BY DENNY EMERSON—I’ve been a Bold Ruler line fan since well before he sired Secretariat. King Oscar, (pictured left) in 1996 at Rolex Kentucky, was by Right Of Light, by Tyrant, by Bold Ruler. I’ve found them to be tough—sometimes tough minded, too—but if you can get that working for you, instead of against you, hang onto your hat!
Nasrullah, by Nearco, Bold Ruler’s sire, was the “source,” so I’ve read and been told, of the famous/infamous Bold Ruler temperament.
In as unlikely a place as Wyoming, many years ago, an old rancher had his entire herd descending from Nasrullah, through Bold Ruler, Nashua, Never Bend, and other greats.
His comment to me: “They can be sons of bitches, the Nasrullahs, but if you can make them YOUR sons of bitches, no day is ever too long for them.”
Maybe the toughest Nasrullah horse I ever owned was Loyal Pal, (pictured left) by Caro, by Fortino, by Grey Sovereign, by Nasrullah.
Loyal Pal raced 124 times. He won 22, was 2nd in 26, and 3rd in 23, so, “in the money” 71 times.
He won or placed in 20 stakes races. In his final start, at age 8, he was running in a Grade 3 Stakes. The harrow raking the track had turned, and left a ridge. Loyal Pal tripped on the ridge at high speed, and broke a bone in his pastern, which was the only thing that stopped his amazing career.
It’s probably more than just coincidence that the two stallions I’m helping promote, Formula One and Beaulieu’s Quissini, are both descended from Bold Ruler. Any stallion who could sire Secretariat is my kind of horse!
Like Formula One, (pictured left) Griffin descended from Bold Ruler through his son, Bold Bidder. Of the horses I rode around Rolex over the years, Griffin was the one to make it most feel like a Pony Club course.
I always thought that if I’d had Bold Ruler’s descendant, King Oscar, when I was in my 20’s or 30’s, instead of in my mid 50’s, I might have really gone somewhere with him. He was a big talent, but I was pretty busted up by then.
For several years when a stallion’s offspring are still young, the “jury is out” on what kind of athletes they may become.
This was the case with Formula One, but almost “overnight” his foals are out there all over the place doing the job. He’s an Irish 3/4 Tb that I bought in Co Clare as a yearling. He and Winsome Adante share the same grandsire, Beau Royale, who was by Auction Ring, by Bold Bidder, by Bold Ruler.
Beaulieu’s Quissini (pictured left) is the “other” (along with Formula One) stallion we are involved with, also a Bold Ruler descendant.
The day Bold Ruler was foaled, April 7th, 1954, I was practicing with my pony, Paint, for my first ever riding competition, which would be the Stoneleigh-Prospect Hill School Gymkhana, 16 days later. So, for almost literally all my riding life, I’ve been a fan of this horse.
Not many may remember that Teddy O’Connor’s sire was by Anticipating, by Bold Ruler, by Nasrullah.
Nasrullah is a sort of a latter day “Justin Morgan,” in the way his bloodlines are “everywhere.”
About the Author: Named “One of the 50 most influential horsemen of the Twentieth Century” by The Chronicle of the Horse, Denny Emerson was elected to the USEA Hall of Fame in 2005. He is the only rider to have ever won both a gold medal in eventing and a Tevis Buckle in endurance. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and author of How Good Riders Get Good, and continues to ride and train from his Tamarack Hill Farm in Vermont and Southern Pines, NC.
About Horse Collaborative: The Horse Collaborative is a new platform for horse people to connect and share with friends. Since launching in 2012, the Horse Collaborative has quickly cultivated and connected a passionate international community of horse lovers, athletes, equine professionals, hobbyists, dreamers, and people who just think horses are cute.
— Photo and story reprinted by Off Track Thoroughbreds with permission of Denny Emerson and the Horse Collaborative.