Darley Arabian

Courtesy of Fores Gallery

Top, painting by J N Sartorius.

Middle, a life-size painting by an anonymous
Yorkshire artist dated 1709c said to have hung
in the hall at Aldby along with one of Aleppo and
another of Mother Neasham. The painting itself
measures 9 feet 4 inches by 7 feet; from this it
can be deduced that the Darley Arabian stood
15 hands high.

Bottom, painting by John Wootton, described
on the canvas as "An Arabian Horse belonging
to John Brewster Darley Esq of Aldby."


Sire Line

Darley Arabian



Courtesy of Country Life
Aleppo, by Darley Arabian, with
Mrs Jane Brewster Darley







Sportley, by Spinner




Darley Arabian b c 1700. Sire Line Darley Arabian.

He was purchased in Aleppo by Thomas Darley, for his father Richard Darley at Aldby Park, near York, England, in 1704. Richard Darley died in 1706, being succeeded by his eldest son Henry. On Henry's death in 1720, his sister Jane inherited Adlby, and she later married John Brewster of Hertfordshire, who added the name Darley to his own. The horse stood at Aldby, under its succeeding owners, for the rest of his life. [Royal Studs:126]

The General Stud Book says he was probably a Turk or a Syrian horse, however, the eminent authority Sir Theodore Cook says he was the only authentically pure Anazah Arabian in the stud book. He stood about 15 hands.

Thomas, a consul at Aleppo, discussed the Darley Arabian in a letter (dated December 21, 1703) to his brother Henry. "The colt, bought about a year and a half ago, with a design to send him to my father the very first opportunity. He comes four years old the latter end of March, or beginning of April next. His colour is bay, and his near fore-foot before, with his hind-feet, has white upon them. He has a blaze down his face, something of the largest. He is about fifteen hands high, of the most esteemed race among the Arabs, both by sire and dam, and the name is called Mannicka. Shall send him over by an intimate friend of mine, the Hon and Rev Henry Brydges, son to Lord Chandos, who embarks in the Ipswich, Captain W Waklin. Hope he will not be much disliked; for he is highly esteemed here, where I could have sold him at a very considerable price, if I had not designed him for England. I have desired Mr Brydges to deliver him to my brother John, or my cousin Charles Waite, who he can find (sic); and they are to follow my father's orders in sending him into the country.

In a conversation with John Cheny in 1743, John Brewster Darley (1670-1743) noted that the Darley Arabian had covered very few well-bred mares with the exception of Almanzor's dam, the Old Hautboy Mare [Cheny 1743:xxvi], and that although Dart, Manica and Skipjack were good plate horses their dams were bad mares. Given his limited opportunities at home the Darley Arabian appears to have significantly upgraded his mares, many of whom remain unidentified.

Credit is due Leonard Childers who had purchased one of his colts, Whistlejacket, and subsequently thought highly enough of the Darley Arabian to later send his mare Betty Leedes to him twice, the result being the two great brothers Childers and Bartlet's Childers. Through Bartlet's Childers (b c c1716), sire of Squirt, who sired Marske, who sired Eclipse, the Darley Arabian established the sire line to which most living thoroughbreds trace in tail-male. Bartlet's Childers was Champion Sire in 1742. His full brother Childers (b c 1714), thought the fastest horse the world had ever seen, was Champion Sire in both 1730 and 1736.

Other sons made notable contributions as well, including Aleppo and Bulle Rock. Wanton Willy (b c 1719) placed 2nd in the King's Plate at York in 1725, Cupid and Dart were both said to be good Plate horses and Daedalus was said to be a very fleet horse.

A Champion Sire in 1722, the Darley Arabian remained at Aldby Park, with the exception of a season spent with the Duke of Leedes in exchange for a prize bull, until his death.

For a history of the Darley Arabian written by Peter Darley, a descendant of John Brewster Darley, please visit the Genuki website Darley Arabian page.

Darley Arabian Mares
1. Darley Arabian Mare, bred by Sir William Ramsden and later owned by the Duke of Bolton, she was the dam of the Duke's Bonny Lass (b f 1723 Bay Bolton), the taproot mare of Family 1-a, and of Sister to Bonny Lass who produced the winner Alfred (b c 1749 Sedbury) and the stallion Sultan (gr c 1732 Lonsdale Arabian). Darley Arabian Mare also produced their brother, Godolphin Whitefoot (b c 1719 Bay Bolton), a worthy stallion, who won a 200 guineas match against the Somerset Cinnamon (ch c 1722 Wyndham).
2. Darley Arabian Mare, foundation mare of Family 26, and 4th dam of King Herod (b c 1758 Tartar) and Protector (br c 1770 Matchem).
3. Darley Arabian Mare, 4th dam of the Duke of Hamilton's Figure (gr c 1747 Old Standard) and Mr Curzon's Jason (gr c 1749 Old Standard).
4. Darley Arabian Mare, bred by Mr Bethell of Rise, at Holderness, Yorkshire, a foundation mare of Family 31 and 5th dam of St Leger winner Ruler (b c 1777 Young Marske). In the pedigree of Red Rose the General Stud Book suggests the dam of Darley Arabian Mare is Merlin Mare [GSB 1:163] although most other sources attribute her to Sister to Ruffler.
5. Kitty Burdett, owned by Mr Burdett, 2nd dam of Mr Brooke's Lady Thigh (b f 1747 Grisewood's Partner), who won Fifties at Rugby, Wells, Northampton, Chipping-Norton, Hounslow, Knutsford and Reading. She also walked-over for the City Plate at Salisbury. Kitty Burdett and her three sisters, Sister to Kitty Burdett, the Stanhope Mare and Whimsey were all from Family 32.
6. Sister to Kitty Burdett, 2nd dam of Silvertail (ro f 1737 Heneage's Whitenose), she the dam of Warren's Careless (ch c 1751 Regulus), Warren's Sportsman (b c 1753 Cade) and *Fearnought (b c 1755 Regulus). Silvertail won Fifties at Nottingham and Leicester in 1742 and 1743, after which she produced Whimsey. She was later put back in training and in 1748 won Fifties at York, Lichfield (twice), Chipping-Norton, Derby and Maidenhead.
7. Stanhope Mare (f 1711) was first owned by Mr Burdett who sold her to Lord Chesterfield, she later became the dam of Lord Godolphin's Sophy (b c 1729 Matthew's Persian).
8. Whimsey (f 1712) was bred by Sir Robert Burdett who presented her as a yearling to Viscount Tracy. Said to be a good Plate mare herself, she was the dam of Lord Middleton's Saucebox (c c1730 Jigg).
9. Lugg's Mare, bred by Sir Matthew Pierson, 2nd dam of Silverleg (ch c 1743 Young Cartouch), winner of twelve Fifties, 3rd dam of Ascham (br c 1759 Regulus), winner of a 1000 guineas match against King Herod (b c 1758 Tartar), and 4th dam of *Oscar (ch c 1760 Young Snip).
10. Lord Lonsdale's Darley Arabian Mare was said to be in a very good form. She is possibly the dam of Bonny Lass from Family 1.


Other Notable Offspring

Aleppo (GB)
b c 1711 (Darley Arabian - Mare, by Hautboy). Sire Line Darley Arabian. Family 53. Aleppo was bred in Yorkshire by John Brewster, prior to his marriage to Jane Darley. A tradition in the Darley family is that Aleppo was a chesnut, although most of the old authorities say that he was a bay. His markings appear to echo those of his sire. In 1716 he won the 30 Ladies' Plate for 5 year olds at York, beating Lord Chesterfield's grey colt Kingfisher, Lord Lonsdale's bay colt Brisk, Mr Curwen's Ladylegs and 6 others, all carrying 10 stone over four miles. In 1717 he finished 3rd in His Majesty's Gold Cup for six year olds at York, won by the Duke of Ancaster's Greathead (b c), with the Duke of Rutland's Commissioner (gr c) placing 2nd, beating Mr Barstow's Scrub (b c). In 1719 he finished 2nd in a 40 Plate for aged horses at York, won by Mr Dashwood's True Blue (gr c Honeywood's Arabian), beating Mr Ascough's Castaway (ch c), in three 4-mile heats, with all carrying 11 stone. Purchased by Mr Bawtry, he retired to stud. Although he was said to have gotten very few well-bred mares he nevertheless sired Hobgoblin (br c 1724), whose union with the descendants of the Moonah Barb Mare helped establish Family 21, Spark* (c c1733), and Mr Hassell's (later Lord Weymouth's) King's Plate winner Scrutineer (br c 1732).
Aleppo Mares
1. Pelham Mare (ch f 1728), who was confused in the General Stud Book with a Danger Mare, although it is possible that they may have been the same mare [GSB 1:8]. According to GSB the Danger Mare was barren in 1742 and subsequently sent to Ireland [GSB 1:76]. According to Edward Coke's stud book she was in the Coke Stud and sold in 1741 to Mr Hawkins [Royal Studs:140].
2. Aleppo Mare (f 1738c), dam of Mr Wildman's Jupiter (b c 1754 Babraham) who finished 4th in the Great Subscription at York in 1758, won by the Duke of Devonshire's filly.

Scrutineer (GB)

b c 1732 (Aleppo - Mare, by Hall's Arabian - Humming Hall's Dam). Sire Line Darley Arabian. Bred by Mr Hassell he was later owned by Lord Viscount Weymouth, Lord Leigh, Mr Stevens, Mr Clark, and finally Mr Lee. In 1736, he won the 20 Plate for 4yos at Hunmanby. In 1737 he finished 2nd for the 60 Ladies' Plate at York, won by Mr Hutton's Black Chance (bl c 1732 Hutton's Bay Barb), beating Mr Bethell's Ruffler (ch c 1732 Bethell's Arabian), Lord Lonsdale's Sultan (gr c 1732 Lonsdale Grey Arabian) and 3 others. Running for Lord Weymouth in 1738 he won the King's Plate at Nottingham, beating, at four heats, Mr Neale's Sweepstakes, Lord Gower's Marmot, Mr Tuting's Spot, Mr Green's Countrywench and Mr Hutton's Red Rose (ch c 1732 Bartlet's Childers). He also won the King's Plate at York, beating, at two heats, Mr Neale's Sweepstakes, and Mr Thornborough's Belgrade. In 1740 he won 50 at Nottingham distancing 3 others, and 50 at York, beating Mr Spinks's Whitelegs and Mr Hassell's Surley. In the stud he got Lord Eglintoun's Turtle, Mr Vernon's Surley and others but was said to have covered very few mares. In 1746 he covered at the White Lion in Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, for a 12s fee. In 1747 he was in the hands of Mr Fletcher, at the King's Head in Biscester, Oxfordshire, for a fee of 15s. He was purchased by Mr Lee in the dispersal sale following the death of Lord Leigh.
Spark (GB)
c 1733c (Aleppo - Sister to Look-About-You, by Bartlet's Childers). Family 28. Sire Line Darley Arabian. Bred by Lord Tankerville and owned successively by Charles Fleetwood, the Prince of Wales, Lord Baltimore, Samuel Ogle and Benjamin Tasker. A gift from Frederick, Prince of Wales to Lord Baltimore, and thence to Governor Samuel Ogle, Spark was sent to Maryland in 1747. One of the pioneer stallions in Maryland he remained in Ogle's stud until the latter's death in 1752 when he moved on to Benjamin Tasker's Bellair Stud. He covered there until at least 1756. His illustrious mates included both Queen Mab* and Moll Brazen*; their offspring numbering Hopper's Pacolet, Gantt's Mille and Tasker's Moll Brazen among them. Spark was not included in the Tasker dispersal sale of 1761 so it's seems probable that he died before then.
Almanzor (GB)
ch c 1713 (Darley Arabian - Mare, by Hautboy). Sire Line Darley Arabian. Family 53. Bred in Yorkshire by John Brewster he was described as a remarkably fine, well-bred horse, who was a good runner. In 1719, starting for the Hon W Stanhope, he placed 3rd in the Gold Cup at York, won by the Earl of Carlisle's Buckhunter (ch c 1713 Bald Galloway), followed by Mr Mackworth's Sober John, beating two others. A public stallion, he covered many mares although few of his offspring raced, despite which, he got his namesake, Mr Williams's and later Sir Peter Soame's Almanzor (ch c 1726), who won Royal Plates at Nottingham and Newmarket and the Duke of Bolton's Mary Grey (gr f 1726) who won the Royal Plate at Hambleton in 1731. His daughter Sister to Spinner was the dam of the famous Old Traveller (b c 1735 Croft's Partner). His most successful son was probably Spinner.
Spinner (GB)
gr c 1727 (Almanzor - Sister to Bay Bolton, by Grey Hautboy). Sire Line Darley Arabian. Family 37. Bred by  Mr Osbaldeston of Hunmanby he was later purchased by Lord Portmore. Spinner got the very successful Sportley (b f 1740) who won Fifties at Peterborough, Newmarket, Warwick, Leicester, Huntingdon and Hounslow, along with the Town Plates at Chester and Newmarket. She also won a 50 guineas match at Newmarket against Lord Portmore's Moorcock (gr c 1740 Hutton's Blacklegs). Spinner also sired the dam of Mr Preston's noted runner Hero [ex-Slape] (gr c 1753 Cade).
Brisk (GB)
ch c 1711 (Darley Arabian - Coneyskins' Dam by Jigg). Sire Line Darley Arabian. The General Stud Book notes that Brisk was a half-brother to Coneyskins (gr c 1712 Lister Turk) [GSB1:378], however, sources conflict. There is likely more than one Brisk and more than one Coneyskins that have been been confused. In any case he was said to be a good horse and, running for Lord Lonsdale, he placed 3rd in the Ladies' Plate at York in 1716, won by Mr Darley's Aleppo, followed by the Earl of Chesterfield's Kingfisher, beating Mr Curwen's Ladylegs, Mr Metford's Favourite and two others. In the stud he is credited with getting Mr. Cole's Foxhunter.
Foxhunter (GB)
[Cole's] bbr c 1727 (Brisk - Brown Betty, by Basto). Sire Line Darley Arabian. Family 5. Foxhunter, son of the Duke of Rutland's Brown Betty, was owned by Mr Cole. In 1734 he won 30 guineas at Lambourn, beating Mr Bradley's Jigg along with two others. In his next engagement he won another 30 guineas at Newport-Pagnel, beating Mr Garthside's Bonny Dundee. In 1735 he won the 40 guineas Town Plate at Salisbury. He next won 40 guineas at Winchester carrying 11 stone (154 pounds), beating Mr St John's Achilles and Mr Bradley's Chance. He then won 20 guineas at Marlborough, 30 guineas at Newport-Pagnel, beating Sir Michael Newton's Brisk, 40 guineas at Northampton, beating Mr Rich's Merry Tom, and 20 at Henley-upon-Thames. In 1736 he won 40 at Winchester, beating Mr St John's Achilles, 30 guineas at Northampton, beating Mr Fleetwood's Whitefoot and the Duke of Ancaster's Driver (gr c 1727 Wynn's Arabian). He also won 30 at Tewkesbury, beating Mr Howe's Cuddy, and 50 guineas at Oxford, beating Mr Major's Whitestockings, the Duke of Ancaster's Driver and Lord Portmore's Partner. In 1737 he won 30 at Rugby. In the stud he got Lord Chedworth's Foxhunter (b c 1750) who very seldom raced although he did win a Fifty at Tetbury in 1755, beating Mr Cornwall's Redstreak (b c 1750 Regulus), Mr Kingscote's Trifle and others. Cole's Foxhunter got numerous other credible runners as well as the dam of the good mare Molly Long Legs (b f 1753 Babraham).
Bulle Rock (GB)*
b c 1709 (Darley Arabian - Mare, by Byerley Turk - Mare, by Lister Turk - Natural Arabian mare). Sire Line Darley Arabian. Owned by Mr Metcalfe and the Earl of Huntingdon, he had a respectable turf career in England. He was said to be a "good plate horse, though out of an indifferent mare" [Pick 1:13]. There is some doubt that his dam line is as shown. In 1713 he placed 4th in the 30 Ladies' Plate at York, won by Mr Hutton's Careless, followed by Mr Stapleton's Hazard and Sir William Ramsden's Spot (gr c 1709 Curwen's Spot). In July of 1714 he placed 2nd in the 30 Ladies' Plate at York, won by Mr Childers's Whitefoot (ch c 1709 Hutton's Grey Barb), beating Mr Hildyard's Brisk and ten others. On August 24, 1715 he placed 2nd in the 100 guineas Royal Gold Cup at York, won by the Duke of Rutland's Brocklesby (b c 1709 Curwen's Bay Barb), beating Mr Metcalfe's own Smiling Kit, Mr Hildyard's Brisk and Mr Curwen's Jew Trump who fell lame. On August 29 at the same meeting he placed 2nd in the 60 Gold Cup at York, won by the Duke of Rutland's Whitefoot, beating three others. In August of 1716 he won a 30 Plate at York, beating Mr Pulleine's, later Mr Dyer's, famous Dimple (ch c 1708 Leedes Arabian) and Sir William Blackett's Bagpiper (ch c c1708 Thoulouse Barb). The first heat, won by Dimple, was thought one of the finest ever run, being "most severely contested" for the whole four miles by all three horses. Bagpiper went lame in the second heat, apparently from holes in the course which had been improperly filled, and had to be withdrawn. Bulle Rock won the the last two heats. In July of 1717, he placed 3rd in a 30 Plate at York, won by Sir William Lowther's Wagtail, followed by Mr Darley's Skipjack, beating Mr Pulleine's Dimple, with both Bulle Rock and Dimple said to be lame. In 1718 he placed 2nd in a 40 Plate at York, won by Mr Pulleine's Sly, beating Mr Stapleton's Bridget and Mr Howard's Crutches, although it was the opinion of onlookers that Crutches would have won had his rider not intentionally thrown himself off close to the distance post while the horse was on the lead. Bulle Rock has the distinction of being the first "thoroughbred" horse to come to America. He is thought to have been imported into Virginia at the age of twenty-one by James Patton, a merchant mariner, and to have been owned by Samuel Gist of Hanover County, Virginia, around 1731.
Gander (GB)
b c 1720 (Darley Arabian - Sister to Quiet by Leedes). Family 9. Owned by the Duke of Bolton, he was half-brother to Mr Panton's famous Molly (ch f 1713 Thoulouse Barb) who won a number of high stakes matches at Newmarket from 1721 to 1723. In the stud his singular achievement was the third dam of Cunegonde (b f 1769 Blank), a foundation mare of Family 42.
Manica (GB)
b c 1707 (Darley Arabian - Jester, by Old Merlin). Sire Line Darley Arabian. Bred by Mr Darley, he was full brother to Skipjack (ch c 1710 Darley Arabian). A good runner, he won several plates and prizes, including a 3rd placing in the Gold Cup at York in 1713. In the stud he got the good winners Mr Humberston's Stump (b c 1724), who won Royal Plates at York, Nottingham and Lincoln in 1730, and Captain Appleyard's Black Mare (bl f 1722) who won the Royal Plate at Hambleton in 1727 beating twenty-four others. Through his son, Botterill's Horse, Manica contributed to the foundation of the Yorkshire Coach Horse.
Stump (GB)
b c 1724 (Manica - Mare, by Lister's Snake). Sire Line Darley Arabian. Family 104. Bred by Mr White, he first ran under the name of Ladies' Toy. Described as a well marked, very strong brown bay, he stood 14 hands 3 inches. In 1729 Mr Humberston's Ladies' Toy finished 2nd for a 30gs Plate for 5 year olds at Epsom in May, which was won by Mr Dashwood's Tarran (ch c 1724 Tarran's Black Barb), beating Sir W Bagot's chestnut colt Squirrel, Sir MNewton's Dumplin (ch c 1724), Mr Greville's chestnut colt Squirrel and seven others. He also finished 2nd for the Royal Plate at Ipswich in June, won by Sir R Fagg's Goldenlocks (ch c 1724 Alcock's Arabian), beating Lord W Manners's Roger (ch c 1724 Cyprus Arabian), the Duke of Somerset's brown colt, Mr Williamson's Miss Alcock (b f 1724 Alcock's Arabian), Sir M Newton's Sharpless (gr g 1724 Hutton's Turk) and three others who were distanced in the first heat. He then finished 4th for a 60 Gold Cup at York in August, won by Captain Appleyard's Craftsman (gr c 1724 Smiling Tom). In 1730 he won a 30 Plate for 6 year olds at Malton in June, defeating Mr Smith's Snake [ex-Midge] (gr c 1724 Jigg), Mr Taylor's Polly Peachum (b f 1724 Smiling Tom) and Mr Brewster's Miss Almahide (ch f 1724 Almanzor). In July he won both heats of the Royal Plate at Nottingham, beating Mr Atkinson's bay colt Sampson, Mr Shepherd's Foreigner (b c 1724 Howe's Persian) and two others who were distanced in the first heat. In August he again won both heats of the Royal Plate at York, beating Sir M Wyvill's Scarborough Colt (bl c 1724 Tifter), Mr Brewster's chestnut colt Little-thought-of, Mr Henley’s Salisbury Steeple (ch c 1724 Almanzor) and Lord James Cavendish’s Young Mountain. At the end of August yet again he won both heats of the Royal Plate at Lincoln, beating Sir M Wyvill's Scarborough Colt who was withdrawn after the first heat and Mr Wildbore's grey colt Better-Luck [ex-True Blue] who was distanced. He finished 2nd for the Royal Plate at Newmarket in October won by Mr Shepherd's Tarran (ch c 1724 Tarran's Black Barb), beating Mr Coke's Hobgoblin (br c 1724 Aleppo). In 1732, running for Lord Portmore, he finished 2nd for for a 50 Plate at Guildford in June, won by Mr Rich's brown colt Castaway. Stump has the distinction of winning the last Royal Plate that was run over Clifton and Rawcliffe Ings. In 1739 he was advertised to cover at Mr Baldock's, the Talbot, Malton, Yorkshire, for a fee of 1 guinea. He was said to transmit beauty, strength and size to his offspring.
Skipjack (GB)
ch c 1710 (Darley Arabian - Jester, by Old Merlin). Bred by Mr Darley he was full-brother to Manica. He had no major success on the turf, although he managed a 2nd placing in a 30 Plate at York in 1717, won by Sir William Lowther's Wagtail, beating Mr Metcalfe's Bulle Rock and Mr Pulleine's Dimple, both of whom were lame. In the stud at Aldby he got the King's Plate winner Croke (ch c 1729), half-brother to Lord Halifax's Justice, and the good mare Miss Patty (ch f 1732), the latter from Mr Darley's famous race mare Mother Neasham. He also got Mr Jefferson's Quintin (ch c 1720) who placed 2nd in the Ladies' Gold Cup at York in 1725, won by Mr Routh's Surley (gr c 1720 Hutton's Surley) who was said to have won with great difficulty.
Smockface (GB)
c 1714c (Darley Arabian - Mare, by Hautboy). Sire Line Darley Arabian. Family 53. Brother to Aleppo and Almanzor, he was bred by Mr Brewster and later owned by Sir Matthew Peirson. He sired Smockface Mare, 3rd dam of Lord Gower's Pharoah (b c 1753 Chedworth's Moses), whose highly successful turf career included victories in five matches, for 200, 300, 500 (twice) and 1000 guineas. Pharoah was later sent to South Carolina.
Whistlejacket (GB)
ch c 1707 (Darley Arabian). Sire Line Darley Arabian. Said to be a good plate horse, in August of 1712 he won the 30 Ladies' Plate at York, for five year olds carrying 10 stone over four miles, beating Mr Anderson's Wag (ch c 1707) and several others. According to Peter Darley he was subsequently purchased by Leonard Childers of Carr House, Doncaster, for 120 which perhaps led Mr Childers to later send his mare Betty Leedes to the Darley Arabian and thereby produce both Childers (b c 1714) and Bartlet's Childers (b c c1716).
Whitelegs (GB)
c 1715c (Darley Arabian - Mare, by Hautboy). Sire Line Darley Arabian. Family 53. Bred by Mr Brewster, he was sometimes referred to as Brother to Almanzor. Later owned by the Duke of Somerset he was considered as good a horse as Almanzor, although he never ran in public due to an accidental injury.

Bartlet's Childers (GB) b c 1716c (Darley Arabian - Betty Leedes, by Old Careless). Sire Line Darley Arabian. Family 6-a.
(Flying) Childers (GB) b c 1714 (Darley Arabian - Betty Leedes, by Old Careless). Sire Line Darley Arabian. Family 6-a.
Hobgoblin (GB) br c 1724 (Aleppo - Mare, by Careless).Sire Line Darley Arabian.