By DENNY EMERSON — You won’t get very far in any study of the modern thoroughbred without coming across the Storm Cat line of elite racehorses, and, frequently, his son, Giant’s Causeway.
Storm Cat was by Storm Bird, by Northern Dancer. His dam, Terlingua, was by Secretariat, by Bold Ruler.
Storm Cat, then, was descended from the Nearctic sire line of Nearco on top, and from the Nasrullah sire line of Nearco on the bottom.
Storm Cat stood, for several years for a whopping $500,000.00 stud fee. You heard that right. Half a million dollars to breed to Storm Cat, and if you got a crooked legged foal, that was your tough luck.
Storm Cat stallions are “everywhere,” and Giant’s Causeway is perhaps his most popular current son, standing for $85,000 at Ashford Stud in Versailles, Ky. for 2016.
At our farm, when people truck in horses for lessons, I’d guess that at least a quarter of them (maybe more) are descendants of Storm Cat. He is ubiquitous.
Some say that Storm Cat is “Quarter-Horse-y” as he was more stocky than some thoroughbreds, but I don’t see that in his many grand-babies and great grand babies that fill the sport horse competition rings.
Another thoroughbred and thoroughbred sire line to know about is the Seattle Slew son, 1992 Belmont Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, A.P. Indy.
A.P. Indy stallions, like Storm Cat stallions, are all over the place, partly because A.P. Indy sired Pulpit, and Pulpit’s son, Tapit, is the current leading sire in North America.
A.P. Indy, like other prominent stallions including Storm Cat, Dehere, and Gone West, is out of a mare by Secretariat.
So often you will hear dumdums say things like “Too bad Secretariat wasn’t such a great sire.” Well, Secretariat is “everywhere” in modern thoroughbred pedigrees through his daughters, so people need to get past their sexism about stallions versus mares as breed shapers.
With Tapit standing for 2016 at Gainesway Farm in Lexington, Kentucky for $300,000, I imagine that the AP Indy sire line will be solidly around for many decades to come.
Sure, I realize that for most, the study of pedigrees is “Ho-Hum” and irrelevant, but if you have ANY inkling of curiosity about where your thoroughbreds came from, here are a couple of sire lines, Storm Cat and A.P. Indy, that you might want to learn about.
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, N.C.
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.