fig. 2.—Section of Foot of Horse.|
|2,||First phalanx (os suffraginis).|
|3,||Second phalanx (os coronae).|
|4,||Third or ungual phalanx (os pedis, or coffin bone).|
|5,||One of the upper sesamoid bones.|
|6,||Lower sesamoid or navicular bone.|
|7,||Tendon of anterior extensor of the phalanges.|
|8,||Tendon of superficial flexor (fl. perforatus).|
|9,||Tendon of deep flexor (fl. perforans).|
|10,||Suspensory ligament of fetlock.|
|11,||Inferior or short sesamoid ligament.|
|12,||Derma or skin of the foot, covered with hair, and continued into|
|13,||The coronary cushion,|
|14,||The podophyllous or laminar membrane, and|
|15,||The keratogenous membrane of the sole.|
|18,||Fatty cushion of fetlock.|
A strong ligamentous band behind the metapodium, arising from near the upper extremity of its posterior surface, divides into two at its lower end, and each division, being first connected with one of the paired upper sesamoid bones, passes by the side of the first phalanx to join the extensor tendon of the phalanges. This is called in veterinary anatomy the “suspensory ligament of the sesamoids,” or of the “fetlock” (10 in fig. 2); but its attachments and relations, as well as the occasional presence of muscular fibres in its substance, show that it is the homologue of the interosseous muscles of other mammals, modified in structure and function, to suit the requirements of the horse’s foot. Behind or superficial to this are placed the two strong tendons of the flexor muscles, the most superficial, or flexor perforatus (8) dividing to allow the other to pass through, and then inserted into the middle phalanx. The flexor perforans (9) is as usual inserted into the terminal phalange. In the fore-leg these muscles correspond with those similarly named in man. In the hind-leg, the perforated tendon is a continuation of that of the plantaris, passing pulley-wise over the tuberosity of the calcaneum. The perforating tendon is derived from the muscle corresponding with the long flexor of man, and the smaller tendon of the oblique flexor (tibialis porticus of man) is united with it.
The hoof of the horse corresponds to the nail or claw of other mammals, but is so constructed as to form a complete and solid case to the expanded termination of the toe, giving a firm basis of support formed of a non-sensitive substance, which is continually renewed by the addition of material from within, as its surface wears away by friction. The terminal phalange of the toe is greatly enlarged and modified in form to support this hoof, and the size of the internal framework of the foot is increased by a pair of lateral fibro-cartilaginous masses attached on each side to the hinder edges of the bone, and by a fibro-cellular and fatty plantar cushion in the median part. These structures are all enclosed in the middle subcorneous integument, a continuation of the ordinary skin of the limb, but extremely vascular, and having its superficial extent greatly increased by being developed into papillae or laminae. From this the horny material which constitutes the hoof is exuded. A thickened ring encircling the upper part, called coronary cushion (13) and the sole (15), are covered with numerous thickly-set papillae or villi, and take the greatest share in the formation of the hoof; the intermediate part constituting the front and side of the foot (14), corresponding with the wall of the hoof, is covered with parallel, fine longitudinal laminae, which fit into corresponding depressions in the inner side of the horny hoof.
The horny hoof is divided into a wall or crust consisting of the front and sides, the flattened or concave sole, and the frog, a triangular median prominence, notched posteriorly, with the apex turned forwards, situated in the hinder part of the sole. It is formed of pavement epithelial cells, mainly grouped in a concentric manner around the vascular papillae of the subcorneous integument, so that a section near the base of the hoof, cut transversely to the long axis of these papillae, shows a number of small circular or oval orifices, with cells arranged concentrically round them. The nearer the surface of the hoof, or farther removed from the seat of growth, the more indistinct the structure becomes.
Small round or oval plates of horny epithelium called “chestnuts,” callosities growing like the hoof from enlarged papillae of the skin, are found on the inner face of the fore-arm, above the carpal joint in all species of Equidae, and in the horse (E. caballus) similar structures occur near the upper extremity of the inner face of the metatarsus. They are evidently rudimentary structures which it is suggested may represent glands (Lydekker, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1903, vol. i.).
|Fig. 3.—Longitudinal and Transverse Section of Upper Incisor of Horse.|
|d,||Dentine or ivory.|
|c,||Outer layer of cementum or crusta petrosa.|
|c′,||Inner layer of cementum, lining|
|a, the pit or cavity of the crown of the tooth.|
Dentition.—The dentition of the horse, when all the teeth are in place, is expressed by the formula i. 3, c. 1, p. 4 m. 3 = 44. The incisors of each jaw are placed in close contact, forming a semicircle. The crowns are broad, somewhat awl-shaped, and of nearly equal size. They have all the great peculiarity, not found in the teeth of any other mammal, and only in the Equidae of comparatively recent geological periods (see also Palaeontology), of an involution of the external surface of the tooth (see fig. 3), by which what should properly be the apex is carried deeply into the interior of the crown, forming a pit, the bottom of which becomes partially filled with cement. As the tooth wears, the surface, besides the external enamel layer as in an ordinary simple tooth, shows in addition a second inner ring of the same hard substance surrounding the pit, which adds greatly to the efficiency of the tooth as an organ for biting tough, fibrous substances. This pit, generally filled in the living animal with particles of food, is conspicuous from its dark colour, and constitutes the “mark” by which the age of the horse is judged, as in consequence of its only extending to a certain depth in the crown it becomes obliterated as the latter wears away, and then the tooth assumes the character of that of an ordinary incisor, consisting only of a core of dentine, surrounded by the external enamel layer. It is not quite so deep in the lower as in the upper teeth. The canines are either rudimentary or absent in the female. In the male they are compressed, pointed, and smaller than the incisors, from which they are separated by a slight interval. The teeth of the cheek series are all in contact with each other, but separated from the canines by a considerable toothless space. The anterior premolars are quite rudimentary, sometimes not developed at all, and generally fall by the time the animal attains maturity, so that there are but six functional cheek teeth,—three that have predecessors in the milk-dentition, and hence are considered as premolars, and three molars, but otherwise, except the first and last of the series, not distinguishable in form or structure. These teeth in both upper and lower jaws are extremely long-crowned or hypsodont, successive portions being pushed out as the surface wears away, a process which continues until the animal becomes advanced in age. The enamelled surface is infolded in a complex manner (a modification of that found in other perissodactyles), the folds extending quite to the base of the crown, and the interstices being filled and the surface covered with a considerable mass of cement, which binds together and strengthens the whole tooth. As the teeth wear, the folded enamel, being harder than the other constituents, the dentine and cement, forms projecting ridges on the surface arranged in a definite pattern, which give it great efficiency as a grinding instrument (see fig. 2, in article Equidae). The free surfaces of the upper teeth are quadrate, except the first and last, which are nearly triangular. The lower teeth are much narrower than the upper.
The milk-dentition consists of i. 3, c. 0, m. 3 = 24,—the canines and first or rudimentary premolars having apparently no predecessors. In form and structure the milk-teeth much resemble the permanent ones, having the same characteristic enamel-foldings. Their eruption commences a few days after birth, and is complete before the end of the first year, the upper teeth usually appearing somewhat earlier than the lower. The first teeth which appear are the first and second milk-molars (about five days), then the central incisor (from seven to ten days); this is followed by the second incisor (at one month), then the third molar, and finally the third incisor. Of the permanent teeth the first molar appears a little after the end of the first year, followed by the second molar before the end of the second year. At about two and a half years the first premolar replaces its predecessor. Between two and a half and three years the first incisor appears. At three years the second and third premolars, and the third molar have appeared, at from three and a half to four years the second incisor, at four to four and a half years the canine, and, finally, at five years, the third incisor, completing the permanent dentition. Up to this period the age of the horse is clearly shown by the condition of dentition, and for some time longer indications can be obtained from the wear of the incisors, though this depends to a certain extent upon the hardness of the food or other circumstances. As a general rule, the depression caused by the infolding of the surface of the incisor (the “mark”) is obliterated in the first or central incisor at six years, in the second at seven years, and in the third at eight years. In the upper teeth, as the depressions are deeper, this obliteration does not take place until about two years later. After this period no certain indications can be obtained of the age of the horse from the teeth.
Digestive Organs.—The lips are flexible and prehensile; and the membrane that lines them and the cheeks smooth. The palate is long and narrow; its mucous surface has seventeen pairs of not very sharply defined oblique ridges, extending as far back as the last molar tooth, beyond which the velum palati extends for about 3 in., having a soft corrugated surface, and ending posteriorly in an arched border without a uvula. This embraces the base of the epiglottis, and, except while swallowing food, shuts off all communication between the cavity of the mouth and the pharynx, respiration being, under ordinary circumstances, exclusively through the nostrils. Between the mucous membrane and the bone of the hard palate is a dense vascular and nervous plexus. The membrane lining the jaws is soft and corrugated. An elongated raised glandular mass, 3 in. long and 1 in. from above downwards, extending backwards from the root of the tongue along the side of the jaws, with openings on the surface leading into crypts with glandular walls, represents the tonsil. The tongue, corresponding to the form of the mouth, is long and narrow. It consists of a compressed intermolar portion with a flat upper surface, broad behind and becoming narrower in front, and of a depressed anterior part rather shorter than the former, which is narrow behind and widens towards the evenly rounded apex. The dorsal surface generally is soft and smooth. There are two large circumvallate papillae near the base, rather irregular in form, about a quarter of an inch in diameter and half an inch apart. The conical papillae are small and close set, though longer and more filamentous on the intermolar portion. There are no fungiform papillae on the dorsum, but a few inconspicuous ones scattered along the sides of the organ.
Of the salivary glands the parotid is by far the largest, elongated in the vertical direction, and narrower in the middle than at either end. Its upper extremity embraces the lower surface of the cartilaginous ear-conch; its lower end reaches the level of the inferior margin of the mandible, along the posterior margin of which it is placed. Its duct leaves the inferior anterior angle, at first descends a little, and runs forward under cover of the rounded inferior border of the lower jaw, then curves up along the anterior margin of the masseter muscle, becoming superficial, pierces the buccinator, and enters the mouth by a simple aperture opposite the middle of the crown of the third premolar tooth. It is not quite so thick as a goose-quill when distended, and nearly a foot in length.
The submaxillary gland is of very similar texture to the last, but much smaller; it is placed deeper, and lies with its main axis horizontal. It is elongated and slender, and flattened from within outwards. Its posterior end rests against the anterior surface of the transverse process of the atlas, from which it extends forwards and downwards, slightly curved, to beneath the ramus of the jaw. The duct which runs along its upper and internal border passes forwards in the usual course, lying in the inner side of the sublingual gland, to open on the outer surface of a distinct papilla, situated on the floor of the mouth, half an inch from the middle line, and midway between the lower incisor teeth and the attachment of the fraenum linguae. The sublingual is represented by a mass of glands lying just beneath the mucous membrane of the floor of the mouth on the side of the tongue, causing a distinct ridge, extending from the fraenum backwards, the numerous ducts opening separately along the summit of the ridge. The buccal glands are arranged in two rows parallel with the molar teeth. The upper ones are the largest, and are continuous anteriorly with the labial glands, the ducts of which open on the mucous membrane of the upper lip.
The stomach of the horse is simple in its external form, with a largely developed right cul de sac, and is a good deal curved on itself, so that the cardiac and pyloric orifices are brought near together. The antrum pyloricum is small and not very distinctly marked. The interior is divided by the character of the lining membrane into two distinct portions, right and left. Over the latter the dense white smooth epithelial lining of the œsophagus is continued, terminating abruptly by a raised crenulated border. Over the right part the mucous membrane has a greyish-red colour and a velvety appearance, and contains numerous peptic glands, which are wanting in the cardiac portion. The œsophageal orifice is small, and guarded by a strong crescentic or horseshoe-like band of muscular fibres, supposed to be the cause of the difficulty of vomiting in the horse. The small intestine is of great length (80 to 90 ft.), its mucous membrane being covered with numerous fine villi. The caecum is of conical form, about 2 ft. long and nearly a foot in diameter; its walls are sacculated, especially near the base, having four longitudinal muscular bands; and its capacity is about twice that of the stomach. It lies with its base near the lower part of the abdomen, and its apex directed towards the thorax. The colon is about one-third the length of the small intestine, and very capacious in the greater part of its course. As usual it may be divided into an ascending, transverse, and descending portion; but the middle or transverse portion is folded into a great loop, which descends as low as the pubis; so that the colon forms altogether four folds, generally parallel to the long axis of the body. The descending colon is much narrower than the rest, and not sacculated, and, being considerably longer than the distance it has to traverse, is thrown into numerous folds.
The liver is tolerably symmetrical in general arrangement, being divided nearly equally into segments by a well-marked umbilical fissure. Each segment is again divided by lateral fissures, which do not extend quite to the posterior border of the organ; of the central lobes thus cut off, the right is rather the larger, and has two fissures in its free border dividing it into lobules. The extent of these varies, however, in different individuals. The two lateral lobes are subtriangular in form. The Spigelian lobe is represented by a flat surface between the postal fissure and the posterior border, not distinctly marked off from the left lateral by a fissure of the ductus venosus, as this vessel is buried deep in the hepatic substance, but the caudate lobe is distinct and tongue-shaped, its free apex reaching nearly to the border of the right lateral lobe. There is no gall-bladder, and the biliary duct enters the duodenum about 6 in. from the pylorus. The pancreas has two lobes or branches, a long one passing to the left and reaching the spleen, and a shorter right lobe. The principal duct enters the duedenum with the bile-duct, and there is often a second small duct opening separately.
Circulatory and Respiratory Organs.—The heart has the form of a rather elongated and pointed cone. There is one anterior vena cava, formed by the union of the two jugular and two axillary veins. The aorta gives off a large branch (the anterior aorta) very near its origin, from which arise—first, the left axillary, and afterwards the right axillary and the two carotid arteries.
Under ordinary circumstances the horse breathes entirely by the nasal passages, the communication between the larynx and the mouth being closed by the velum palati. The nostrils are placed laterally, near the termination of the muzzle, and are large and dilatable, being bordered by cartilages upon which several muscles act. Immediately within the opening of the nostril, the respiratory canal sends off on its upper and outer side a blind pouch (“false nostril”) of conical form, and curved, 2 to 3 in. in depth, lying in the notch formed between the nasal and premaxillary bones. It is lined by mucous membrane continuous with that of the nasal passage; its use is not apparent. It is longer in the ass than in the horse. Here may be mentioned the guttural pouches, large air-sacs from the Eustachian tubes, and lying behind the upper part of the pharynx, the function of which is also not understood. The larynx has the lateral sacculi well developed, though entirely concealed within the alae of the thyroid cartilage. The trachea divides into two bronchi.
Nervous System.—The brain differs little, except in details of arrangement of convolutions, from that of other ungulates. The hemispheres are rather elongated and subcylindrical, the olfactory lobes are large and project freely in front of the hemispheres, and the greater part of the cerebellum is uncovered. The eye is provided with a nictitating membrane or third eyelid, at the base of which open the ducts of the Harderian gland.
Reproductive System.—The testes are situated in a distinct sessile or slightly pedunculated scrotum, into which they descend from the sixth to the tenth month after birth. The accessory generative glands are the two vesiculae seminales, with the median third vesicle, or uterus masculinus, lying between them, the single bilobed prostate, and a pair of globular Cowper’s glands. The penis is very large, cylindrical, with a truncated, expanded, flattened termination. When in a state of repose it is retracted, by a muscle arising from the sacrum, within the prepuce, a cutaneous fold attached below the symphysis pubis.
The uterus is bicornuate. The vagina is often partially divided by a membraneous septum or hymen. The teats are two, inguinally placed. The surface of the chorion is covered evenly with minute villi, constituting a diffuse non-deciduate placenta. The period of gestation is eleven months.
Authorities.—R. I. Pocock, “The Species and Subspecies of Zebras,” Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 6, vol. xx., 1897, and “A New Arrangement of the Existing Species of Equidae,” Op. cit. ser. 7, vol. x., 1902; R. Lydekker, “Notes on the specimens of Wild Asses in English Collections,” Novitates Zoologicae, vol. xi., 1904; B. Salensky, “On Equus przewalskii,” Mém. Acad. St Pétersburg, 1902; M. S. Arloing, “Organisation du pied chez le cheval,” Ann. Sci. Nat., 1867, viii. 55-81; H. Burmeister, Los caballos fosiles de la Pampa Argentina (Buenos Aires, 1875); Chauveau and Arloing, Traité d’anatomie comparée des animaux domestiques (Paris, 1871), and English edition by G. Fleming (1873); A. Ecker, “Das Europäische Wildpferd und dessen Beziehungen zum domesticirten Pferd,” Globus, Bd. xxxiv. (Brunswick, 1878); Major Forsyth, “Beiträge zur Geschichte der fossilen Pferde besonders Italiens,” Abh. Schw. Pal. Ges. iv. 1-16, pt. iv.; George, “Études zool. sur les Hémiones et quelques autres espèces chevalines,” Ann. Sci. Nat., 1869, xii. 5; E. F. Gurlt, Anatomische Abbildungen der Haussäugethiere (1824), and Hand. der vergleich. Anat. der Haussäugethiere (2 vols., 1822); Huet, “Croisement des diverses espèces du genre cheval,” Nouv. Archives du Muséum, 2nd ser., tom. ii. p. 46, 1879; Leisering, Atlas der Anatomie des Pferdes (Leipzig, 1861); O. C. Marsh, “Notice of New Equine Mammals from the Tertiary Formation,” Am. Journ. of Science and Arts, vol. vii., March 1874; Id., “Fossil Horses in America,” Amer. Naturalist, vol. viii., May 1874; Id., “Polydactyle Horses,” Am. Journ. Sci. and Arts, vol. xvii., June 1879; Franz Müller, Lehrbuch der Anatomie des Pferdes (Vienna, 1853); R. Owen, “Equine Remains in Cavern of Bruniquel,” Phil. Trans. vol. clix., 1870, p. 535; W. Percivall, The Anatomy of the Horse (1832); G. Stubbs, Anatomy of the Horse (1766); W. H. Flower, The Horse (London, 1891); Ridgeway, Origin of the Thoroughbred Horse (1905).
From the evidence of philology it appears that the horse was already known to the Aryans before the period of their dispersion.
The first mention of the British horse occurs in the well-known passages in Caesar (B.G. iv. 24. 33, v. 15. 16; cf. Pomp. Mela iii. 6), in which he mentions the native “essedarii” and the skill with which they handled their war chariots. We are left quite in the dark as to the character of the animal thus employed; but there would appear to be much probability in the surmise of W. Youatt, who conjectures the horse to have been, “then as ever, the creature of the country in which he lived. With short fare, and exposed to the rigour of the seasons, he was probably the little hardy thing we yet see him; but in the marshes of the Nen and the Witham, and on the borders of the Tees and the Clyde, there would be as much proportionate development of frame and strength as we find at the present day.” After the occupation of the country by the Romans, it appears that the horses of their cavalry were crossed with the native mares, and thus there was infused into the breed new blood, consisting probably of strains from every quarter from which Roman remounts were procured. As to the effect of this cross we are not, however, in a position to judge. We are also quite uncertain as to the extent to which the Jutes and Saxons may in their turn have again introduced a new breed of horses into England; and even to the close of the Anglo-Saxon period of English history allusions to the horse are still very infrequent. The horsthegn we know, however, was from an early period a high court official; and from such a law as that of Athelstan prohibiting the exportation of horses except as presents, it may be inferred that the English breed was not only much valued at home but also in great request abroad.
The period of the Norman Conquest marks an important stage in the history of the British horse. William the Conqueror’s own horse was of the Spanish breed, and others of the same kind were introduced by the barons on their estates. But the Norman horses included many varieties, and there is no doubt that to the Conquest the inhabitants of Britain were indebted for a decided improvement in the native horse, as well as for the introduction of several varieties previously unknown. According to Giraldus Cambrensis, Roger de Bellesme, a follower of William I., afterwards created earl of Shrewsbury, imported some stallions from Spain into England; their produce was celebrated by Drayton the poet. It is curious to notice that agriculture seems to be the last use to which the horse has been put. The earliest suggestion that horses were used in agriculture is derived from a piece of the Bayeux tapestry, where a horse is represented as drawing a harrow. This, however, must have been an exceptional case, for we know that oxen were used until a comparatively late time, and that in Wales a law existed forbidding horses to be used for ploughing.
In 1121 two Eastern horses are said to have been imported,—one of them remaining in England, and the other being sent as a present by King Alexander I. to the church of St Andrews, in Scotland. It has been alleged that these horses were Barbs from Morocco, but a still more likely theory is that they existed only in name, and never reached either England or Scotland. The crusades were probably the means of introducing fresh strains of blood into England, and of giving opportunity for fresh crossings. The Spanish jennet was brought over about 1182. King John gave great encouragement to horse-breeding: one of his earliest efforts was to import a hundred Flemish stallions, and, having thus paved the way for improving the breed of agricultural horses, he set about acquiring a valuable stud for his own use.
Edward III. was likewise an admirer of the horse; he procured fifty Spanish horses, probably jennets. At this time there was evidently a tendency to breed a somewhat lighter and speedier horse; but, while the introduction of a more active animal would soon have led to the displacement of the ponderous but powerful cavalry horse then in use, the substituted variety would have been unable to carry the weight of armour with which horse and rider were alike protected; and so in the end the old breed was kept up for a time. With the object of preserving to England whatever advantages might accrue from her care and skill in breeding an improved stamp of horses, Edward III. forbade their exportation; they consequently improved so rapidly in value that Richard II. compelled dealers to limit their prices to a fixed maximum. In the ninth year of his reign, Edward received from the king of Navarre a present of two running horses, supposed to have been valuable. The wars of 1346 checked the improvement of horses, and undid much of what had been previously accomplished, for we read that the cavalry taken into France by Edward III. were but indifferently mounted, and that in consequence he had to purchase large numbers of foreign horses from Hainault and elsewhere for remounts. The reign of Richard III. does not seem to have been remarkable for the furtherance of horse-breeding; but it was then that post-horses and stages were introduced.
Our information on the whole subject is but scanty down to the reign of Henry VII., who continued the enactment against the exportation of stallions, but relaxed it in the case of mares above two years old. His object was to retain the best horses in the country, and to keep the price of them down by limiting the demand and encouraging the supply. In his reign gelding is believed to have had its origin, on account of numerous herds of horses belonging to different proprietors grazing together, especially in time of harvest. Henry VIII. was particularly careful that horse-breeding should be conducted on right principles, and his enactments, if somewhat arbitrary, were singularly to the point. In the thirty-second year of this reign, the “bill for the breed of horses” was passed, the preamble of which runs thus:—“Forasmuch as the generation and breed of good and strong horses within this realm extendeth not only to a great help and defence of the same, but also is a great commodity and profit to the inhabitants thereof, which is now much decayed and diminished, by reason that, in forests, chases, moors and waste grounds within this realm, little stoned horses and nags of small stature and of little value be not only suffered to pasture thereupon, but also to cover mares feeding there, whereof cometh in manner no profit or commodity.” Section 2 of the act provides that no entire horse being above the age of two years, and not being of the height of 15 “handfulls,” shall be put to graze on any common or waste land in certain counties; any one was to be at liberty to seize a horse of unlawful height, and those whose duty it was to measure horses, but who refused to do so, were to be fined 40s. By section 6 all forests, chases, commons, &c., were to be “driven” within fifteen days of Michaelmas day, and all horses, mares and colts not giving promise of growing into serviceable animals, or of producing them, were to be killed. The aim of the act was to prevent breeding from animals not calculated to produce the class of horse suited to the needs of the country. By another act (27 Henry VIII. chapter 6), after stating that the “breed of good strong horses” was likely to diminish, it was ordered that the owners of all parks and enclosed grounds of the extent of one mile should keep two mares 13 hands high for breeding purposes, or, if the extent of the ground was 4 m., four mares. The statute was not to extend to the counties of Westmorland, Cumberland, Northumberland or the bishopric of Durham. Henry took great pains to improve the royal stud: according to Sir Thomas Chaloner—a writer in the reign of Elizabeth—he imported horses from Turkey, Naples and Spain.
Queen Elizabeth is reputed to have been an accomplished horsewoman, and to have indulged in riding late in life. In the first year of her reign she revived an act passed by Henry VIII. making it felony “to sell, exchange or deliver within Scotland, or to the use of any Scottishman, any horse”; this, however, was very naturally repealed by James I. Carriages were soon after introduced, and the use of them speedily became so fashionable that a bill was brought in “to restrain the excessive and superfluous use of coaches.” Prior to the introduction of carriages horseback was the means of locomotion, and Queen Elizabeth rode in state to St Paul’s on a pillion; but even after carriages were used, horseback was held to be more dignified, for James I. and his judges rode on horseback to Westminster Hall. One advantage of the introduction of carriages was that it created a demand for a lighter and quicker sort of horse, instead of the ponderous animal which, despite all attempts to banish him, was still the horse of England—the age of chivalry having been the first epoch of the British horse.
Gunpowder, too, was invented; and now that the weight of the cavalry soldier was diminished by the substitution of lighter armour, a quicker and better bred horse was thought desirable for military service. The introduction of carriages and the invention of gunpowder thus opened out a new industry in breeding; and a decided change was gradually creeping on by the time that James I. came to the throne (1603), which commences the second epoch. James was a thorough sportsman, and his taste for racing, in which he freely indulged, caused him to think but little of the speed of even the best English horses. With the laudable motive, therefore, of effecting improvement in horses, he gave the then large sum of 500 guineas for an Arab stallion which had been procured from Constantinople by a Mr Markham, since known as the “Markham Arabian.” This is the first authentic account we have of the importation of Arab blood, and the Stud-Book says he was the first of that breed ever seen in England. The people having to do with horses at that time were as conservative in their notions as most of the grooms are now, and the “Markham Arabian” was not at all approved of. The duke of Newcastle, in his treatise on horsemanship, said that he had seen the above Arabian, and described him as a small bay horse and not of very excellent shape. In this instance, however, prejudice (and it is difficult to believe that it was anything else) was right, for King James’s first venture does not appear to have been a success either as a race-horse or as a sire, and thus Arabian blood was brought into disrepute. The king, however, resolved to give Eastern blood another trial, and bought a horse known as Place’s White Turk from a Mr Place, who subsequently held some office in connexion with the stable under Cromwell. Charles I. followed in the footsteps of James, and lent such patronage to the breeding of a better kind of horse that a memorial was presented to him, asking that some measures might be taken to prevent the old stamp of horse “fit for the defence of the country” from dying out.
We now come to a very important period in the history of the British horse, for Charles II. warmly espoused the introduction of Eastern blood into England. He sent his master of the horse abroad to purchase a number of foreign horses and mares for breeding, and the mares brought over by him (as also many of their produce) were called “royal mares”; they form a conspicuous feature in the annals of breeding. The Stud-Book shows of what breed the royal mares really were: one of them, the dam of Dodsworth (who, though foaled in England, was a natural Barb), was a Barb mare; she was sold by the stud-master, after Charles II.’s death, for forty guineas, at twenty years old, when in foal by the Helmsley Turk.
James II. was a good horseman, and had circumstances been more propitious he might have left his mark in the sporting annals of the country. In his reign, according to the Stud-Book, the Stradling or Lister Turk was brought into England by the duke of Berwick from the siege of Buda.
The reign of William III. is noteworthy as the era in which, among other importations, there appeared the first of three Eastern horses to which the modern thoroughbred race-horse traces back as the founders of his lineage. This was the Byerly Turk, of whom nothing more is known than that—to use the words of the first volume of the Stud-Book—he was Captain Byerly’s charger in Ireland in King William’s wars. The second of the three horses above alluded to was the Darley Arabian, who was a genuine Arab, and was imported from Aleppo by a brother of Mr Darley of Aldby Park, Yorkshire, about the end of the reign of William III. or the beginning of that of Anne. The third horse of the famous trio, the Godolphin Arabian or Barb, brought to England about five-and-twenty years after the Darley Arabian, will be more particularly referred to further on. All the horses now on the turf or at the stud trace their ancestry in the direct male line to one or other of these three—the Byerly Turk, the Darley Arabian, and the Godolphin Arabian or Barb. In the female line their pedigrees can be traced to other sources, but for all practical purposes it suffices to regard one or other of these three animals as the ultima Thule of racing pedigree. Of course there is a large interfusion of the blood of each of the trio through the dams of horses of the present day; indeed, it is impossible to find an English race-horse which does not combine the blood of all three.
The Race-horse.—The third and last epoch of the British horse, viz. that of the thoroughbred racer, may be taken to date from the beginning of the 18th century. By thoroughbred is meant a horse or mare whose pedigree is registered in the Stud-Book kept by Messrs Weatherby, the official agents of the Jockey Club—originally termed the keepers of the match-book—as well as publishers of the Racing Calendar. The first attempt to evolve order out of the chaos which had long reigned supreme was made in 1791, for we find in the preface of the first volume of the Stud-Book, published in 1808, that “with a view to correct the then increasing evil of false and inaccurate pedigrees, the author was in the year 1791 prevailed upon to publish an Introduction to a General Stud-Book, consisting of a small collection of pedigrees which he had extracted from racing calendars and sale papers and arranged on a new plan.” It will be seen that the compiler of the volume on which so much depends had to go back fully a century, with little else to guide him but odds and ends in the way of publications and tradition. Mistakes under such circumstances are pardonable. The Stud-Book then (vol. i.), which is the oldest authority we have, contains the names and in most cases the pedigrees, obscure though they may be, of a very large number of horses and mares of note from the earliest accounts, but with two exceptions no dates prior to the 18th century are specified in it. These exceptions are the Byerly Turk, who was “Captain Byerly’s charger in Ireland in King William’s wars (1689, &c.),” and a horse called Counsellor, bred by Mr Egerton in 1694, by Lord D’Arcy’s Counsellor by Lord Lonsdale’s Counsellor by the Shaftesbury Turk out of sister to Spanker—all the dams in Counsellor’s pedigree tracing back to Eastern mares. There is not the least doubt that many of the animals named in the Stud-Book were foaled much earlier than the above dates, but we have no particulars as to time; and after all it is not of much consequence.
The Stud-Book goes on to say of the Byerly Turk that he did not cover many bred mares, but was the sire of the duke of Devonshire’s Basto, Halloway’s Jigg, and others. Jigg, or Jig, is a very important factor, as will be seen hereafter. The Stud-Book, although silent as to the date of his birth, says he was a common country stallion in Lincolnshire until Partner was six years old—and we know from the same authority that Partner was foaled in 1718; we may therefore conclude that Jigg was a later foal than Basto, who, according to Whyte’s History of the Turf, was a brown horse foaled in 1703.
The reign of Queen Anne, however (1702-1714), is that which will ever be inseparably connected with the thoroughbred race-horse on account of the fame during that period of the Darley Arabian, a bay stallion, from whom our very best horses are descended. According to the Stud-Book, “Darley’s Arabian was brought over by a brother of Mr Darley of Yorkshire, who, being an agent in merchandise abroad, became member of a hunting club, by which means he acquired interest to procure this horse.” The Stud-Book is silent, and other authorities differ, as to the date of the importation of this celebrated Arab, some saying he came over in the year 1700, others that he arrived somewhat later; but we know from the Stud-Book that Manica (foaled in 1707), Aleppo (1711), Almanzor (1713), and Flying Childers (1715) were got by him, as also was Bartlett’s Childers, a younger brother of Flying Childers. It is generally believed that he was imported in Anne’s reign, but the exact date is immaterial, for, assuming that he was brought over as early as 1700 from Aleppo, he could scarcely have had a foal living before 1701, the first year of the 18th century. The Darley Arabian did much to remove the prejudice against Eastern blood which had been instilled into the public mind by the duke of Newcastle’s denunciation of the Markham Arabian. Prince George of Denmark, consort of Queen Anne, was himself a large horse-owner; and it was in a great measure owing to his intervention that so many valuable stallions were imported during her reign.
At this period we find, among a mass of horses and mares in the Stud-Book without any dates against their names, many animals of note with the earliest chronology extant, from Grey Ramsden (1704) and Bay Bolton (1705) down to a mare who exercised a most important influence on the English blood-horse. This was Roxana (1718) by the Bald Galloway, her dam sister to Chanter by the Akaster Turk, from a daughter of Leedes’s Arabian and a mare by Spanker. Roxana threw in 1732 the bay colt Lath by the Godolphin Arabian, the sorrel colt Roundhead by Childers in 1733, and the bay colt Cade by the Godolphin Arabian in 1734, in which year she died within a fortnight after foaling, the produce—Cade—being reared on cow’s milk. The Godolphin Barb or Arabian, as he was commonly called, was a brown bay about 15 hands in stature, with an unnaturally high crest, and with some white on his off hind heel. He is said to have been imported into England from France by Mr Coke, where, as the editor of the Stud-Book was informed by a French gentlemen, he was so little thought of that he had actually drawn a cart in the streets of Paris. Mr Coke gave him to a Mr. Williams, who in his turn presented him to the earl of Godolphin. Although called an Arabian, there is little doubt he was a Barb pure and simple. In 1731, being then the property of Mr. Coke, he was teazer to Hobgoblin, and on the latter refusing his services to Roxana, the mare was put to the Godolphin, and the produce was Lath (1732), the first of his get, and the most celebrated race-horse of his day after Flying Childers. He was also the sire of Cade, own brother to Lath, and of Regulus the maternal grandsire of Eclipse. He died at Gogmagog in Cambridgeshire, in the possession of Lord Godolphin, in 1753, being then, as is supposed, in his twenty-ninth year. He is believed to have been foaled in Barbary about 1724, and to have been imported during the reign of George II.
In regard to the mares generally, we have a record of the royal mares already alluded to, and likewise of three Turk mares brought over from the siege of Vienna in 1684, as well as of other importations; but it is unquestionable that there was a very large number of native mares in England, improved probably from time to time by racing, however much they may have been crossed at various periods with foreign horses, and that from this original stock were to some extent derived the size and stride which characterized the English race-horse, while his powers of endurance and elegant shape were no doubt inherited from the Eastern horses, most of which were of a low stature, 14 hands or thereabouts. It is only necessary to trace carefully back the pedigree of most of the famous horses of early times to discover faults on the side of the dam—that is to say, the expression “dam’s pedigree unknown,” which evidently means of original or native blood. Whatever therefore may be owing to Eastern blood, of which from the middle of the 17th to the beginning of the 18th century a complete wave swept over the British Isles, some credit is unquestionably due to the native mares (which Blaine says were mostly Cleveland bays) upon which the Arabian, Barb, or Turk blood was grafted, and which laid the foundation of the modern thoroughbred. Other nations may have furnished the blood, but England has made the race-horse.
Without prosecuting this subject further, it may be enough here to follow out the lines of the Darley Arabian, the Byerly Turk, and the Godolphin Arabian or Barb, the main ancestors of the British thoroughbred of the 18th and 19th centuries, through several famous race-horses, each and all brilliant winners,—Flying Childers, Eclipse, Herod and Matchem,—to whom it is considered sufficient to look as the great progenitors of the race-horse of to-day.
1. The Darley Arabian’s line is represented in a twofold degree—first, through his son Flying Childers, his grandsons Blaze and Snip, and his great-grandson Snap, and, secondly, through his other son Bartlett’s Childers and his great-great-grandson Eclipse. Flying or Devonshire Childers, so called to distinguish him from other horses of the same name, was a bay horse of entirely Eastern blood, with a blaze in his face and four white feet, foaled in 1715. He was bred by Mr Leonard Childers of Carr House near Doncaster, and was purchased when young by the duke of Devonshire. He was got by the Darley Arabian from Betty Leedes, by Careless from sister to Leedes, by Leedes’s Arabian from a mare by Spanker out of a Barb mare, who was Spanker’s own mother. Spanker himself was by D’Arcy’s Yellow Turk from a daughter of the Morocco Barb and Old Bald Peg, by an Arab horse from a Barb mare. Careless was by Spanker from a Barb mare, so that Childers’s dam was closely in-bred to Spanker. Flying Childers—the wonder of his time—was never beaten, and died in the duke of Devonshire’s stud in 1741, aged twenty-six years. He was the sire of, among other horses, Blaze (1733) and Snip (1736). Snip too had a celebrated son called Snap (1750), and it is chiefly in the female line through the mares by these horses, of which there are fully thirty in the Stud-Book, that the blood of Flying Childers is handed down to us.
The other representative line of the Darley Arabian is through Bartlett’s Childers, also bred by Mr Leonard Childers, and sold to Mr Bartlett of Masham, in Yorkshire. He was for several years called Young Childers,—it being generally supposed that he was a younger brother of his Flying namesake, but his date of birth is not on record,—and subsequently Bartlett’s Childers. This horse, who was never trained, was the sire of Squirt (1732), whose son Marske (1750) begat Eclipse and Young Marske (1762), sire of Shuttle (1793). This at least is the generally accepted theory, although Eclipse’s dam is said to have been covered by Shakespeare as well as by Marske. Shakespeare was the son of Hobgoblin by Aleppo, and consequently the male line of the Darley Arabian would come through these horses instead of through Bartlett’s Childers, Squirt, and Marske; the Stud-Book, however, says that Marske was the sire of Eclipse. This last-named celebrated horse—perhaps the most celebrated in the annals of the turf—was foaled on the 1st of April 1764, the day on which a remarkable eclipse of the sun occurred, and he was named after it. He was bred by the duke of Cumberland, after whose decease he was purchased by a Mr Wildman, and subsequently sold to Mr D. O’Kelly, with whom he will ever be identified. His dam Spiletta was by Regulus, son of the Godolphin Barb, from Mother Western, by a son of Snake from a mare by Old Montague out of a mare by Hautboy, from a daughter of Brimmer and a mare whose pedigree was unknown. In Eclipse’s pedigree there are upwards of a dozen mares whose pedigrees are not known, but who are supposed to be of native blood. Eclipse was a chestnut horse with a white blaze down his face; his off hind leg was white from the hock downwards, and he had black spots upon his rump—this peculiarity coming down to the present day in direct male descent. His racing career commenced at five years of age, viz. on the 3rd May 1769, at Epsom, and terminated on the 4th October 1770, at Newmarket. He ran or walked over for eighteen races, and was never beaten. It was in his first race that Mr O’Kelly took the odds to a large amount before the start for the second heat, that he would place the horses. When called upon to declare, he uttered the exclamation, which the event justified, “Eclipse first, and the rest nowhere.”
Eclipse commenced his stud career in 1771, and had an enormous number of foals, of which four only in the direct male line have come down to us, viz. Potoooooooo, or, as he is commonly called, Pot-8-os (1773), his most celebrated son, King Fergus (1775), Joe Andrews (1778), and Mercury (1778), though several others are represented in the female line. Pot-8-os was the sire of Waxy (1790) out of Maria (1777) by Herod out of Lisette (1772) by Snap. Waxy, who has been not inaptly termed the ace of trumps in the Stud-Book, begat Whalebone (1807), Web (1808), Woful (1809), Wire (1811), Whisker (1812), and Waxy Pope (1806), all but the last being out of Penelope (1798) by Trumpator (1782) from Prunella (1788) by Highflyer out of Promise by Snap, while Waxy Pope was out of Prunella, dam of Parasol (1800) by Pot-8-os. Trumpator was a son of Conductor, who was by Matchem out of a mare by Snap.
Whalebone’s best sons were Camel (1822) and Sir Hercules (1826). Camel was the sire of Defence (1824) and Touchstone (1831), while Sir Hercules was the sire of Birdcatcher (1833) and Faugh-a-Ballagh (1841), own brothers, and of Gemma di Vergy (1854). Touchstone was the sire of Newminster (1848), who begat Lord Clifden, Adventurer, and the Hermit, as well as of Orlando (1841), sire of Teddington (1848). Whalebone’s blood also descends through Waverley (1817) and his son the Saddler (1828), while Whisker is represented by the Colonel (1825) and by Economist (1825) and his son Harkaway (1834), sire of King Tom (1851). Birdcatcher begat, besides Saunterer (1854), the Baron (1842), sire of Stockwell (1849) and of Rataplan (1850). Stockwell, who was a chestnut with black spots, was the sire of Blair Athol (1861), a chestnut, and also of Doncaster (1870), another chestnut, but with the characteristic black spots of his grandsire; and Doncaster was the sire of the chestnut Bend Or (1877).
To turn to Eclipse’s other sons. King Fergus (1775) was the sire of Beningbrough (1791), whose son was Orville (1799), whence comes some of the stoutest blood on the turf, including Emilius (1820) and his son Priam (1827), Plenipotentiary (1831), Muley (1810), Chesterfield (1834), and the Hero (1843). Joe Andrews (1778) was the sire of Dick Andrews (1797), and from him descend Tramp (1810), Lottery (1820), Liverpool (1828), Sheet Anchor (1832), Lanercost (1835), Weatherbit (1842), Beadsman (1855), and Blue Gown (1865). Mercury was sire of Gohanna (1790), who was foaled in the same year as Waxy, and the two, who were both grandsons of Eclipse and both out of Herod mares, had several contests, Waxy generally getting the better of his cousin. Gohanna’s descendants come down through Golumpus (1802), Catton (1809), Mulatto (1823), Royal Oak (1823), and Slane (1833).
2. The Byerly Turk’s line is represented by Herod, the Turk being the sire of Jigg, who was the sire of Partner (1718), whose son Tartar (1743) begat King Herod, or Herod as he was commonly called, foaled in 1758. Herod’s dam was Cypron (1750) by Blaze (1733), son of Flying Childers. Cypron’s dam was Selima by Bethel’s Arabian from a mare by Graham’s Champion from a daughter of the Darley Arabian and a mare who claims Merlin for her sire, but whose mother’s pedigree is unknown. In Herod’s pedigree there are fully a dozen dams whose pedigree is unknown. Herod was a bay horse about 15 hands 3 inches high, possessed both of substance and length,—those grand requisites in a race-horse,—combined with uncommon power and stamina or lasting qualities. He was bred by William, duke of Cumberland, uncle of King George III. He commenced his racing career in October 1763, when he was five years old, and ended it on the 16th of May 1767. He ran ten times, winning six and losing four races. He died in 1780, and among other progeny left two famous sons, Woodpecker (1773), whose dam was Miss Ramsden (1760) by Cade, son of the Godolphin Barb, but descended also on the dam’s side from the Darley Arabian and the Byerly Turk, and Highflyer (1774), whose dam was Rachel (1763) by Blank, son of the Godolphin Barb from a daughter of Regulus, also son of the Godolphin. These two horses have transmitted Herod’s qualities down to the present day in the direct male line, although in the female line he is represented through some of his other sons and his daughters as well. Woodpecker was the sire of Buzzard (1787), who in his turn became the father of three celebrated sons, Castrel (1801), Selim (1802), and Rubens (1803), all three chestnuts, and all out of an Alexander mare (1790), who thereby became famous. This mare was by Eclipse’s son Alexander (1782) out of a mare by Highflyer (son of Herod) out of a daughter of Alfred, by Matchem out of a daughter of Snap. Bustard (1813), whose dam was a daughter of Shuttle, and his son Heron (1833), Sultan (1816) and his sons Glencoe (1831) and Bay Middleton (1833) and Middleton’s sons Cowl (1842) and the Flying Dutchman (1846), Pantaloon (1824) and his son Windhound (1847), Langar (1817) and his son Epirus (1834) and grandson Pyrrhus the First (1843), are representatives of Castrel and Selim.
Highflyer is represented through his greatly esteemed son Sir Peter Teazle, commonly called Sir Peter (1784), whose dam was Papillon by Snap. Sir Peter had five sons at the stud, Walton (1790), Stamford (1794), and Sir Paul (1802) being the chief. Paulowitz (1813), Cain (1822), Ion (1835), Wild Dayrell (1852), and his son Buccaneer (1857) bring down Sir Paul’s blood; whilst Walton is represented through Phantom (1806), Partisan (1811) and his sons Glaucus (1829) and Venison (1833) and Gladiator (1833), Venison’s sons Alarm (1842) and Kingston (1849), Gladiator’s son Sweetmeat (1842), Sweetmeat’s sons Macaroni (1860) and Parmesan (1857), and Parmesan’s sons Favonius (1868) and Cremorne (1869). It may be added that in the first volume of the Stud-Book there are nearly a hundred Herod and Highflyer mares registered.
3. The Godolphin Barb is represented by Matchem, as the former was the sire of Cade (1734), and Cade begat Matchem, who was foaled in 1748. He was thus ten years the senior of Herod, representing the Byerly Turk, and sixteen years before Eclipse, though long subsequent to Flying Childers, who represent the Darley Arabian. Matchem was a brown bay horse with some white on his off hind heel, about 15 hands high, bred by Sir John Holme of Carlisle, and sold to Mr W. Fenwick of Bywell, Northumberland. His dam was sister to Miss Partner (1735) by Partner out of Brown Farewell by Makeless (son of the Oglethorpe Arabian) from a daughter of Brimmer out of Trumpet’s dam, by Place’s White Turk from a daughter of the Barb Dodsworth and a Layton Barb mare; while Brimmer was by D’Arcy’s Yellow Turk from a royal mare. Matchem commenced his racing career on the 2nd of August 1753, and terminated it on 1st September 1758. Out of thirteen engagements he won eleven and lost two. He died in 1781, aged thirty-three years. His best son was Conductor (1767) out of a mare by Snap; Conductor was the sire of Trumpator (1782), whose two sons, Sorcerer (1790) and Paynator (1791), transmit the blood of the Godolphin down to modern times. Sorcerer was the sire of Soothsayer (1808), Comus (1809), and Smolensko (1810). Comus was the sire of Humphrey Clinker (1822), whose son was Melbourne (1834), sire of West Australian (1850) and of many valuable mares, including Canezou (1845) and Blink Bonny (1854), dam of Blair Athol. Paynator was the sire of Dr Syntax (1811), who had a celebrated daughter called Beeswing (1833), dam of Newminster by Touchstone.
The gems of the three lines may be briefly enumerated thus: (1) of the Darley Arab’s line—Snap, Shuttle, Waxy, and Orville—the stoutest blood on the turf; (2) of the Byerly Turk’s line—Buzzard and Sir Peter—speedy blood, the latter the stouter of the two; (3) of the Godolphin Barb’s line—Sorcerer—often producing large-sized animals, but showing a tendency to die out, and becoming rare.
On the principle that as a rule like begets like, it has been the practice to select as sires the best public performers on the turf, and of two horses of like blood it is sound sense to choose the better as against the inferior public performer. But there can be little doubt that the mating of mares with horses has been often pursued on a haphazard plan, or on no system at all; to this the Stud-Book testifies too plainly. In the article Horse-Racing mention is made of some of the great horses of recent years; but the following list of the principal sires of earlier days indicates also how their progeny found a place among the winners of the three great races, the Derby (D), Oaks (O), and St Leger (L):—
Eclipse: Young Eclipse (D), Saltram (D), Sergeant (D), Annette (O).
Herod: Bridget (O), Faith (O), Maid of the Oaks (O), Phenomenon (L).
Matchem: Teetotum (O), Hollandaise (L).
Florizel (son of Herod): Diomed (D), Eager (D), Tartar (L), Ninety-three (L).
Highflyer: Noble (D), Sir Peter Teazle (D), Skyscraper (D), Violante (O), Omphale (L), Cowslip (L), Spadille (L), Young Flora (L).
Pot-8-os: Waxy (D), Champion (D, L), Tyrant (D), Nightshade (O).
Sir Peter (D): Sir Harry (D), Archduke (D), Ditto (D), Paris (D), Hermione (O), Parasite (O), Ambrosio (L), Fyldener (L), Paulina (L), Petronius (L).
Waxy (D): Pope (D), Whalebone (D), Blucher (D), Whisker (D), Music (O), Minuet (O), Corinne (O).
Whalebone (D): Moses (D), Lapdog (D), Spaniel (D), Caroline (O).
Woful: Augusta (O), Zinc (O), Theodore (L).
Whisker (D): Memnon (L), The Colonel (L).
Phantom: Cedric (D), Middleton (D), Cobweb (O).
Orville (L): Octavius (D), Emilius (D), Ebor (L).
Tramp: St Giles (D), Dangerous (D), Barefoot (L).
Emilius (D): Priam (D), Plenipotentiary (D), Oxygen (O), Mango (L).
Priam (D): Miss Seltz (O), Industry (O), Crucifix (O).
Sir Hercules: Coronation (D), Faugh-a-Ballagh (L), Birdcatcher (L).
Touchstone (L): Cotherstone (D), Orlando (D), Surplice (D, L), Mendicant (O), Blue Bonnet (L), Newminster (L).
Birdcatcher (L): Daniel O’Rourke (D), Songstress (O), Knight of St George (L), Warlock (L), The Baron (L).
The Baron (L): Stockwell (L).
Melbourne: West Australian (D, L), Blink Bonny (D, O), Sir Tatton Sykes (L).
Newminster (L): Musjid (D), Hermit (D), Lord Clifden (L).
Sweetmeat: Macaroni (D), Mincemeat (O), Mincepie (O).
Stockwell (L): Blair Athol (D, L), Lord Lyon (D, L), Doncaster (D), Regalia (O), St Albans (L), Caller Ou (L), The Marquis (L), Achievement (L).
King Tom: Kingcraft (D), Tormentor (O), Hippia (O), Hannah (O, L).
Rataplan (son of the Baron): Kettledrum (D).
Monarque: Gladiateur (D, L).
Parmesan (son of Sweetmeat): Favonius (D), Cremorne (D).
Buccaneer: Kisber (D), Formosa (O, L), Brigantine (O).
Lord Clifden (L): Jannette (O, L), Hawthornden (L), Wenlock (L), Petrarch (L).
Adventurer: Pretender (D), Apology (O, L), Wheel of Fortune (O).
Blair Athol (D, L): Silvio (D, L), Craig Millar (L).
In regard to mares it has very frequently turned out that animals which were brilliant public performers have been far less successful as dams than others which were comparatively valueless as runners. Beeswing, a brilliant public performer, gave birth to a good horse in Newminster; the same may be said of Alice Hawthorn, dam of Thormanby, of Canezou, dam of Fazzoletto, of Crucifix, dam of Surplice, and of Blink Bonny, dam of Blair Athol; but many of the greatest winners have dropped nothing worth training. On the other hand, there are mares of little or no value as racers who have become the mothers of some of the most celebrated horses on the turf; among them we may cite Queen Mary, Pocahontas and Paradigm. Queen Mary, who was by Gladiator out of a daughter of Plenipotentiary and Myrrha by Whalebone, when mated with Melbourne produced Blink Bonny (winner of the Derby and Oaks); when mated with Mango and Lanercost she produced Haricot, dam of Caller Ou (winner of the St Leger). Pocahontas, perhaps the most remarkable mare in the Stud-Book, never won a race on the turf, but threw Stockwell and Rataplan to the Baron, son of Birdcatcher, King Tom to Harkaway, Knight of St Patrick to Knight of St George, and Knight of Kars to Nutwith—all these horses being 16 hands high and upwards, while Pocahontas was a long low mare of about 15 hands or a trifle more. She also gave birth to Ayacanora by Birdcatcher, and to Araucaria by Ambrose, both very valuable brood mares, Araucaria being the dam of Chamant by Mortemer, and of Rayon d’Or by Flageolet, son of Plutus by Touchstone. Paradigm again produced, among several winners of more or less celebrity, Lord Lyon (winner of the Two Thousand Guineas, Derby and St Leger) and Achievement (winner of the St Leger), both being by Stockwell. Another famous mare was Manganese (1853) by Birdcatcher from Moonbeam by Tomboy from Lunatic by the Prime Minister from Maniac by Shuttle. Manganese when mated with Rataplan threw Mandragora, dam of Apology, winner of the Oaks and St Leger, whose sire was Adventurer, son of Newminster. She also threw Mineral, who, when mated with Lord Clifden, produced Wenlock, winner of the St Leger, and after being sold to go to Hungary, was there mated with Buccaneer, the produce being Kisber, winner of the Derby.
We append the pedigree of Blair Athol, winner of the Derby and St Leger in 1864, who, when subsequently sold by auction, fetched the then unprecedented sum of 12,000 guineas, as it contains, not only Stockwell (the emperor of stallions, as he has been termed), but Blink Bonny and Eleanor—in which latter animal are combined the blood of Eclipse, Herod, Matchem and Snap,—the mares that won the Derby in 1801 and 1857 respectively, as well as those queens of the stud, Eleanor’s great-granddaughter Pocahontas and Blink Bonny’s dam Queen Mary. Both Eleanor and Blink Bonny won the Oaks as well as the Derby.
|Blair Athol (1861)||Stockwell (1849)||The Baron (1842)||Birdcatcher(1853)||Sir Hercules (1826)||Whalebone (1807)||Waxy (1790)|
|Peri (1822)||Wanderer (1790)|
|Guiccioli (1823)||Bob Booty (1804)||Chanticleer (1787)|
|Flight (1809)||Escape (1802)|
|Echidna (1838)||Economist (1825)||Whisker (1812)||Waxy (1790)|
|Floranthe (1818)||Octavian (1807)|
|Miss Pratt (1825)||Blacklock (1814)||Whitelock (1803)|
|Coriander mare (1799)|
|Gadabout (1812)||Orville (1709)|
|Pocahontas (1837)||Glencoe (1831)||Sultan (1816)||Selim (1802)||Buzzard (1787)|
|Alexander mare (1790)|
|Bacchante (1809)||Williamson's Ditto (1800)|
|Sister to Calomel (1791)|
|Trampoline (1825)||Tramp (1810)||Dick Andrews (1797)|
|Web (1808)||Waxy (1790)|
|Marpessa (1830)||Muley (1810)||Orville (1799)||Beningbrough (1791)|
|Eleanor (1798)||Whiskey (1789)|
|Young Giantess (1790)|
|Clare (1824)||Marmion (1806)||Whiskey (1789)|
|Young Noisette (1789)|
|Harpalice (1814)||Gohanna (1790)|
|Blink Bonny (1854)||Melbourne (1834)||Humphrey Clinker (1822)||Comus (1809)||Sorcerer (1796)||Trumpator (1782)|
|Young Giantess (1790)|
|Houghton Lass (1801)||Sir Peter (1784)|
|Clinkerina (1812)||Clinker (1805)||Sir Peter (1784)|
|Pewet (1786)||Tandem (1773)|
|Daughter of (1825)||Cervantes (1806)||Don Quixote (1784)||Eclipse (1764)|
|Grecian Princess (1770)|
|Evelina (1791)||Highflyer (1774)|
|Daughter of (1818)||Golumpus (1802)||Gohanna (1790)|
|Daughter of (1810)||Paynator (1791)|
|Sister to Zodiac|
|Queen Mary (1843)||Gladiator (1833)||Partisan (1811)||Walton (1799)||Sir Peter (1784)|
|Parasol (1800)||Pot-8-os (1773)|
|Pauline (1826)||Moses (1819)||Whalebone by Waxy (1807)|
|Quadrille (1815)||Selim (1802)|
|Canary Bird (1806)|
|Daughter of (1840)||Plenipotentiary (1831)||Emilius (1820)||Orville (1799)|
|Harriett (1819)||Pericles (1809)|
|Selim mare (1812)|
|Myrrha (1830)||Whalebone (1807)||Waxy (1790)|
|Gift (1818)||Young Gohanna (1810)|
|Sister to Grazier by Sir Peter (1808)|
The shape of a race-horse is of considerable importance, although it is said with some degree of truth that they win in all shapes. There are the neat and elegant animals, like the descendants of Saunterer and Sweetmeat; the large-framed, plain-looking, and heavy-headed Melbournes, often with lop ears; the descendants of Birdcatcher, full of quality, and of more than average stature, though sometimes disfigured with curby hocks; and the medium-sized but withal speedy descendants of Touchstone, though in some cases characterized by somewhat loaded shoulders. In height it will be found that the most successful racers average from 15 to 16½ hands, the former being considered somewhat small, while the latter is unquestionably very large; the mean may be taken as between 15½ and 16 hands (the hand = 4 in.). The head should be light and lean, and well set on; the ears small and pricked, but not too short; the eyes full; the forehead broad and flat; the nostrils large and dilating; the muzzle fine; the neck moderate in length, wide, muscular, and yet light; the throat clean; the windpipe spacious and loosely attached to the neck; the crest thin, not coarse and arched. The withers may be moderately high and thin; the chest well developed, but not too wide or deep; the shoulder should lie well on the chest, and be oblique and well covered with muscle, so as to reduce concussion in galloping; the upper and lower arms should be long and muscular; the knees broad and strong; legs short, flat and broad; fetlock joints large; pasterns strong and of moderate length; the feet should be moderately large, with the heels open and frogs sound—with no signs of contraction. The body or barrel should be moderately deep, long and straight, the length being really in the shoulders and in the quarters; the back should be strong and muscular, with the shoulders and loins running well in at each end; the loins themselves should have great breadth and substance, this being a vital necessity for weight-carrying and propelling power uphill. The hips should be long and wide, with the stifle and thigh strong, long and proportionately developed, and the hind quarters well let down. The hock should have plenty of bone, and be strongly affixed to the leg, and show no signs of curb; the bones below the hock should be flat, and free from adhesions; the ligaments and tendons well developed, and standing out from the bone; the joints well formed and wide, yet without undue enlargement; the pasterns and feet similar to those of the forehand. The tail should be high set on, the croup being continued in a straight line to the tail, and not falling away and drooping to a low-set tail. Fine action is the best criterion of everything fitting properly, and all a horse’s points ought to harmonize or be in proportion to one another, no one point being more prominent than another, such as good shoulders, fine loins or excellent quarters. If the observer is struck with the remarkable prominence of any one feature, it is probable that the remaining parts are deficient. A well-made horse wants dissecting in detail, and then if a good judge can discover no fault with any part, but finds each of good proportions, and the whole to harmonize without defect, deformity or deficiency, he has before him a well-shaped horse; and of two equally well-made and equitably proportioned horses the best bred one will be the best. As regards hue, the favourite colour of the ancients, according to Xenophon, was bay, and for a long time it was the fashionable colour in England; but for some time chestnut thoroughbreds have been the most conspicuous figure on English race-courses, so far as the more important events are concerned. Eclipse was a chestnut; Castrel, Selim and Rubens were chestnuts; so also were Glencoe and Pantaloon, of whom the latter had black spots on his hind quarters like Eclipse; and also Stockwell and Doncaster. Birdcatcher was a chestnut, so also were Stockwell and his brother Rataplan, Manganese, Mandragora, Thormanby, Kettledrum, St Albans, Blair Athol, Regalia, Formosa, Hermit, Marie Stuart, Doncaster, George Frederick, Apology, Craig Millar, Prince Charlie, Rayon d’Or and Bend Or. The dark browns or black browns, such as the Sweetmeat tribe, are not so common as the bays, and black or grey horses are almost as unusual as roans. The skin and hair of the throughbred are finer, and the veins which underlie the skin are larger and more prominent than in other horses. The mane and tail should be silky and devoid of curl, which is a sign of impurity.
Whether the race-horse of to-day is as good as the stock to which he traces back has often been disputed, chiefly no doubt because he is brought to more early maturity, commencing to win races at two years instead of at five years of age, as in the days of Childers and Eclipse; but the highest authorities, and none more emphatically than the late Admiral Rous, have insisted that he can not only stay quite as long as his ancestors, but also go a good deal faster. In size and shape the modern race-horse is unquestionably superior, being on an average fully a hand higher than the Eastern horses from which he is descended; and in elegance of shape and beauty of outline he has certainly never been surpassed. That experiments, founded on the study of his nature and properties, which have from time to time been made to improve the breed, and bring the different varieties to the perfection in which we now find them, have succeeded, is best confirmed by the high estimation in which the horses of Great Britain are held in all parts of the civilized world; and it is not too much to assert that, although the cold, humid and variable nature of their climate is by no means favourable to the production of these animals in their very best form, Englishmen have by great care, and by sedulous attention to breeding, high feeding and good grooming, with consequent development of muscle, brought them to the highest state of perfection of which their nature is capable.
- (E. D. B.)
|SHIRE STALLION.||SUFFOLK STALLION.|
|CLYDESDALE STALLION.||HACKNEY STALLION.|
|BREEDS OF HORSES. (From Photographs by F. Babbage.)|
The comparative sizes of the horses are shown.
|THOROUGHBRED STALLION.||SHETLAND PONY STALLION.|
|COACHING STALLION.||POLO PONY STALLION.|
|BREEDS OF HORSES. (From Photographs by F. Babbage.)|
The comparative sizes of the horses are shown.
Breeds of Horses
The British breeds of light horses include the Thoroughbred, the Yorkshire Coach-horse, the Cleveland Bay, the Hackney and the Pony; of heavy horses, the Shire, the Clydesdale and the Suffolk.
The Thoroughbred is probably the oldest of the breeds, and it is known as the “blood-horse” on account of the length of time through which its purity of descent can be traced. The frame is light, slender and graceful. The points of chief importance are a fine, clean, lean head, set on free from collar heaviness; a long and strongly muscular neck, shoulders oblique and covered with muscle; high, long withers, chest of good depth and narrow but not extremely so; body round in type; back rib well down; depth at withers a little under half the height; length equal to the height at withers and croup; loins level and muscular; croup long, rather level; tail set on high and carried gracefully; the hind quarters long, strongly developed, and full of muscle and driving power; the limbs clean-cut and sinewy, possessing abundance of good bone, especially desired in the cannons, which are short, broad and flat; comparatively little space between the fore legs; pastern joints smooth and true; pasterns strong, clean and springy, sloping when at rest at an angle of 45°; feet medium size, wide and high at the heels, concave below and set on straight. The action in trotting is generally low, but the bending of the knee and the flexing of the hock is smooth, free and true. The thoroughbred is apt to be nervous and excitable, and impatient of common work, but its speed, resolution and endurance, as tested on the race-course, are beyond praise.
Many of the best hunters in the United Kingdom are thoroughbreds, but of the substantial weight-carrying type. The Hunters Improvement Society, established in 1885, did not restrict entries to the Hunters’ Stud-Book to entirely clean-bred animals, but admitted those with breeding enough to pass strict inspection. This society acts in consort with two other powerful organizations (the Royal Commission on Horse-breeding, which began its work in 1888, and the Brood Mare Society, established in 1903), with the desirable object of improving the standard of light horse breeding. The initial efforts began by securing the services of thoroughbred stallions for specified districts, by offering a limited number of “Queen’s Premiums,” of £200 each, to selected animals of four years old and upwards. Since the formation of the Brood Mare Society mares have come within the sphere of influence of the three bodies, and well-conceived inducements are offered to breeders to retain their young mares at home. The efforts have met with gratifying success, and they were much needed, for while in 1904 the Dutch government took away 350 of the best young Irish mares, Great Britain was paying the foreigner over £2,000,000 a year for horses which the old system of management did not supply at home. The Royal Dublin Society also keeps a Register of Thoroughbred Stallions under the horse-breeding scheme of 1892, which, like the British efforts, is now bearing fruit.
The Yorkshire Coach-horse is extensively bred in the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire, and the thoroughbred has taken a share in its development. The colour is usually bay, with black or brown points. A fine head, sloping shoulders, strong loins, lengthy quarters, high-stepping action, flat bone and sound feet are characteristic. The height varies from 16 hands to 16 hands 2 in.
The Cleveland Bay is an ancestor of the Yorkshire Coach-horse and is bred in parts of Yorkshire, Durham and Northumberland. He is adapted alike for the plough, for heavy draught, and for slow saddle work. Some specimens make imposing-looking carriage horses, but they have low action and are lacking in quality. The colour is light or dark bay, with black legs. Though rather coarse-headed, the Cleveland Bay has a well-set shoulder and neck, a deep chest and round barrel. The height is from 16 to 17 hands.
The Hackney has come prominently to the front in recent years. The term Nag, applied to the active riding or trotting horse, is derived from the A.S. hnegan, to neigh. The Normans brought with them their own word haquenée, or hacquenée, a French derivative from the Latin equus, a horse, whence the name hackney. Both nag and hackney continue to be used as synonymous terms. Frequent mention is made of hackneys and trotters in old farm accounts of the 14th century. The first noteworthy trotting hackney stallion, of the modern type, was a horse foaled about 1755, and known as the Schales, Shields or Shales horse, and most of the recognized hackneys of to-day trace back to him. The breeding of hackneys is extensively pursued in the counties of Norfolk, Cambridge, Huntingdon, Lincoln and York, and in the showyard competitions a keen but friendly rivalry is usually to be noticed between the hackney-breeding farmers of Norfolk and Yorkshire. The high hackney action is uncomfortable in a riding horse. Excellent results have sometimes followed the use of hackney sires upon half-bred mares, i.e. by thoroughbred stallions and trotting mares, but it is not always so. As regards the movement, or “action,” of the hackney, he should go light in hand, and the knee should be well elevated and advanced during the trot, and, before the foot is put down, the leg should be well extended. The hackney should also possess good hock action, as distinguished from mere fetlock action, the propelling power depending upon the efficiency of the former. The hackney type of the day is “a powerfully built, short-legged, big horse, with an intelligent head, neat neck, strong, level back, powerful loins, and as perfect shoulders as can be obtained, good feet, flat-boned legs, and a height of from 15 hands 2 in. to 15 hands 3½ in.” Carriage-horses hackney-bred have been produced over 17 hands high.
The Pony differs essentially from the hackney in height, the former not exceeding 14 hands. There is one exception, which is made clear in the following extract from Sir Walter Gilbey’s Ponies Past and Present (1900):—
Before the establishment of the Hackney Horse Society in 1883 the dividing line between the horse and the pony in England was vague and undefined. It was then found necessary to distinguish clearly between horses and ponies, and, accordingly, all animals measuring 14 hands or under were designated “ponies,” and registered in a separate part of the (Hackney) Stud-Book. This record of height, with other particulars as to breeding, &c., serves to direct breeders in their choice of sires and dams. The standard of height established by the Hackney Horse Society was accepted and officially recognized by the Royal Agricultural Society in 1889, when the prize-list for the Windsor show contained pony classes for animals not exceeding 14 hands. The altered polo-rule, which fixes the limit of height at 14 hands 2 in., may be productive of some little confusion; but for all other purposes 14 hands is the recognized maximum height of a pony. Prior to 1883 small horses were called indifferently Galloways, hobbies, cobs or ponies, irrespective of their height.
Native ponies include those variously known as Welsh, New Forest, Exmoor, Dartmoor, Cumberland and Westmorland, Fell, Highland, Highland Garron, Celtic, Shetland and Connemara. Ponies range in height from 14 hands down to 8 hands, Shetland ponies eligible for the Stud-Book not exceeding the latter. As in the case of the hackney, so with the pony, thoroughbred blood has been used, and with good results, except in the case of those animals which have to remain to breed in their native haunts on the hills and moorlands. There the only possible way of improvement is by selecting the best native specimens, especially the sires, to breed from. The thin-skinned progeny of thoroughbred or Arab stock is too delicate to live unless when hand-fed—and hand-feeding is not according to custom. Excellent polo ponies are bred as first or second crosses by thoroughbred stallions on the mares of nearly all the varieties of ponies named. The defective formation of the pony, the perpendicular shoulder and the drooping hind quarters, are modified; but neither the latter, nor bent hocks, which place the hind legs under the body as in the zebra, are objected to, as the conformation is favourable to rapid turning. One object of the pony breeder, while maintaining hardiness of constitution, is to control size—to compress the most valuable qualities into small compass. He endeavours to breed an animal possessing a small head, good shoulders, true action and perfect manners. A combination of the best points of the hunter with the style and finish of the hackney produces a class of weight-carrying pony which is always saleable.
The Shire horse owes its happily-chosen name to Arthur Young’s remarks, in the description of his agricultural tours during the closing years of the 18th century, concerning the large Old English Black Horse, “the produce principally of the Shire counties in the heart of England.” Long previous to this, however, the word Shire, in connexion with horses, was used in the statutes of Henry VIII. Under the various names of the War Horse, the Great Horse, the Old English Black Horse and the Shire Horse, the breed has for centuries been cultivated in the rich fen-lands of Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire, and in many counties to the west. The Shire is the largest of draught horses, the stallion commonly attaining a height of 17 to 17.3 hands. Though the black colour is still frequently met with, bay and brown are more usually seen. With their immense size and weight—1800 ℔ to 2200 ℔—the Shires combine great strength, and they are withal docile and intelligent. They stand on short stout legs, with a plentiful covering—sometimes too abundant—of long hair extending chiefly down the back but also round the front of the limbs from knees and hocks, and when in full feather obscuring nearly the whole of the hoofs. The head is a good size, and broad between the eyes; the neck fairly long, with the crest well arched on to the shoulders, which are deep and strong, and moderately oblique. The chest is wide, full and deep, the back short and straight, the ribs are round and deep, the hind quarters long, level and well let down into the muscular thighs. The cannon-bones should be flat, heavy and clean, and the feet wide, tough, and prominent at the heels. A good type of Shire horse combines symmetrical outlines and bold, free action. There is a good and remunerative demand for Shire geldings for use as draught horses in towns.
The Clydesdale, the Scottish breed named from the valley of the Clyde, is not quite so large as the Shire, the average height of stallions being about 16 hands 2 in. The popular colour is bay, particularly if of a dark shade, or dappled. Black is not uncommon, but grey is not encouraged. White markings on one or more of the legs, with a white star or stripe on the face, are characteristic. The long hair on the legs is not so abundant as in the Shires, and it is finer in texture. It is regarded as an indication of good bone. The bones of the legs should be short, flat, clean and hard; the feet large, with hoofs deep and concave below. With its symmetry, activity, strength and endurance the Clydesdale is easily broken to harness, and makes an excellent draught horse. This breed is growing rapidly in favour in Canada, but in the United States the Percheron, with its round bone and short pasterns, holds the field. A blend of the Shire and Clydesdale strains of the British rough-legged draught horse (virtually sections of the same breed) is a better animal than either of the parents. It is an improvement upon the Shire due to the quality contributed by the Clydesdale, and it surpasses the Clydesdale in strength and substance, as a result of the Shire connexion. To secure success the two Stud-Books will require to be opened to animals eligible to be entered in either record. The blend is being established in U.S.A. as a National breed.
The Suffolk is a horse quite distinct from the Shire and the Clydesdale. Its body looks too heavy for its limbs, which are free from the “feather” so much admired in the two other heavy breeds; it possesses a characteristic chestnut colour. How long the Suffolks have been associated with the county after which they are named is unknown, but they are mentioned in 1586 in Camden’s Britannia. With an average height of about 16 hands they often have a weight of as much as 2000 ℔., and this may explain the appearance which has given rise to the name of the Suffolk Punch, by which the breed is known. The Suffolk is a resolute and unwearying worker, and is richly endowed with many of the best qualities of a horse. The Suffolk Stud-Book and History of the Breed, published in 1880, is the most exhaustive record of its kind in England.
Breeding.—Animals to breed from should be of good blood, sound and compactly built, with good pluck and free from nervous excitability and vicious tendency. A mare used to be put to the horse at three years old, but latterly two has become the common age. Young sires begin to serve in moderation at two. May is considered the best month for a mare to foal, as there is abundance of natural food and the weather is mild enough for the mare to lie out. Show specimens generally profit by being born earlier. The period of gestation in the mare is about eleven months. No nursing mare should go to work, if this can possibly be avoided. A brood mare requires plenty of exercise at a slow pace and may work, except between shafts or on a road, till the day of foaling.
To avoid colic an animal has to be gradually prepared by giving small quantities of green food for a few days before going to grass. Shelter against severe storms is needed. Succulent food encourages the flow of milk, and the success of the foal greatly depends on its milk supply. Mares most readily conceive when served at the “foal heat” eleven days after foaling. A mature stallion can serve from eighty to one hundred mares per annum.
Foals are weaned when five or six months old, often in October, and require to be housed to save the foal-flesh, and liberally but not overfed, but from the time they are a month old they require to be “gentled” by handling and kindly treatment, and the elementary training of leading from time to time by a halter adjusted permanently to the head. When they are hand-reared on cow's milk foals require firm treatment and must have no fooling to teach them tricks. Young horses that are too highly fed are apt to become weak-limbed and top-heavy.
Breaking.—Systematic breaking begins at about the age of two years, and the method of subduing a colt by “galvayning” is as good as any. It is a more humane system than “rareying,” which overcame by exhaustion under circumstances which were not fruitful of permanent results. Galvayning is accomplished by bending the horse's neck round at an angle of thirty-five to forty degrees and tieing the halter to the tail, so that when he attempts to walk forward he holds himself and turns “round and round, almost upon his own ground.” The more strenuous his resistance the sooner he yields to the inevitable force applied by himself. A wooden pole, the “third hand,” is then gently applied to all parts of the body until kicking or any form of resistance ceases. “Bitting” or “mouthing,” or the familiarizing of an animal to the bit in his mouth, and to answer to the rein without bending his neck, is still a necessity with the galvayning method of breaking. Experience can only be gained by a horse continuing during a considerable time to practise what he has been taught.
Three main characteristics of a successful horse-breaker are firmness, good temper and incessant vigilance. Carelessness in trusting too much to a young colt that begins its training by being docile is a fruitful source of untrustworthy habits which need never have developed. Driving with long reins in the field should precede the fastening of ropes to the collar, as it accustoms the animal to the pressure on the shoulders of the draught, later to be experienced in the yoke. If a young horse be well handled and accustomed to the dummy jockey, mounting it is not attended with much risk of resistance, although this should invariably be anticipated. An animal ought to be in good condition when being broken in, else it is liable to break out in unpleasant ways when it becomes high-spirited as a result of improved condition. It should be well but not overfed, and while young not overworked, as an overtired animal is liable to refuse to pull, and thus contract a bad habit. Most bad habits and stable tricks are the result of defective management and avoidable accidents.
Feeding—Horses have small stomachs relatively to ruminating animals, and require small quantities of food frequently. While grazing they feed almost continually, preferring short pasture. No stable food for quick work surpasses a superior sample of fine-hulled whole oats like “Garton's Abundance” (120 ℔ per week), and Timothy hay harvested in dry weather. The unbruised oats develop a spirit and courage in either a saddle or harness horse that no other food can. A double handful of clean chaff, or of bran mixed with the oats in the manger, prevents a greedy horse from swallowing a considerable proportion whole. Unchewed oats pass out in the faeces uninjured, so that they are capable of germination, and are of less than no value to a horse. Horses doing slow or other than “upper ten” work may have oats crushed, not ground, and a variety of additions made to the oats which are usually the basis of the feed—for example, a few old crushed beans, a little linseed meal, ground linseed cake or about a wine-glassful of unboiled linseed oil. Indian pulses are to be avoided on account of the danger of Lathyrus poisoning. A seasoning of ground fenugreek or spice is sometimes given to shy feeders to encourage them to eat. A little sugar or molascuit added to the food will sometimes serve the same purpose. Newly crushed barley or cracked maize, even in considerable proportion to the rest of the food, gives good results with draught, coach, 'bus and light harness horses generally. Boiled food of any kind is unnatural to a horse, and is risky to give, being liable to produce colic, especially if the animal bolts its food when hungry, although it generally produces a glossy coat. Too much linseed, often used in preparing horses for market, gives a similar appearance, but is liable to induce fatty degeneration of the liver, given in moderation it regulates the bowels and stimulates the more perfect digestion of other foods. In England red-clover hay, or, better still, crimson-clover or lucerne hay, is liberally fed to farm horses with about 10 ℔ per day of oats, while they usually run in open yards with shelter sheds. Bean straw is sometimes given as part of the roughage in Scotland, but not in England. In England hunters and carriage horses are generally fed on natural hay, in Scotland on Timothy, largely imported from Canada, or ryegrass hay that has not been grown with nitrate of soda. Heavily nitrated hay is reputed to produce excessive urination and irritation of the bladder. Pease straw, if not sandy, and good bright oat straw are good fodder for horses; but with barley and wheat straw, in the case of a horse, more energy is consumed during its passage through the alimentary canal than the digested straw yields. Three or four Swedish turnips or an equivalent of carrots is an excellent cooling food for a horse at hard work. The greater number of horses in the country should have green forage given them during summer, when the work they do will permit of it, as it is their natural food, and they thrive better on it than on any dry food.
When a horse has been over strained by work the best remedy is a long rest at pasture, and, if it be lame or weak in the limbs, the winter season is most conducive to recovery. The horse becomes low in condition and moves about quietly, and the frost tends to brace up the limbs. In autumn all horses that have been grazing should be dosed with some vermifuge to destroy the worms that are invariably present, and thus prevent colic or an unthrifty or anaemic state. On a long journey a horse should have occasional short drinks, and near the end a long drink with a slower rate of progression with the object of cooling off. In the stable a horse should always be provided with rock salt, and water to drink at will by means of some such stall fixture as the Mundt hygienic water-supply fittings. Overhead hay-racks are unnatural and are liable to drop seeds into a horse's eye.
Literature.—For riding, &c see Riding, Driving, Horsemanship, and Horse-Racing. For diseases of the horse see Veterinary Science. The literature about the horse and its history and uses is voluminous, and is collected up to 1887 in Huth's Works on Horses, &c, a bibliographical record of hippology. See also, besides the works already mentioned, various books by Capt. M. Horace Hayes, Points of the Horse (1893, 2nd ed., 1897); Stable Management and Exercise (1900); Illustrated Horse-breaking (1889, 2nd ed., 1896); and The Horsewoman (1893) (with Mrs Hayes); E. L. Anderson, Modern Horsemanship (1884); W. Day, The Horse: How to Breed and Rear Him (1888); W. Ridgeway, Origin and Influence of the Thoroughbred Horse (1905); Major-General Tweedie, The Arab Horse (1894); J. Wortley Axe, The Horse, its Treatment in Health and Disease (1906); R. Wallace, Farm Live Stock of Great Britain (1885, 4th ed., 1907); Sydney Galvayne, The Twentieth Century Book of the Horse (1905); C. Bruce Low, Breeding Racehorses by the Figure System (1895); J. H. Wallace, The Horse of America in his Derivation, &c. (1897); Weatherly's Celebrated Racehorses (1887); Ruff's Guide to the Turf; T. A. Cook, History of the English Turf (1903); The General Stud-Book (issued quinquennially); and the Stud-Books of the various breed societies. (R. W.)
- Compare Sans, açva, Zendish and Old Persian açpa, Lithuanian aszva (mare), Prussian asvinan (mare’s milk), O.H. Ger. ehu, A.S. eoh, Icel. iör, Gothic aihos, aihous (?), Old Irish ech, Old Cambrian and Gaelic ep (as in Epona, the horse goddess), Lat. equus, Gr. ἴππος or ἴκκος. The word seems, however, to have disappeared from the Slavonic languages. The root is probably ak, with the idea of sharpness or swiftness (ἄκρος, ὠκύς, acus, ocior). See Pott, Etym. Forsch, ii. 256, and Hehn, Kulturpflanzen u. Hausthiere in ihrem Ueber gang aus Asien nach Griechenland u. Italien sowie in das übrige Europa (3rd ed., 1877), p. 38. The last-named author, who points out the absence of the horse from the Egyptian monuments prior to the beginning of the 18th century B.C., and the fact that the earliest references to this animal in Hebrew literature (Judges v. 22, 28; cf. Josh, xi. 4) do not carry us any farther back, is of opinion that the Semitic peoples as a whole were indebted for the horse to the lands of Iran. He also shows that literature affords no trace of the horse as indigenous to Arabia prior to about the beginning of the 5th century A.D., although references abound in the pre-Islamitic poetry. Horses were not numerous even in Mahomet’s time (Sprenger, Leb. Moh. iii. 139, 140). Compare Ignazio Guidi’s paper “Della sede primitiva dei popoli Semitici” in the Transactions of the Accademia dei Lincei (1878-1879), Professor W. Ridgeway, in his Origin and Influence of the Thoroughbred Horse (1905), reinvestigated the historical mystery as to the Arab breed, and its connexion with the English thoroughbred stock, but his conclusions have been hotly controverted; archaeology and biology are in fact still in the dark on the subject, but see the section on “Species” above. According to Ridgeway, the original source of the finest equine blood is Africa, still the home of the largest variety of wild Equidae; he concludes that thence it passed into Europe at an early time, to be blended with that of the indigenous Celtic species, and thence into western Asia into the veins of an indigenous Mongolian species, still represented by “Przewalski’s horse”; not till a comparatively late period did it reach Arabia, though the “Arab” now represents the purest form of the Libyan blood. The controversy depends upon the consideration of a wealth of detail, which should be studied in Ridgeway’s book; but zoological authorities are sceptical as to the suggested species, Equus caballus libycus.
- Some fragments of legislation relating to the horse about this period may be gleaned from Ancient Laws and Institutes of England (fol., London, 1840), and Ancient Laws and Institutes of Wales (fol., London, 1841).
- Winner of the Derby.
- Winner of the St Leger.
- Winner of the Oaks.