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e Y chromosome of the three foundation
own through the generations of all modern
allions comes from one or a few closely
lated Turkoman stallions and has carried
eeds, except the Icelandic Horse, the
   o r r w w e e g g i i a a n n F F o o r r d d H H o o r r s s e e a a n n d d t t h h e e S S h h e e t t l l a a n n d d P P o o n n y y. .
         number of fine horses with just temper and superior speed than any Arab did.” Mackay- Smith explains that his use of “foreign horse” indicates that he felt the Godolphin Arabian was not a pure Arabian.
The Duke of Cumberland was the breeder of Herod and Eclipse, two foundations stallions that carried on their respective sire lines. Herod was a sire line descendant of the Byerley Turk. The Duke of Cumberland believed that the Byerley Turk was a sire line descendant of Place’s White Turk, one of the early Turkoman imports. When we add Eclipse to this
mix, tracing in the sire line to the Darley Arabian and we see that he came from Aleppo, Syria, we can be pretty sure that he was a Turcoman that may have carried quite a bit of Arabian blood.
But today, modern genetics is giving
us the proof on the origin of these three stallions. In an article that appeared in the July 2017 issue of Current Biology titled “Y Chromosome Uncovers the Recent Oriental Origin of Modern Stallions” that was co- authored by Barbara Wallner, a member
of the team that made this discovery, we
get a genetic picture of these stallions. The research was done at the Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria. The study found that the Y chromosome
of the three foundation stallions comes from one Turcoman stallion or a few closely related Turcoman stallions. The source of this finding is a 700 year old mutation
that has carried down into not only the Thoroughbred and American Quarter Horse, but “all modern breeds” on the Y chromosome. This “mutation” has carried down through the years in a haplogroup,
or set of genes, that is passed down consistently generation after generation. The only exceptions they found were the Icelandic Horse, the Norwegian Ford Horse and the Shetland Pony.
 On May 21, 2019, Byron Rogers on in the True Nicks blog reaffirmed what was originally reported in 2017. The title of the piece is “Galopin...New Research, and possible answer to an old question.” The Wallner team continued their research and
they were able to ascertain two distinct branches of the Y chromosome. There was the Southern branch, which originated
in desert regions of Central Arabia that they called the Arabian branch. The other branch was the Central Asia branch, which became the Turcoman branch.
All three foundation sires came from the Central Asia branch of the Turcoman. They found that our modern breeds of
the Thoroughbred, American Quarter Horse, Morgan Horse, Standardbred and Tennessee Walking Horse were all from the Turcoman branch. They “categorized” the Byerley Turk and the Godolphin Arabian as Tb-o. They then further categorized the Byerley Turk as Tb-oB1, the Godolphin Arabian as Tb-oB3b, and the Darley Arabian as Tb-d.
Rogers goes on to give the following scenarios for the three stallions. He writes, “The Byerley Turk – who may have been captured by his owner at the Battle of
Buda in 1868, where a European coalition defeated the Ottoman Empire – certainly fits the idea of a Turcoman, described at the time as horses that were descended from ‘those of Arabia or Persia,’ but were ‘longer in body and a larger size.’”
The Darley Arabian has been described as the one of the three foundation sires
to carry more of the traits of the Arabian. Here is what Rogers pointed out, “The Darley Arabian arrived in England in 1704, having been acquired from Fedan Bedouins in the Syrian Desert outside of Aleppo. Given that background, it initially seems surprising that he is from a Turkoman, rather than Arabian, Y-chromosome line.
 Enlightenment on that circumstance might lie in a letter sent from Thomas Darley, who had discovered The Darley Arabian, to his brother. There, according to Thoroughbred Heritage, ‘He explained that the colt was believed to be from one of the purest of Arabian strains, and his name was Manak or Manica, obviously a reference to the famed ‘Muniqui’ strain
of Arabians noted for their swift paces.’” It’s known that the Muniqui or Muniq’i strain of Arab were crossed with Turkoman during the 17th century, accounting for that Y-chromosome appearing through a southern oriental source.
One of the things often reported
about the Godolphin Arabian was that
he was a key in the development of the Thoroughbred through his conformation. Here is what Rogers reported, “It’s possible that something similar explains the Godolphin Arab, described here by a contemporary veterinary surgeon, Osmer: ‘There never was a horse . . . so well entitled to get racers as the Godolphin Arabian . . . his shoulders were deeper, and lay farther into his back, than those of any horse yet seen. Behind the shoulders, there was but a very small space where the muscles of his loins rose exceedingly high, broad, and expanded, which were inserted into his quarters with greater strength
and power than in any horse . . . yet seen. A smaller horse with a short-back, the Godolphin Arab doesn’t sound much like a Turkoman, and we can only surmise
that in his case the cross of a Turkoman sire (or sires) on Arab mares came
some generations earlier. Interestingly enough, it has been mentioned that The Godolphin Arab was a ‘gold-touched bay’ as were his trio of important offspring
out of the mare Roxana – Lath, Cade
and Regulus. This rather recalls the metallic sheen often seen in the Turkoman descended Akhal-Teke.’”
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