Turf Hallmarks


 Genetic Markers




 Search our site

 E-mail us


Portraits Index

Other Images

  English Foundation Mares

  Half-Bred Foundation Mares

  Foundation Sires

  Horses That Jump

  Or Use our Search Engine



Bay colt, 1755.
By Regulus - Silvertail by Henage's Whitenose
Godolphin Arabian sire line.
Family 32.

His sire, Regulus

Fearnought was the most important colonial era sire in America and the most important stallion until the arrival of Medley in 1784, some say even up to Diomed (imported in 1798). Bred in England by William Warren, Fearnought was foaled in 1755. His sire was Regulus, one of the best racing sons of the Godolphin Arabian and many times a leading sire of winners in England. His dam was a mare known as Silvertail, or Bay Silvertail, a daughter of Mr. Heneage's Whitenose (by Hall's Arabian), second dam by Rattle (by a son of Harpur's Barb), third dam by Darley's Arabian, fourth dam the Old Child Mare by Sir T. Gresley's Bay Arabian, fifth dam Mr. Cook's Vixen by the Helmsley Turk, sixth dam, a Royal Natural Barb Mare (Dodsworth's dam).

Fearnought was a King's Plate winner, and won four mile heats under high weights and so was considered the most desirable of specimens for importation to improve the small, sprinting types prevalent at the time in the Virginia Colony. He was a big, bright bay horse, very nearly 16 hands high, and very strongly made. So it came to pass that when Virginian Colonel John Baylor sent a very specific order for the kind of stallion he was looking for to his agent in England, the word came back that Fearnought fit the description perfectly. Baylor had asked for "a most beautiful strong bay at least 14.3 hands high, as much higher as possible, provided he has beauty, strength and sp't with it, and one that had won some Kings plates with a pedigree at full length and cert. of age under a noblemen's hand as most of the list belong ot noble'n."

The General Stud Book entry for Fearnought doesn't carry the usual comment "sent to Virginia" as it does for many other exported horses, but does note that Silvertail's next foal, an unnamed 1756 colt by Cade was sent to America in 1762. It's possible that Baylor was aware of this colt, who arrived in America two years before his older brother; Fearnought was on the list of horses to inspect which he sent to his English agents.

Nine-year-old Fearnought arrived in America in March of 1764 and stood at Baylor's Newmarket Plantantion, Caroline County, Virginia until his owner's death. He was then sold and stood three more seasons in southern Virginia, dying at 21 years of age in Greenville County the autumn of 1776.

Fearnought proved the perfect prescription for the existing horse population and he nicked extremely well with the blood of his contemporary, John Randolph's Janus, another grandson of the Godolphin Arabian whose forte was quarter-mile runners. Fearnought injected much needed size, stamina and courage. Because of these same attributes, many of his sons were favored as battle chargers and as a result, lost as casualties during the American Revolutionary War, but it was not enough to put a dent in Fearnought's his long-range influence. His fee was eight pounds (ten to insure a live foal), compared to Janus, standing for four.

Fearnought's leading sons included Symmes' Wildair, Apollo, Dandridge's Fearnought, Harris' Eclipse, King Herod, Matchless, Regulus, Whynot, and Hickman's Independence. A large number of his sons followed him to stud in Virginia, and Symmes' Wildair was a particularly successful stallion, siring Highflyer, Commutation, and Chanticleer (sire of Gracchus). None of Fearnought's sons carried the male line forward more than a generation or two, but Symmes' Wildair in particular appears in the pedigrees of some of the finest American families, largely through the exploits of his daughters as broodmares. [Boston's sire and dam both trace back in female line to daughters of Symmes' Wildair (4x5 in Boston's pedigree).] In this, he followed in the footsteps of his sire, since Fearnought's daughters made him a pre-eminent broodmare sire.

Five Fearnought mares are listed as American foundation mares, establishing the A5 through A9 families, all of them sired by Fearnought out of unknown dams. The daughter establishing the A5 family became the ancestress of numerous top runners including Yorkville Belle, Chesapeake, and Dobbins, and her family is still active, with Kirby's Song, Tour d'Or, Strike Gold, and Thirty Eight Paces among its more recent members. The A6 Fearnought mare was the ancestress of King Alfonso, although the family is no longer active. The A7 Fearnought mare was the ancestress of Tom Ochiltree and Dan Sparling. The name of the A8 Fearnought mare comes down to us, Midge, owned by Sampson Sawyer and a celebrated race mare in her own right. The family continued through her daughter by Symmes' Wildair (and thus inbred to Fearnought). The A9 Fearnought mare was the ancestress of Aristides and Lieber Karl.

Other Fearnought daughters included a daughter of the Janus mare that founded Family A1, whose daughter (by Symmes' Wildar) became the second dam of Ella Crump. Another was a daughter of the Janus mare that founded Family A2, and became the third dam of the important Belle Anderson. Old Poll, by Fearnought, is an important mare in Family A15, dam of the good racehorse and sire President (1788) and tail-female ancestress of Himyar and a host of other American stakes winners. Another was the second dam of Wild Medley, who appears in the pedigree of Hanover. Another became the fifth dam of Lexington. Another became the ancestress of Vingt'un and Hampton's Paragon. Another was the very important mare Young Kitty Fisher (out of the imported mare Kitty Fisher by Cade). Young Kitty Fisher also produced a daughter by Symmes' Wildair who became the fourth dam of Boston. Another Fearnought daughter produced a filly by Harris' Eclipse (a filly inbred 2x2 to Fearnought), who was the second dam of Ball's Florizel.

The A39 family was founded by a mare by Fearnought's son Dandridge's Fearnought, out of a mare by Symmes' Wildair, and so inbred 2x3 to Fearnought himself.

Fearnought's sons and daughters proved so valuable as breeding animals that it is virtually impossible to find a pedigree of a significant American-bred racehorse, stallion, or broodmare prior to 1900 that didn't have multiple strains of Fearnought in strength.

--Anne Peters

FEARNOUGHT, bay colt, 1755 - Family # 32
Godolphin Arabian
-- --
-- --
Grey Robinson
Bald Galloway
St. Victor Barb
Grey Whynot
mare by Snake
Grey Wilkes
(Henage's) Whitenose
Hall's Arabian
mare by Jigg
mare by Brother to Snake
mare by Rattle
Harpur's Barb
a royal mare
mare by Darley Arabian
Darley Arabian
(Old) Child mare

Home   Historic Sires   Historic Dams   Portraits   Turf Hallmarks   Breeders   Genetics   Resources   Contributors   Search   Store   E-mail

©1997 - 2005 Thoroughbred Heritage. All rights reserved.