Henry’s family tree

Emma kind of unintentionally started this unofficial blog hop last week when she posted about her new horse’s pedigree. The comments were great, and led to lots of good discussion… so many thoroughbred fans out there. She encouraged other people to post about their thoroughbred’s pedigree too, so here I am. Such a people pleaser (everyone who knows me is probably laughing hysterically at that).

Henny is too

I’ve owned and ridden my fair share of TB’s, plus I am a breeding nerd, so this one is right up my alley. Over the years I’ve developed some opinions (shocking) on which lines I really like, which ones I don’t, and just how much it matters in the big picture. Short version – I don’t put a ton of stake in it, but sometimes it can give you an idea of the horse, what it might be good at, and what it might be like. When I’m looking at TBs, especially ones that are fresh off the track or still on the track, I absolutely DO look at and consider the pedigree. While it usually won’t be enough to turn me away completely if I really like the horse but not the pedigree, it can definitely make me go from 90% interested to 50% interested if I see some lines that I don’t like, or 50% interested to 90% interested if I see some lines that I really do like. That’s kind of what happened with Henry. I liked him on video and I loved him on paper.

Digging into his pedigree – first of all, his JC name is Hesalmostsweet and while he is registered, he never actually raced, just trained. I had him DNA verified to confirm his identity for TIP since he was not tattooed and I didn’t get papers. He is, indeed, Hesalmostsweet, and I have the fancy official JC letter to prove it. (So everyone who keeps insisting he’s QH or Appendix – STOP IT, he just has a big butt! That means you, BOBBY!)

It is big and it is round and it is muddy

Henry did not exactly come from a blueblood Kentucky background. He was born at a small private farm in Arkansas, by a stallion named Skeet, who stood at stud for a whopping $500. Skeet himself was a decent racehorse, winning some minor stakes races on the dirt and turf. However, he has very few registered offspring, and dropped off the map in 2008. I can’t find what happened to him after that nor have I been able to track down any of the handful of his registered offspring. As it was, I had to seriously scour the internet to find any pictures of him.

Skeet, aka ChestnutHenry

The apple didn’t fall far from the tree on that one. Aside from color, Henry and Skeet pretty identical, right on down to the weird faces and tongue.

Skeet’s sire was Dove Hunt


who has produced at least one upper level eventer that I can find, 2* horse and NAYJC competitor Case Closed:

Dove Hunt’s sire is the famous Danzig, also known as a big part of the reason I was so interested in Henry. I’ve had very positive experiences with Danzig line horses in the past… I’ve found them to be honest, good learners, and very correct jumpers. Henry has definitely lived up to that. I always stop and take a closer look when I see Danzig in a pedigree.


Danzig can also be found in a similar spot in the pedigree (top sire line) of eventing stallions Sea Accounts and Sea Lion

Sea Accounts
Sea Lion

as well as one of my favorite eventers ever: Ziggy


just to name a few.

Moving on to the dam’s side of Henry’s pedigree, things get a lot harder to dig up. His dam, Lona Thump, raced but didn’t do very well, and then produced a few offspring that never did anything. Her sire, Royal N Trouble, at one time stood at Broken Word Farm in Arkansas. Which, if you google it, comes up with a bunch of stories like this: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/172992/arkansas-trainer-charged-with-animal-cruelty 

So, uh… big yikes. Unfortunately I can’t find much info on what ever became of Royal N Trouble.

Royal N Trouble’s sire was Royal and Regal, who you can spy in this particular little video that some of you may have seen a time or two before:

At one point he was 3rd, but faded to ultimately finish 8th.

Other names that stood out to me in Henry’s pedigree were Wavering Monarch, The Minstrel, Key to the Mint, or if you go even further – T.V. Lark, Sir Gaylord, Graustark, Sea Bird, Buckpasser, etc. There’s nothing flashy in his pedigree, racehorse-wise. No big name Kentucky sires and nothing particularly fashionable, which to me is kind of a plus. It’s not always good things that come along with those big names. Henry’s is basically just a solid, sporty TB pedigree, without any of the glitz and glamour.

And really… that’s pretty much what Henny is, too.

48 thoughts on “Henry’s family tree

  1. This is so neat! My OTTB is the spitting image of his sire as well, although I tragically didn’t save the one photo I found of him when I was digging into his pedigree a million years ago, and it’s since disappeared off the interwebs 😦 sad day.


      1. I’m pretty good at creative googling (my co-workers call me the Google queen haha) but I’ve been unsuccessful in relocating this one. It was posted on the all breed pedigree website, originally from the Illinois chapter of CANTER (who I believe had him in retirement around age 25), but eventually I got the dreaded “broken hyperlink”. If you’re ever bored and compelled to dig for random horses, my guy was sired be Steel Robbing 🙂 haha.

        Watch you be able to find the photo in 10 minutes and me feel like the dumbest internet user ever… 😂


        1. That’s tough since he’s older, kind of pre-everythingontheinternet era. I did see that he was pensioned and donated to CANTER So. Illinois in 2005. I sent them a message to see if, by chance, they still have any photos of him in their archives. Long shot, but worth a try!


          1. My method is usually more silently creep than actually reach out to people, I’d probably have lots more luck with your method! Haha. Thanks for contacting them, if they find a copy you’d be my hero! My guy will be 22 next year, so yeah, mostly pre-everything on the internet.


            1. They said they would look through their archives and see if they can find anything! He was donated to them 11 years ago, so I guess it’ll depend on how much they hoard old pictures.


              1. 😍😍😍
                I bought Jack in the summer of ’06 so I probably saw the photo somewhere between then and like ’08. The photo was probably taken when Steel Robbing was donated to CANTER though, I vaguely recall that the caption listed him as 25 years old and since he’s a 1980 model, the math works out to it being taken when they got him. Fingers crossed they are like me and save everything 😉 lol

                You’re awesome!


          1. Well now after spending some time reading all my guys race notes on Equibase, looks like he was a bit of a speed horse but no stamina. Finished second his second time out and a handful of other unimpressive results in his whopping 11 starts haha. Owned by the same guy his whole race career. This is fun!


  2. And I definitely love this topic – thanks for continuing along in the unofficial hop. Even if some of the uncovered details are basically no more than trivia unrelated to our actual riding or horse training philosophy, I still love learning and understanding more about where these horses came from and who has cared about them and what all went into making that creature


    1. I spoke to Henry’s breeder on the phone once (because I’m a creepy stalker and googled her until I found a phone #) and it was definitely very entertaining. It helped me understand a lot more about him and his early life.


      1. You lucky. I contacted Courage’s breeder, but he came off a big farm in CA (tommytown) and they’re like “um we have a couple hundred babies a year and definitely don’t take pictures or remember them but yay glad you like him”.

        So. I just have to content myself with knowing all his later connections and having hundreds of hi res photos of his race days. The agony.


  3. I’m sharing Eli’s tomorrow. I’d never turn down a chance to look at TB pedigrees. Emma’s post was very inspirational!

    Really sad about the farm in Arkansas, though 😦


  4. I’ve actually been digging into this a bit more out of curiosity, and I’m having the hardest time finding info about Val, specifically any kind of photos. I found his pedigree easy enough, and his sire is easy too, but farther back than that it gets tricky since he doesn’t have a super impressive line from what I can tell. Actually, I can’t even find anything from Val’s races or yearling sale for that matter, other than how he finished and how much he sold for. I think I’m in for a few hours of creative googling.


        1. I found his results, and a few videos from his later races, but they don’t have photos from most of his early races which are the only ones he did well in. Haha.


          1. Did he win a race on 8/31/2006? You could ask Coady Photography to upload the photo, maybe? I did that with Eli’s one winner’s circle pic they had. I keep meaning to buy the 8×10.


            1. Did they actually upload it? I found the listing on their site but haven’t heard from them when I asked for a proof or something.


  5. I, too, really liked my new boy in photos/video, and was very pleased to see certain names in his pedigree!

    He has A.P. Indy up close and Sadlers Wells close-ish, on his damline. Also Hoist The Flag, and Halo/Hail To Reason via his sire, Street Cry – but that’s far back (sadly). Mr. Prospector twice, which I’m “eh” about, but was willing to deal with.



  6. I’m looking to lease a TB mare next summer, so I think I’ll hop on this train in 6 months or so, lol. Thus far, I’ve got nothing on her due to the fact that I do not know her registered name.


  7. First I have to apologize to you TB afficionados that this post is not purely TB, altho’ a TB appears some generations back in my Quarter Horse’s pedigree. The big deal for me was that for the first time in my horse owning life, there was a pedigree to trace. And I was able to trace it right back to the turn of the 20th century. Woo hoo!
    And now back to our regularly scheduled program, TB Talk, with your host, Amanda Chance. ;o)


    1. I DON’T KNOW!! The funny thing is though, there’s a line of Trakehners where the stallion and almost all of his kids are super tongue obsessed, too, so this isn’t the first time I’ve seen it passed down like that. It’s so weird how the strangest things can be genetic. I wish we knew why. Is there literally a derp gene???


  8. Our TB has a bit of a story … apparently a very well-bred racing mare had an injury at the track and the owners decided to have her euth’d for the insurance money (even me knowing absolutely ZERO about TB breeding can imagine she must have cost a pretty penny!). The vet submitted paperwork to the insurance company but instead of actually going through with it, she was given to a guy who took the mare home to a farm in Virginia. She had 2 colts and a filly that I know of. We bought one of the colts. She wasn’t much to look at but all 3 of her babies were gorgeous, super athletic and h-u-g-e! We didn’t care about papers since we were buying a gelding and he was going to be a hunter/jumper. I always wondered if the story I was told was even true, and if so holy-crap! Does this happen a lot? I would love to submit our geldings DNA to find out. I didn’t realize you could do that. I’m assuming you would have to tell the JC who you think the mare and stallion were. I guess as long as I tell the Jockey club when he was born they wouldn’t know it was after the mare was put down – I would assume.


  9. My mare is by Military, who is by Danzig too! Has Buckpasser farther back on the dam side as well.
    Common ground?? The tongue thing!! She loves to twirl and suck on her tongue to the point that it is so strong the vet has to hold it out of the way when its time to float the teeth!! Silly mare. Funny how these things are genetic!


    1. my guy is by Tizbud (Tiznow’s full younger brother – I call him the cheap CA-based knock off sire) and has Danzig via Juta’s fame and Damascus (swoon) on his dam’s line. He’s a mix of Kentucky blue blood and California scrappiness.

      I was able to find a baby pic of him at Harris Ranch (same place where California Chrome was born!) and he looks just as huge, leggy, and dorky as he does now.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Romey has Danzig on his sire side too. He has a few pretty well known names on both sides. I think he knows, because he has an heir of entitlement to him…
    How might one go about finding win photos? Romes won a stakes race at Gulfport, but I can’t seem to find a win photo of him. There’s a shot of him running, which is neat, but I want the win photo!


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