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Squirrel (GB)





Sire Line

Lister Turk




Squirrel [Williams's] b c 1719 (Snake - Mare, by Acaster Turk). Sire Line Lister Turk. Family 70.

Bred by Mr Smith of Middleham, Yorkshire, and later owned by Richard Williams of Cheshire, Squirrel was a full-brother to Easby Snake, the sire of Mother Western, she the 2nd dam of Eclipse (ch c 1764 Marske). Racing from 1724 through 1726, generally in four-mile heats, he was said to be the best horse of his time for high weights.

Following his career on the turf Squirrel was sold to Ambrose Cowley for 500 guineas. After Cowley's death Squirrel returned to Richard Williams who owned him until his death. In the stud his sole contribution1 appears to be Fair Helen, the taproot mare of Family 10.

The pedigree given below for Squirrel differs from that recorded in the General Stud Book in that his second dam is shown as a daughter of the Layton Grey Barb instead of as a daughter of a Son of Pulleine's Arabian, also called Rockwood. Highflyer presents evidence that this son was also sometimes known as the Layton Grey Barb.

The General Stud Book [1:413] also states that Williams’s Squirrel was sometimes referred to as Lister’s Squirrel. This statement is difficult to accept for three reasons. First and foremost, there is no trace of any Mr Lister among the known owners of Williams’ Squirrel.

Second, "Lister’s Squirrel" was, according to both Pick and Cheny2, another name for Fox Cub, whose pedigree is entirely unrelated to that of Williams’s Squirrel. The identification of Lister's Squirrel with Fox Cub makes more sense because Fox Cub and his close relative, Fox, were both bred by Sir Ralph Assheton and the husband of Assheton's daughter Catherine was Thomas Lister. Thomas and his wife appear to have acquired Fox and Fox Cub following the death of Sir Ralph, which occurred in 1716, when both colts were two years old. (Fox Cub’s race record clearly shows that he ran for "Mr" Lister – probably Thomas, not Matthew3 – under the name of Squirrel; it is not clear when he began to be called Fox Cub).

Third, one of the mares specifically said in the General Stud Book to have produced a daughter by Lister’s Squirrel also has a daughter attributed to Fox Cub. This implies two possibilities: either the mare was mated to the same stallion twice, or there was in fact only one daughter, her sire having been known by two different names.

The sire of Williams’s Squirrel was Snake, also called Old Snake or Lister's Snake. Snake is presumed to have been the property of Matthew Lister, who stood his sire, known as Lister's Turk. It seems plausible enough to suspect that Williams’s Squirrel, son of Matthew Lister's Snake, was misidentified as Thomas Lister’s Squirrel simply because both had a connection to a Mr Lister. The confusion between two different horses could easily have been due to a failure to distinguish between two different men.

1 The General Stud Book attributes two other offspring to "Squirrel (Lister's or Williams's)" [GSB1:413]: a filly from Family 8 who was the grandam of Sir R Grosvenor's Tweedle by Rib [GSB1:3], and another filly from Family 8 who was the dam of a filly by Hutton's Blacklegs [GSB1:7]. However, on page 3 there are two offspring recorded by Lister's Squirrel; the second one is also from Family 8 but has no known offspring. Additionally GSB records a Lister's Squirrel Mare from Family 56 who is thought to be the 4th dam of the American horse Batte & Macklin's Fearnought (b c 1777 Fearnought*) [GSB1:59; E1:233].

2 "Fox-Cub, also called Squirrel, (a bay horse - foaled in 1714,) Bred by Sir Ralph Ashton, Bart and sold to Matthew Lister, Esq Fox-Cub was also got by Clumsy; his dam was called Charming Jenny, by Leedes's Arabian, out of a mare of Mr Leedes's of the same name, got by an Arabian" [Pick1:12]. Mr Cheny agrees that Fox Cub was also called Squirrel: "Fox was bred by the late Sir Ralph Ashton Bart who purchased two Fillies of Mr Leeds, and cover'd them both in one Season with Clumsey, one of which Covers produced Fox, the other Fox Cub or Squirrel" [Cheny:1743].

3 Thomas Lister of Gisburne Park, the son-in-law of Sir Ralph Assheton, although distantly related to Matthew Lister, was from a different family, Matthew being from Burwell Park. Matthew was one of the first two of three successive generations of "Matthew Lister of Burwell Park," the first of whom married Eleanor Dymoke.

Sandra K. Snider and Richard Nash

Squirrel Snake Lister's Turk  
Hautboy Mare Hautboy
Acaster Turk Mare Acaster Turk  
Layton Barb Mare Layton Grey Barb
Brimmer Mare
Race Record
In July of 1724 at Bridgenorth he won a 300 guineas match, defeating Mr Cresswell's Tatney (br c Old Wyndham), both carrying 8st 7lbs over four miles. Later the same year he won a 40 purse at Chesterfield.
In August of 1725 at York he won the King's Plate for six year olds, beating Leonard Childers's Wanton Willy (b c 1719 Darley Arabian), Mr Witty's bay colt Boynton, Mr Purea's bay filly Diana, Mr B Darley's black colt Black Tom and Mr Graham's bay colt Stradler, each carrying 12 stone in four-mile heats. (Leonard Childers also owned Childers (b c 1714)). In October at Newmarket, Squirrel won the King's Plate, beating Colonel Butler's Fox (b c Hartley's Blind Horse), the Duke of Somerset's Wyndham (b c 1719 Old Wyndam), and Mr Gulston's bay mare, each carrying 12 stone in four-mile heats. He also won the King's Plate at Lincoln.
In April of 1726 he won the King's Plate at Newmarket, beating the Duke of Devonshire's Tick-Tack (ch c Old Scar), the Duke of Bolton's Bay Wanton (b c 1719 Bay Bolton), the Duke of Somerset's Windham and Colonel Butler's Fox, each carrying 12 stone in four-mile heats.
Notable Offspring
Fair Helen b f 1728 (Williams's Squirrel - Mare, by Oysterfoot). Sire Line Lister Turk. Family 10.
Lord Gower's Fair Helen won the 600 guineas Wallasey Stakes at Newmarket in April of 1734. In this race for five year olds, all carrying 9 stone, she defeated the Duke of Devonshire's Blacklegs (br c 1728 Childers), the Duke of Somerset's Quibble [Slouch] and Lord Lonsdale's Ugly (b c 1728 Lonsdale's Bay Arabian). She also placed 3rd in His Majesty's 100 guineas for five year old mares, all twenty entries carrying 10 stone in four-mile heats, on August 4, 1733 at Hambleton. The race was won by Mr Durham's Favourite (gr f 1728 Bald Galloway Colt), followed by Mr Witty's Belinda (ch f 1728 Old Royal). Mr Warson's grey filly Miss Fox finished 4th; seventeen others started.  In September of 1735 she was distanced for the 90gs Ladies' Plate at Lincoln, won by Mr Carr's Dusty Miller (gr g 1728 Young Greyhound), with Mr Hutton's chestnut colt Creeper placing 2nd, Lord Portmore's bay filly Ebony 3rd,  4th; the field included Mr Rawlinson's roan filly Miss Wilkinson, Mr Honeywood's bay colt Whitelegs, Mr Bethell's Poor Robin (br c 1728 Bethell's Arabian) and the Duke of Ancaster's grey colt Wynn.

© 1996-2008 Thoroughbred Bloodlines. © 1999-2008 DigiGrate LLC.

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