Storm Cat (1983-2013). Photo courtesy the Horse Collaborative

The stars sparkle in the OTTB family tree

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, […]

Thoroughbreds in morning work. Photo by and courtesy of Horse Collaborative

Denny Emerson: Racing’s mixed emotions

BY DENNY EMERSON —I am well aware that many people have mixed emotions about horse racing. The industry has a reputation for pushing too many young horses too hard at too young an age, with too many getting injured in the process, and that’s a valid criticism. I also believe, though, that modern sport horses in general, most of which are at least part thoroughbred, would be LESS tough and hardy and athletic WITHOUT racing being used as a tough filtering system to find out which horses can handle all the athletic stresses, because the winners tend to breed on, and […]

Denny Emerson rides Griffin at Groton House in 1994.  Photo Courtesy Horse Collaborative

Denny Emerson: ‘I’m a fan of Bold Ruler’

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 […]