By Les Brinsfield
When the roll is called of the legions of breeders, pundits, and advisors who claim “no ancestor beyond the third generation matters,” I will be among the missing. Look no further than the power of La Troienne, she a foal of 1926 and by far the best mare in American pedigrees since she went into production.
The acid test of linebreeding to any ancestor is simple. Does it produce good horses? If so, these horses get crossed themselves, and recross the original target ancestor who thus becomes prevalent in current horses. The prevalence can vary from a little to a lot on the way to universal; then an ancestor becomes endemic to the breed.
Domino is on the verge if not there already. La Troienne will soon join him as sire after sire goes to stud packing multiples of her daughters and her very good son—read near great—dual classic winner Bimelech. An aside: La Troienne never had a foal by a sire void of Domino—if she is present, so is Domino.
Indeed, not only are distant removes vital in producing good current horses, but the deeper one goes in a pedigree, the more times a given ancestor can appear. While quantity is good, my observation is variety is better. No better example is needed than She Be Wild, whose pedigree was covered in some depth in a previous column.
La Troienne is the second dam of the sisters Striking and Busher, and these icons are 3x3 in My Charmer, she the dam of Seattle Slew. So La Troienne is in the fifth of My Charmer, sixth of Seattle Slew, seventh of Alvear, eighth of Offlee Wild, and ninth of She Be Wild—twice—all from My Charmer, herself in the fourth of She Be Wild.
From the pedigree of She Be Wild’s dam, Trappings, La Troienne is the second dam of Busanda and Cohoes, which places her in the third of Buckpasser—Mousam River, fourth of Con Game—Lilya’s For Real, fifth of Seeking the Gold—Duck Trap, crossed 6x6 in Trappings and thus twice more in the seventh of She Be Wild. Thus, La Troienne is present four times, 9x9x7x7, in She Be Wild, and it says here that such is well beyond the third and that it matters greatly.
La Troienne, to remind, is crossed on full siblings Ormonde and Ornament. Teddy sired La Troienne and also the brothers and sires Bull Dog and Sir Gallahad III, present many times as well in She Be Wild. While any line of Teddy includes a line of Ormonde, stacking Ormonde endlessly is futile unless mixed with his siblings from the Agnes family—number 16 to Bruce Lowe fans. Our friend Roman is a son of Sir Gallahad III and is thus carrying Ormonde. Ornament is present as well in this powerful and under-appreciated progenitor with three lines of aforesaid Domino in his dam.
Now we have four lines of La Troienne and two more of Roman—both laced with the Ormonde/Ornament cross. Martagon, found in the pedigree of Blenheim II—read Mahmoud, Nasrullah, and Royal Charge—is closely related to Ormonde. Both are by Bend Or, and Martagon is out of a full sister to the dam of Ormonde. This line can be found in She Be Wild nine times.
What is closer than the third in She Be Wild is a 2x1 cross of Alvear and Trappings, both crossed on Roman and La Troienne.
Boiling it down, if your mare has no La Troienne, get her some. If she does have La Troienne, get her more.
As this goes to press, the second-leading earner by Offlee Wild is Heavenville from a mare by Petionville, he a son of Seeking the Gold packing multiple lines of La Troienne.
Pedigree analyst Les Brinsfield may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. He operates the Web site pedigreegroup.com.