Jump to: navigation, search

Bull Lea

Bull Lea
Sire Bull Dog
Dam Rose Leaves
Grandsire Teddy
Damsire Ballot
Gender Stallion
Foaled 1935
Country United States
Color Brown
Breeder Coldstream Farm
Owner Calumet Farm
Trainer Frank J. Kearns
Record 23: 5-6-1
Earnings $64,815
Bull Lea is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Rose Leaves by Bull Dog. He was born around 1935 in the United States, and was bred by Coldstream Farm.
Major wins
Blue Grass Stakes (1938)
Kenner Stakes (1938)
Widener Handicap (1939)
Leading sire in North America
(1947, 1948, 1949, 1952, 1953)
Leading broodmare sire in North America
(1958, 1959, 1960, 1961)
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)
Last updated on 4 December 2009

Bull Lea (1935–1964) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse who is best known as the foundation sire responsible for making Calumet Farm one of the most successful racing stables in American history. In their article on Calumet Farm, the International Museum of the Horse in Lexington, Kentucky wrote that Bull Lea was "one of the greatest sires in Thoroughbred breeding history."[1]

Bred by E. Dale Schaffer's Coldstream Stud in Lexington, Kentucky, Bull Lea was sired by Bull Dog and out of the mare, Rose Leaves by Ballot. He was purchased as a yearling by Calumet Farm's Warren Wright, Sr. and sent to race at age two under trainer Frank J. Kearns. The colt finished second in the 1937 Hopeful and Champagne Stakes, two important races for his age group.

At age three, Bull Lea set a new Keeneland Race Course record for nine furlongs in winning the 1938 Blue Grass Stakes. Made a 3:1 second choice by bettors for the Kentucky Derby, he finished eighth and then ran sixth in the Preakness Stakes. The following year, the four-year-old's most important win came in the Widener Handicap.

Sire of seven Hall of Fame inductees

Bull Lea entered stud in 1940 at Calumet Farm's operation in Lexington, Kentucky. He became the Leading sire in North America for five years and Leading broodmare sire for four years. He was also the first sire in the history of American Thoroughbred horse racing to have offspring with earnings of more than $1 million dollars in a single season.

Bull Lea sired fifty-eight stakes winners, seven of which are Hall of Fame members. His progeny includes:

  • Twilight Tear (1941–1954):
    United States Racing Hall of Fame inductee; in 1944 she became the first filly to be voted U.S. Horse of the Year honors
  • Two Lea (1946–1973):
    United States' Racing Hall of Fame inductee, 1949 Co-Champion 3-Yr-Old Filly, 1950 U.S. Champion Older Female Horse
  • Next Move (1947–1968):
    1950 Champion 3-Yr-Old Filly; 1951 U.S. Champion Older Female Horse
  • Real Delight (1949–1969):
    1952 Champion 3-Yr-Old Filly; 1952 U.S. Co-Champion Older Female Horse

Damsire of:

  • Tim Tam (1955–1982):
    United States' Racing Hall of Fame inductee, won 1958 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes
  • Idun (1955):
    1957 U.S. Champion 2-Yr-Old Filly; 1958 U.S. Champion 3-Yr-Old Filly

Grandsire of:

  • Silver Spoon (1956–1978):
    United States Racing Hall of Fame inductee; 1959 U.S. Co-Champion 3-Yr-Old Filly

Bull Lea died on June 16, 1964 at Calumet Farm and is buried there with a statue overlooking his grave.

Pedigree of Bull Lea
Bull Dog
Teddy Ajax Flying Fox
Rondeau Bay Ronald
Plucky Liege Spearmint Carbine
Maid of the Mint
Concertina St. Simon
Comic Song
Rose Leaves
Ballot Voter Friar's Balsam
Cerito Lowland Chief
Merry Dance
Colonial Trenton Musket
Thankful Blossom Paradox
The Apple


  1. [1]
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Leicester, Sir Charles, Bloodstock Breeding, J.A. Allen & Co, London, 1969

External links


Premier Equine Classifieds


Subscribe to our newsletter and keep abreast of the latest news, articles and information delivered directly to your inbox.

Did You Know?

Modern horse breeds developed in response to a need for "form to function", the necessity to develop certain physical characteristics in order to perform a certain type of work... More...

The Gypsy Cob was originally bred to be a wagon horse and pulled wagons or caravans known as Vardos; a type of covered wagon that people lived in... More...

Archaeological evidence indicates that the Arabian horse bloodline dates back 4,500 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses spread around the world by both war and trade.... More...

That the term "Sporthorse" is a term used to describe a type of horse rather than any particular breed... More...