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Changing Pedigrees to reflect new data

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brogers View Drop Down
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    Posted: 31 May 2019 at 3:29am
Genomics have changed a lot of industries and the Thoroughbred industry is one also with both mitochondrial DNA and Y-Chromosome DNA changing our historical record of ancestry. Changing the data for what we now know to be true and making the pedigree of Bend Or being out of Clemence (not Rouge Rose) and Galopin being by Delight and the pedigree of the leading racehorse and champion sire Teddy looks a lot different (and more interesting)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brogers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2019 at 3:30am
Equally the pedigree of the leading sire Tracery


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote furious Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2019 at 7:18am
Hi Byron
I can understand the sire being wrong but how did they muddle up the dam.  It's not like Clemence didn't have a good pedigree.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Progold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2019 at 7:52am
I was hoping that we might clarify a few things here.  Have these pedigrees been proven to be incorrect?  If so, is it proven, rather than just suspected, what the true ancestors of these are?  Should they be better recorded as by an unknown sire or dam?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kimberley Mine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2019 at 12:51pm
Originally posted by furious furious wrote:

Hi Byron
I can understand the sire being wrong but how did they muddle up the dam.  It's not like Clemence didn't have a good pedigree.

Bend Or and his pasturemate Tadcaster were misidentified after leaving for training.  Two chestnut horses by the same sire, away from good recordkeeping...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sister Dot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2019 at 5:21pm
In the days before definitive proof regarding breeding, surely there were records altered/ misrepresented in order to support particular stallions etc? No DNA, blood testing. I’ve not thought about it till now, but it must have happened to some degree? Esp with studs who owned numerous stallions
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Progold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2019 at 10:02pm
The Mystery of Bend Or

When The Duke of Westminster's colt Bend Or flashed by the winning post a head to the good of Robert the Devil in the 1880 Derby Stakes, it seemed as if the great race was over. Only it wasn't, because the owners of Robert the Devil lodged a protest with the stewards of the Epsom Downs race course on the grounds that Bend Or was not really Bend Or. The winning horse, they alleged, was actually the one now known to racing history as Tadcaster. As evidence, they presented the testimony of one Richard Arnull, a stud groom at the Duke's Eaton Stud, to the effect that the horse raced as Bend Or was actually produced from the mare Clemence (by Newminster) and not from Rouge Rose (by Thormanby) as stated in the animal's nomination.


The evidence

Aside from Arnull's testimony, the stewards found themselves with little to go by. Accurate records might have settled the issue, but the Eaton stud records were very poorly kept and no foaling records were available at all. Thus, although Bend Or and Tadcaster were distinct in color and type (Bend Or was a handsome golden chestnut with black spots, while Tadcaster was a red chestnut with a single black spot and lop ears), the only guide to which colt had been produced from which mare was human memory. Major Barlow, the superintendent of the Eaton operation, testified that Bend Or was indeed the Rouge Rose colt, as did other Eaton employees, and the stewards ruled in the Duke's favor.


Other considerations

In spite of the stewards' ruling, the parentage of Bend Or continued to be a matter of controversy. Those supporting Clemence as Bend Or's actual dam pointed to the following facts:
  • Clemence had a superior produce record, making her more likely to be the dam of a horse as good on the race course and in the stud as Bend Or. Her offspring included a very good juvenile filly called Sandiway as well as the dams of major stakes winners Carbine (a great champion in Australia), Le Samaritain, Hebron and Festuca. On the other hand, while Rouge Rose produced no major winners other than (possibly) Bend Or, she is the second dam of dual French Classic winner winner Roxelane and the Manchester Cup winner Red Ensign, so her record was not devoid of merit. Further, both Clemence and Rouge Rose were from strong families.
  • The noted trainer John Porter held that Sandiway and Bend Or bore a strong resemblance to one another, and both had black markings in their coats. Physical resemblance is always somewhat subjective, however, and can be accounted for by the fact that Sandiway and Bend Or were both sired by Doncaster. As Tadcaster also had at least one black spot, that evidence is also inconclusive.
  • Although Bend Or and Tadcaster did not resemble one another very closely, a switch could have taken place while they were being sent to the paddocks of a Mr. Barrows prior to being put into training with Robert Porter. At that time, the colts were being handled by people who did not know them well and misidentification could have taken place before their markings were recorded at Mr. Barrows' establishment. Also, foals' coats can change in shade and the exact shape of markings as they mature; thus, Bend Or and Tadcaster may have resembled one another more closely as yearlings than they did later on.
  • If the Duke of Westminster and those closest to him realized that an inadvertent switch had taken place, they had personal reasons not to correct the record. The name “Bend Or” referred to the ancient coat of arms of the Duke's family, and it would have been natural for him to want the colt that was proving much the superior in training to keep a name that had strong sentiment attached to it.
  • Major Barlow's testimony was not always clear and sometimes contradicted itself, casting doubts on the reliability of his memory as a guide to Bend Or's parentage.
  • Without hard and fast evidence, the stewards of Epsom could have felt pressured to allow the results to stand for fear of offending the powerful and wealthy Duke, who wielded far more influence in the racing and breeding scene of that day than did Robert the Devil's owners.
  • One of the stewards involved, James Lowther, later stated that he had obtained evidence after the ruling that indicated that Bend Or was indeed out of Clemence. Unfortunately, he never disclosed what that evidence was or where he had obtained it.

On the other hand, those who believed Rouge Rose to be Bend Or's dam could point to the following:

  • Bend Or resembled the good-natured Rouge Rose in temperament and was amenable to handling, including having his feet worked with; this was typical of Rouge Rose's other progeny as well. Clemence, on the other hand, passed on her own unpleasant disposition to her known progeny with regularity, and Tadcaster was like her in not wanting his feet handled at all. Temperament can be considerably influenced by handling, however, and Bend Or's gentle disposition may have been as much the result of good treatment as genetics.
  • Rouge Rose was also a cribber, and this trait was seen among a number of Bend Or's daughters.
  • John Huby, the experienced stud groom at the Duke of Portland's Welbeck Abbey Stud, was personally familiar with both Rouge Rose and Clemence and stated that the daughters of Bend Or that he had seen were very similar in type to Rouge Rose. Of course, this argument is as much a matter of subjective judgment as John Porter's was.
  • Arnull's testimony was as self-contradictory as Major Barlow's, and was further tainted by fact that he had recently received a notice of dismissal from Eaton, suggesting that he was acting out of a grudge rather than out of a desire to make the truth known. Nonetheless, it should be noted that Arnull consistently maintained his position throughout his life, long after it could have brought him any personal benefit.
  • The numerous black spots in Bend Or's coat could have been inherited from Rouge Rose's sire Thormanby, who was similarly marked.
  • Bend Or had the same round, well-shaped feet that marked Rouge Rose's family.
  • The Duke of Westminster bred Clemence to Bend Or in 1882, a mating he would not likely have undertaken if he believed Clemence to be Bend Or's dam.


The evidence from mtDNA

Whether right or wrong, the Epsom stewards' ruling stood and the official records in the General Stud Book regarding Bend Or's parentage remained unaltered. It took until the 21st century for the case to be reopened. This time, science rather than human memory or opinion rendered a verdict, courtesy of a team of researchers at Cambridge University. The key evidence was mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) retrieved from the bones of Bend Or and compared to that extracted from known descendants of Clemence and Rouge Rose in the direct female line. Since mtDNA is passed only through the maternal line, Bend Or would have the same mtDNA as his dam—either Clemence, from Bruce Lowe Family #2, or Rouge Rose, from Bruce Lowe Family #1. The results showed that Bend Or's mtDNA matched that of the descendants of Clemence rather than that of Rouge Rose, indicating that Clemence was in fact his dam. Nonetheless, the General Stud Book continues to show Bend Or as the son of Rouge Rose.


Why does it matter?

From a practical standpoint, it probably doesn't, as Bend Or is now a dozen generations or more back in most pedigrees and his direct impact on modern Thoroughbreds is negligible. From a scholarly viewpoint it is another matter, as Bend Or is the direct male-line ancestor of over 90% of today's Thoroughbreds and had a substantial impact on other lines through his daughters, especially Fairy Gold (dam of Fair Play and Friar Rock).

Regardless of his true parentage, Bend Or was a great racehorse and a sire of immense value. His story can serve as a cautionary tale about being too dogmatic about the pedigrees or purported influence of remote ancestors, for if so famous a horse from a relatively recent time could have a significant issue regarding his pedigree because of poor records and human error, it can only be imagined how many earlier pedigrees are inaccurate—meaning that the ancestors of our modern heroes may not be who we think they are.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Progold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2019 at 10:04pm
Are we saying that those progeny of Bend Or should be recorded as progeny of Tadcaster? Or not?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brogers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2019 at 1:32am
Ideally, yes, the progeny of Bend Or should be under Tadcaster.

The evidence of Galopin, sire of the great St. Simon, being by Delight, not Vedette is found here - http://cs.bloodhorse.com/blogs/truenicks/archive/2019/05/21/galopin-new-research-and-a-possible-answer-to-an-old-question.aspx


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Progold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2019 at 8:53am
Not sure that is quite the definitive answer that I was seeking.  I take it that the Stud Book has no interest in amending any records at this point.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote HH88 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2019 at 3:30pm
Tadcaster and Bend Or are both by Doncaster so only the dam line changes, ie Rouge Rose or Clemence. 
The blend with Macaroni mares arguably remains the same with either.
By way of clarification pedigree sheets of both options have just been posted on the NZ Race Cafe site on the thoroughbred breeding page.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brogers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 2019 at 12:31am
Originally posted by Progold Progold wrote:

Not sure that is quite the definitive answer that I was seeking.  I take it that the Stud Book has no interest in amending any records at this point.

None....You'd think they would but it seems not.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote brogers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 2019 at 8:35am
Bend Or, with the pedigree of Tadcaster - With Doncaster (carrying Pocahontas + Banter) and Newminster (Banter) and Martha Lynn and hailing from the 2-H family, becomes a lot more interesting for Teddy's granddam Doremi who has Macaroni (Banter) but is out of a mare that has 2 strains of Touchstone (Banter) and Voltigeur (Martha Lynn) and is from the 2-N family.

An easy reading of the new Bend Or pedigree is that because he is from the 2-H family and Doremi is from the 2-N family they are distantly related. However, when you actually look at the mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited tail female, Teddy's pedigree becomes a little more interesting.

Bend Or/Tadcaster - L4 mtDNA haplotype

Doremi - L4 mtDNA haplotype

Ormonde - L3 mtDNA haplotype

Hampton - L2 haplotype

Lord Clifden - L4 Haplotype.

Lord Clifden, who is the same Newminster/Martha Lynn combination as the dam of Bend Or/Tadcaster is actually from the same mtDNA haplotype as Bend Or/Tadcaster and Doremi (who is also bred on the same name combinations). They are all - Ormonde and Hapton included - more distantly from the same "L" mtDNA haplogroup (the L Haplotype being the largest in the Thoroughbred breed). 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote diomed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 2019 at 12:40am
I thought it was Tadcaster who won the Derby, and Tadcaster was the sire of Bona Vista, Kendal, Martagon, Ormonde, Radium.
It was known in the early 1900s that Tadcaster had the achievements.
Bend Or was the name the establishment sided with incorrectly.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote furious Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 2019 at 8:36am
Byron has any study been done into the modern larger books and what that is doing in making the genetic background of the horse smaller and smaller?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brogers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 2019 at 8:42am
Originally posted by furious furious wrote:

Byron has any study been done into the modern larger books and what that is doing in making the genetic background of the horse smaller and smaller?


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