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Belair Stud

Belair Stud was an American thoroughbred horse racing stable and breeding farm founded by Provincial Governor of Maryland, Samuel Ogle[1] in 1747 in Collington, Prince Georges County, Maryland in Colonial America.


Colonial Period

Queen Mab and Spark were the first pair English-bred Thoroughbred horses imported to the Province of Maryland. Spark was given to Ogle by Frederick Calvert, 6th Baron Baltimore during Ogle's trip to England in 1740 and presented to Ogle by the Prince of Wales.[2] These two horses established the Belair Stud legacy.[1]

Later, Benjamin Tasker, Jr. brought Selima to Belair where she became a prominent producer.[2]

The Woodward Family

In 1898 the property was sold to the wealthy New York City banker James T. Woodward.[3] who built large new stables in 1907. On his passing his will bequeathed the property to his nephew, William Woodward, Sr. who built Belair Stud and Stable into the pre-eminent United States racing and breeding operation during the 1930s, 40's and 50's.

During World War I, American horsemen were able to purchase well-bred foals from French breeders who could not afford to feed them during the extremely difficult war years. Some were bought directly by breeders while many were purchased by brokers who immediately resold them in America at the various Thoroughbred auctions. As such, William Woodward, Sr. was able to build his broodmare band on French imports.[4]

Under William Woodward, Sr. the farm produced some of the greatest thoroughbred racehorses in the United States. He was part of a syndicate of breeders who purchased Sir Gallahad III in France and brought him to America. Some of Woodward's most famous horses were Gallant Fox and Omaha, the only father and son horses to ever win the U.S. Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing.


In 1752, Selima won the biggest prize of the era, 2,500 pistoles at Gloucester, Virginia which marked "the beginning of the remarkable racing contests between the rival colonies of Maryland and Virginia."[2]

From 1923 to 1953, Belair Stud horses won 631 races, were second 568 times, and third 540 times. Included in their victories were numerous important stakes races and five of their horses were voted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Under trainer Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons, the stable won the following prestigious U.S. Triple Crown races:

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Baltz, Shirley Vlasak (1984). A Chronicle of Belair. Bowie, Maryland: Bowie Heritage Committee. pp. 9, 14–19. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Deubler, Cindy (2002-05). "Belair Museums stand in path of "Progress"". Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred: 22–27 
  3. Baltz, Shirley Vlasak (1984). A Chronicle of Belair. Bowie, Maryland: Bowie Heritage Committee. pp. 70–73. 
  4. "Foundation Mares: Ampola". Thoroughbred Times. 2000-04-22. http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/weekly-feature-articles/2000/April/22/Foundation-Mares-Ampola.aspx. 

Further reading

Harrison, Fairfax; Lasker, Edward; Lasker, Cynthia (1929). The Belair Stud 1747-1761. Richmond, Virginia: Old Dominion Press. OCLC 3367781. http://books.google.com/?id=ESxTGQAACAAJ. 


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