Denny Emerson: Start to learn TB pedigree

Nasrullah. Photo courtesy Horse Collaborative

Nasrullah. Photo courtesy Horse Collaborative

BY DENNY EMERSON—In 1935, Nearco (by Pharos x Nogara) was foaled in Italy, bred by Federico Tesio. His impact on the American Thoroughbred is profound.

He’s a good starting point in pedigree education because he’s relatively “modern”, and, through the influence of three of his sons, he is in the pedigrees of almost all modern thoroughbreds and TB crosses.

The three sons, all of whom created their own dynasties, were Nasrullah (1940),Nearctic (1954) and Royal Charger (1942).
Nasrullah sired Bold Ruler, sire of Secretariat. He sired Nashua, maternal grandsire of Mr. Prospector. He sired Never Bend, grandsire of the two top Australian gold medal team eventers at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Look up Nasrullah and learn about him, because he’s in the pedigrees of hundreds of eventers and hunters and jumpers all over the world. He was a brilliant racehorse, but he was considered tough, stubborn and obstinate.

I was at a Montana ranch 30 years ago and the old guy who owned the ranch said that he loved Nasrullah horses for ranch work, because once you got that tough streak working for you, instead of against you, they would work til they dropped.
So, start with Nearco and Nasrullah in your quest to learn about pedigrees.

About the Author, Denny Emerson:
Named “One of the 50 most influential horsemen of the Twentieth Century” byThe 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 ofHow 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.

5 responses to “Denny Emerson: Start to learn TB pedigree”

  1. Joan Dunlap

    As always, Denny Emerson’s knowledge about equines is a good read …. He lives, drinks, eats, breaths horses. It’s not just about competition. It’s about the horses. A true horseman

  2. Maria

    I rad the book on nashruaa in two hours. Couldn’t put it down. Wonderful

  3. Marilyn Kent


  4. Jon

    All of my horses have links back to Nasrullah. All have been or are fine jumpers and eventers. Two were very opinionated and stubborn. But what a great ride once they worked with you.

  5. colmel

    Nasrullah also sired Noor (who is now buried at Old Friends) and Jaipur (along with many, many more top stallions and mares – oh, and gallant geldings). I am particularly drawn to Nasrullah and know about Noor and Jaipur because they were both very close-up in our first broodmare’s pedigree. I agree that knowledge of pedigree is extremely important in all aspects of equine sports. Not only can you get a better idea of how precocious a horse will be on the track, but you can tell if they might be better with age and distance, what surface might be most advantageous, and future breeding considerations; but there are many lines that have shown brilliance in the show ring and on the cross country trails.

Leave a Reply