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Glencoe




Portrait of Glencoe by Edward Troye, Georgetown & Scott County Museum. Photo by Tom Beatty.

Glencoe (1831–1857) was a British bred Thoroughbred racehorse. He was one of the earliest Thoroughbred stallions imported into the United States and was a top broodmare sire there. Several outstanding sons of Lexington were out of Glencoe mares, including Asteroid, Kentucky, and Norfolk.

He was a chestnut stallion that was foaled at his breeder's stud, located in Middleton Stoney, Oxfordshire. Glencoe was by Sultan, a versatile stallion who won races from six furlongs to over three miles. Sultan raced until the age of eight, and was leading sire in Great Britain for six consecutive years (1832–1837). The dam of Glencoe, Trampoline (by Tramp), was a fairly good racemare, and an even better producer of racehorses, foaling not only Glencoe, but also Glenara and Glencaire (all by Sultan).

Glencoe stood 15 hands high, with a large star and half-stockinged hind legs. He had a long, hollow back that sagged, especially as he aged, but still had a fine head, lovely neck, sound legs, deep girth, and powerful hindquarters with wide hips, inherited from his sire. Glencoe also inherited great staying power from his grandsire, Tramp.

Trainer James Edwards raced Glencoe as a three-year-old. Edwards is still the only trainer to have won four successive 2,000 Guineas, all four horses sired by Sultan, and bred by the Earl of Jersey. Glencoe, the trainer's favorite horse, was the first of these four winners.

Glencoe first ran at the 1834 Second Riddlesworth Stakes, winning a Ł1,400 purse and finishing in a canter. Two days later at the same Newmarket meeting however, he ran against the highly regarded Plenipotentiary in a Ł100 Sweepstakes and was easily beaten. He then won the Desert Stakes in a canter, before winning the 2,000 Guineas Stakes, for a purse of 1,750 sovereigns. Glencoe's second loss in a stakes race was the Derby Stakes, to Plenipotentiary and Shillelah. He then had a walk-over in the Royal Stakes, and won the rest of his races that season: the Goodwood Cup, by four lengths at the canter and beating Colwick, the Racing Stakes, against three others, and the Garden Stakes, by four lengths and defeating Colwick. After his impressive three-year-old career, the London Sporting Magazine wrote: "...from his late performances he has shown himself the best horse in the world. Where is there one to be found to meet him at weight for age? Not in England, assuredly."

As a four-year-old, Glencoe won his only race of the season, the 2˝ mile Ascot Gold Cup. He was entered in The Whip, a four mile challenge race, during his second season, but there were no responses to the challenge. Glencoe was then retired, with an impressive record of 8-1-1 in 10 starts.

Glencoe stayed in Britain for a short time after his retirement, standing at Tattersall's Dawley Wall Farm for his first stud season. He covered three Jersey and forty outside mares for a fee of $80, producing 30 foals. One of these mares, Marpessa, had raced against Glencoe earlier in his career. She produced his daughter, the great filly Pocahontas. Pocahontas is said to be the greatest broodmare in the history of racing, producing three outstanding sons—Stockwell, Rataplan, and King Tom. During his first year, Glencoe also sired Darkness, an Ascot Stakes winner, who is the third dam of the French sire, Plutus.

Bought by American, James Jackson, Glencoe was then shipped to the United States at the end of the 1836 breeding season, arriving in New York before being sent south. James Jackson was an Irish-American emigrant who had built up a business in Nashville and started the farm Forks of Cypress in northern Alabama. Glencoe was one of the first Thoroughbreds to be imported into the United States, and had an incredible effect on the Thoroughbred bloodlines of the country, siring a calculated 481 foals during his twenty-two years at standing at stud in Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. It is not known what happened to the last of his foals, which were born during the first years of the American Civil War, and it is thought that the births of many foals were not recorded. Many of these fine horses were drafted into the war effort, on both sides.

Glencoe was bred in 1836 to two mares. He continued to stand in Alabama for seven years, with a stud fee of $100, siring 132 offspring. After Jackson's death in 1840, Glencoe was sent to stand in Nashville, Tennessee, for a fee of $50. He was sold in 1848, at the age of seventeen, to W.F. Harper of Midway, Kentucky, for the price of $3,000. Harper sent the horse to his Nantura Stud in 1855, and raised the stallion's stud fee to $100, where the chestnut produced 21 live foals from his 1855 covers, and 15 from his 1856 covers.

Glencoe was sold again in 1857, at the age of twenty six, to Alexander Keene Richards, owner of Blue Grass Park in Georgetown, Kentucky. Glencoe died in August, "...from a very violent attack of lung fever." The British press reported: "With all his ancient pluck, he stood up bravely against spasmodic colic and lung-fever, for ten days, and died quite exhausted, from bleeding at the nose." He was buried on Richard's Farm.

During his time in the United States, Glencoe was leading sire eight times in the 1840s and 1850s. Most of his offspring raced in three and four mile races. He sired more than twice the number of fillies to colts while he stood in America, producing at least 317 fillies, and his female offspring were superior to his male in both racing and breeding. Glencoe is therefore most known as a broodmare sire, producing not only the great Pocahontas, but Reel, one of the most influential broodmares in American racing history.

Source: Wikipedia, April 18, 2014