Thoroughbreds

QUESTION: I would like to know the story of how Lord Darley acquired his Arabian in Aleppo. Was he on duty there? Any source of this information would be appreciated.

ANSWER: It appears that Lord Darley purchased the Darley Arabian in Aleppo. From THE HISTORY AND ROMANCE OF THE HORSE, by David Alexander,

"It was also during the reign of Anne (editor's note: became Queen in 1702) that a man named Darley, serving as Her Majesty's Consul for the Levant, purchased the Arabian horse which was to be the most prepotent of the ancient forbears of the Thoroughbred line. He was originally known as "Ras el Fedowi," which may be translated as "The Headstrong One." He was a purebred Anazah Keheilan from Nejd, the most desirable and virtually unprocurable type of Arab horse. He was a dark bay with a blazed face and three white stockings and stood approximately fifteen or 15.2 hands, according to which contemporary report you read. The British government official bought this animal in Aleppo. He became immortal as the Darley Arabian. The history of his male line ("the tail male," it is called) is the history of ninety percent of today's racehorses."

From KNOW THE ARABIAN HORSE by Gladys Brown Edwards, "The most famous Maneghi (editor's note: a strain of Arabians) of all time, the Darley Arabian was bay."

And, from the BOOK OF HORSES AND HORSE CARE, by Judith Draper, "The Byerly Turk was captured by Captain Byerley at Buda in the 1680s, ridden by him at the Battle of the Boyne and sent to England to stand at stud. His great-grandson Tartar sired Herod, one of the most important sires in Thoroughbred history. The Darley Arabian, foaled in 1700, was acquired by Thomas Darley and sent to England from the Syrian port of Aleppo. He was responsible for founding the Eclipse line -- Eclipse was one of the greatest racehorses of all time. The Godolphin Arabian was foaled in Yemen in 1724, exported to Tunis via Syria, and later given by the Bey of Tunis to the King of France, who subsequently sold him to Edward Coke, from Derbyshire. He was eventually acquired by Lord Godolphin and was responsible for founding the Matchem line. The Herod, Eclipse, and Matchem lines, plus the Highflyer (Highflyer was a son of Herod) are the four principal tail-mail lines of the modern Thoroughbred."

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