|Oysterfoot Arabian c 1700c.
The Oysterfoot Arabian appears in the 5th edition of the
General Stud Book of 1891 [GSB 1:391] in the list
of "Arabians, Barbs, & Turks" that form the fourth
section of this edition. No other information is
provided, although his chronological position in this
list precedes that of the
(b c 1700). In the "Additional Index to the Mares,
arranged under their sires" he is not recorded as the sire of any
His unusual name
may have reflected the nature of his feet. According to
a contemporaneous horse management book "oysterfooted"
was then understood to mean a broad, flat hoof [The
Experienc'd Farrier: 1720].
Stud Book speculates that the Oysterfoot Arabian was
the sire of Miss Hip: the Duke of Ancaster's Merlin Mare
"produced 1722 b f Miss Hip, by Oysterfoot (probably
the Arabian so called)" [GSB 1:7]. Mr Prior appears to
agree in that he has added "[Arabian]" after the Oysterfoot who is entered as the sire of Miss Hip in the
stud records of the 2nd Duke of Ancaster [Early
Records:81]. However, an advertisement in the Ipswich
Journal notes that there was an Oysterfoot who was a
"Son of the famous Merlin belonging to the late Duke of
Ancaster, and out of a Leister Mare that was Sister to
his Grace's Black Legs, who broke his Leg when running
against Fox at Lowes" [Saturday, April 11, 1747]. The Ancaster Merlin (ch c 1700 Pulleine's Chesnut
Arabian) was bred by Robert Bertie (1660-1722/3), 1st
Duke of Ancaster, of Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire.
This latter Oysterfoot is perhaps a more likely
candidate for the sire of Miss Hip. He also got the dam
of Mr Garthside's Fearnought (ch c 1731c Doctor) who
won a fifty at Norwich in 1738.
The only other
Oysterfoot Mare mentioned in the General Stud Book
is the dam of
Helen (b f 1729c
Squirrel), the taproot mare of
[GSB 1:10]. There is as yet no evidence that the sire of
this Oysterfoot Mare was the Oysterfoot Arabian rather
than one of the other stallions named Oysterfoot.
One of the
earliest horses named Oysterfoot (c 1700c) belonged to
either or both of the 1st and 2nd Dukes of Rutland, of
Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire, and was sired by the
Lister Turk. It is possible that this horse was a native
British arabian and the stallion known as the Oysterfoot
Arabian. He was advertised in the Leedes Mercury
as the sire of yet another Oysterfoot (bbr c 1725c),
belonging to John Hitchen, then Ellis Nutter, who
covered in Yorkshire as late as 1750 [March 29, 1743;
April 3, 1744; April 3, 1750]. The possibility exists
that he was the sire of Fair Helen's dam.
Other horses named
Oysterfoot include (1) Mr Frampton's Oysterfoot who ran
in 1720 and 1721, (2) Mr Gipp's Oysterfoot who ran in
1724, (3) Sir William Wyndham's Oysterfoot who ran in
1725 and (4) Oysterfoot, brother to Mr Croft's Old Makeless Mare, the Duke of Devonshire's Scar (b c 1705
Makeless) and Little John.