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Herod (horse)

Herod (King Herod)
Sire Tartar
Dam Cypron
Grandsire Partner
Damsire Blaze
Gender Stallion
Foaled 1758
Country Great Britain
Color Bay
Breeder Prince William, Duke of Cumberland
Owner Prince William, Duke of Cumberland, Sir Sir John Moore
Earnings ca. ₤4,500
Herod is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Cypron by Tartar. He was born around 1758 in Great Britain, and was bred by Prince William, Duke of Cumberland.
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)
Last updated on 14 August 2009

Herod (April 1758-12 May 1780), formerly King Herod, later shortened to just Herod in common usage, was a good Thoroughbred racehorse. He was one of the three foundation sires of the modern Thoroughbred racehorse, along with Matchem and Eclipse. Herod was the foundation sire respondsible for keeping the Byerley Turk sire line alive.[1]



Bred by Prince William, Duke of Cumberland, he was by the stallion Tartar, a very good racehorse, who won many races including the Kings plate at Lichffield and the King's plate at Guildford, and the King's plate at Newmarket. In addition to Herod, he produced Thais (dam of Silvertail), Fanny (grandam to King Fergus), the O'Kelly Old Tartar mare (dam of Volunteer), and others. Herod's dam, Cypron (1750 bay filly), was bred by Sir W. St Quintin. Herod was a half-brother Lady Bolingbroke (dam of Tetotum, Epsom Oaks) and a mare (1757) (dam of Clay Hall Marske) by Regulus.[2]


Herod was a fine, bay horse standing 15.3 hands high with a small star and no white on his legs.[3] He was a powerful horse that was especially good at four-mile distances.[4]

Racing career

Herod began racing at five, the usual age to begin training for this period, in October 1763 winning a race on the four mile Beacon course at Newmarket. At age six, he won another race at Newmarket, followed by a four-miler at Ascot and a match against Antinous over the Beacon course. When he was seven, his owner died and he was sold in a dispersal sale to Sir John Moore, and it wasn't until 1766 that he returned to the track, where won again against Antinous in a match over the same course.

His career began to close at this point, as he lost to Ascham, then to Turf, and then finished last in a race at York, after a bleeding attack. He started twice the following year, before retiring to stud.

Breeding career

Herod retired in 1770 and stood at the stud of Sir John Moore at Neather Hall, for a fee of 10 guineas, later raised to 25 guineas.[3] He was the leading sire in Great Britain eight times, (1777 to 1784), before his son, Highflyer(1785 to 1796, 1798) and grandson Sir Peter Teazle (1799 to 1802, and 1804 to 1809) took over. Herod's male line continues today in the pedigree of the 2007 Eclipse Stakes winner, Notnowcato. His most important offspring include:

  • Florizel: 1768 bay colt, won 16 races out of 23 starts. Sired Diomed, winner of the first Derby and incredibly influential sire in America.
  • Woodpecker: 1773 chestnut colt, won the Craven Stakes in 1778, 1779 and 1781, and a 1,400 guineas handicap sweep in 1780 and 140 guineas purse at Newmarket in 1781, both times beating Potoooooooo. Sired Buzzard (sire of Selim, sire of Sultan, sire of Glencoe), Chanticleer, and Ephemera (winner of the Oaks).
  • Highflyer: 1774 bay colt, the most important son of Herod. Unbeaten in 14 races, leading sire several times, one of the 4 foundation lines of the classic Thoroughbred. Got Sir Peter Teazle, Rockingham, Delpini, Escape, St. George, and broodmare Prunella.
  • Phoenomenon: won the St. Leger, leading sire
  • Fortitude: sire of John Bull
  • Justice: sired Rhadamanathus, Daedalus, and Trifle

Herod sired the winners of 497 races worth ₤201,505.[4]

He was still covering mares until his death, at age 22, at Netherhall (written as Neather Hall in the old calendars) on 12 May 1780.[3][5]

Pedigree of Herod (26) (B.h. 1758)
ch. 1743
ch. 1718
br. 1701
Byerley Turk
Mare by Spanker
Sister to Mixbury Curwen Bay Barb
Curwen Spot Mare
ch. 1729
b. 1714
Bay Peg
Whartons Snail
Shields Galloway
br. 1750
Flying Childers
bay 1715
Darley Arabian
Betty Leedes
Confederate filly
Grey Grantham
Rutland's Black Barb
blk. 1733
Bethells Arabian
Mare by Champion Graham's Champion
Mare by Darley Arabian


  1. Craig, Dennis, Breeding Racehorses from Cluster Mares, J A Allen, London, 1964
  2. ASB - Cypron Retrieved on 2009-8-14
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Montgomery, E.S, “The Thoroughbred”, Arco, New York, 1973 ISBN 0-668-02824-6
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ahnert, Rainer L. (editor in chief), “Thoroughbred Breeding of the World”, Pozdun Publishing, Germany, 1970
  5. Morris, Simon; Tesio Power 2000 - Stallions of the World

External links


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