It’s in the Blood: LRK3DE Edition

Today’s the day – the start of LRK3DE!!! It’s the first 5* of the year, and while I have major FOMO about not getting to go, that’s being slightly eased by the fact that Burghley tickets go on sale tomorrow. Still, I will be glued to the live feed as much as possible.

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As a continuation of the “It’s in the Blood” series that I started last year, I really want to look closely at the horses at every 5* competition this year and see what kind of trends, if any, that we see. Just from the few young horse events and 3*-4* that I looked at last year, I already started seeing some commonalities, and also some things that tended to be a bit different in the US vs Europe. We’ll see if any of that holds true as I gather more data throughout the year.

We’ve only got 41 horses starting dressage at LRK3DE this year, since one horse was spun at the first inspection yesterday. Of the 41 starters, 11 (27%) are Irish Sporthorse and 10 (24%) are Thoroughbred. Those two alone cover more than half the field.

Of the 11 Irish Sporthorse entries, 4 of them are of traditional ISH breeding (TB and Irish Draught) while the other 7 have warmblood within the first four generations.

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Last year’s winner Cooley Master Class, registered ISH by the Belgian Warmblood stallion Ramiro B out of a Master Imp xx mare

The average blood percentage (so the average amount of TB or Arabian blood that each horse carries) of the entire field combined is 65%. If you throw out all the fullblood horses and calculate the blood percentage, the average still comes in at 58%. Only 5 horses in the field have less than 50% blood.

20 horses (49%) have a minimum of one full Thoroughbred parent. 12 of those (29% of the field) have a full Thoroughbred sire. 24 horses (57%) have a full TB damsire.

12 horses (29%) competed in young horses classes (USEA’s Young Event Horse series or the FEI 6yo 1*/7yo 2* classes in Europe). I noticed that if the horse started it’s FEI career in Europe, it tended to have done some young horse classes. If it was imported before it began it’s FEI career, it likely hadn’t (with the exception of the 3 YEH grads, of course). Not a surprise considering that we don’t have age-specific FEI classes in the US.

Quarryquest Echo was 6th in the British Eventing Young Horse Championship 1* class as a 6yo

I found 14 horses (so more than 1/3 of the field) that I could confirm were bred in North America, and 2 other “maybes”.

15 horses (37% of the field) have Holsteiner breeding within the first four generations, 13 horses (32% of the field) have Selle Francais breeding within the first four generations, and 10 horses (24% of the field) have both Holsteiner and Selle Francais within the first four generations.

While the overwhelming majority are Thoroughbred, Irish, warmblood, or some combination of such, there is one Welsh Cob x TB cross, one Connemara x TB cross, and one Arabian x TB cross in the field.

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Grange Finn Sparrow, Connemara sire of Sparrow’s Nio

2 stallions are represented by 2 direct offspring each – Master Imp xx and Windfall. Master Imp is also the damsire of one other horse. Windfall is the sire of the only two Trakehners in the field.

The most commonly seen Thoroughbred ancestor is Mr Prospector – he’s present in the first 4 generations of 5 different horses. Other recurring Thoroughbred names are Seattle Slew, Danzig, Nijinsky, and Roberto, to name a few.

The Thoroughbred sire and 1985 Kentucky Derby winner Spend a Buck is the damsire of 2 horses – Cecelia and Indy 500. The horse that was spun at the jogs, Tactical Maneuver, also had Spend a Buck on the dam side of his pedigree.

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Spend a Buck

And a kind of unrelated note but something I found while creeping endlessly around the internet scouring for pedigree information… Boyd has horse for sale out of Copper Beach’s dam and it could be yours for only 75k.


Who are you rooting for this year? I find myself without a clear favorite, so I’m mostly just hoping for a good safe competition for everyone. Well ok… maybe I’m rooting a little harder for the Thoroughbreds…

19 thoughts on “It’s in the Blood: LRK3DE Edition

      1. Thanks! Rode several welsh cob/tbred crosses as a kid, so honor me is definitely on my radar now. And you mean to tell me there are no Belgian Draft/QH crosses running this year? DARN! haha


    1. The blood %’s are from Horsetelex (with a few exceptions that I calculated myself because there were gaps in the Horsetelex pedigree) which goes back for as many generations as is documented. Quite a ways on most of them. Usually you hit a full blood horse before you run out of documented pedigree, with the exception of some of those old Irish mares that were not well documented with their lineage.


  1. I like Chris Talley’s horse, Unmarked Bills. Mostly because he ran on the track until he was 5 and won nearly $68k! Plus it’s Talley’s first LRK3DE so that would make it extra fun for him to get a top placing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love Chris just for the outfits he wears in the jogs 🙂 He is really cool and is also Eponia supported so I am always for him! And that horse was great when I saw him at FH a couple years ago.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hazel Shannon, because she has done such an amazing job with Clifford and finally got to take him overseas to compete thanks to Terry Snow and Willinga Park, which is so heart warming when she almost had the horse sold on her. I know they didn’t have the run they were hoping for but endlessly proud of them all the same!


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