amerigo, breeding prejudice for or against color, character of racehorses, ep taylor, hyperion, lady angela, nearco, nearctic, royal charger
Does anyone know of a contemporary stallion whose reception by breeders or buyers has been influenced positively or negatively by the color of his foals?
There are some historical examples such as Nearco, who have suffered from prejudices about the color of their foals, but I was curious about the continuing existence of this particular line of thought.
With regard to Nearco, who was such a dark brown that he appeared black in some situations, doubtless one reason that breeders and buyers disliked the chestnuts was that they looked so little like their great sire, at least on the surface.
When EP Taylor purchased the wonderful Hyperion mare Lady Angela in foal to Nearco in 1952, she foaled a chestnut colt the following year (stakes-placed Empire Day) and was bred back to Nearco. Allegedly one of the reasons Taylor was able to get a season to the stallion was breeder dissatisfaction with chestnut foals. Taylor imported the mare with her foal at side, and she was carrying Nearctic from the 1953 breeding.
Another allegation against the chestnuts by Nearco was that they weren’t genuine. Well, certainly most of the Nearco stock was fairly high strung, but I cannot see any basis for saying the chestnuts were less genuine than the others.
Furthermore, Nearco’s chestnut offspring, although not numerous, were nonetheless sometimes very high class. The two best were surely his sons Royal Charger and Amerigo. The latter was a favorite for the English Derby and possessed high class, but he actually was a wayward animal.
After his export from England to race in the US, Amerigo improved in reliability, and he also proved that he had outstanding ability, first as a racehorse and then as a sire. At stud, he sired 20 stakes winners (16 percent) from 126 foals, including major winners Amerigo Lady, Fort Marcy, Politely, and Terrible Tiger.