The Darley Arabian stallion painting by John Wootton
|Leading sire in Great Britain and Ireland (1722)|
The Darley Arabian was one of three dominant foundation sires of modern Thoroughbred horse racing bloodstock, the other two being the Godolphin Arabian and the Byerley Turk. This bay Arabian horse was bought in Aleppo, Syria, by Thomas Darley in 1704 and shipped back to Aldby Park in England, as a present for his brother.
There he stood at stud, usually private but sometimes open to outside mares. He was Leading sire in Great Britain and Ireland in 1722. By all accounts, the Darley Arabian stood about 15 hands high and was of substantial beauty and refinement.
The Darley Arabian sired the undefeated Flying Childers. He also sired Bartlett's Childers, an unraced brother of Flying Childers, who was the great-grandsire of the extremely influential Eclipse. The Darley Arabian was to become the most important sire in the history of the English Thoroughbred.
Many famous horses such as Secretariat, Whirlaway, Man O' War, Seattle Slew, Ruffian, California Chrome, and many more famous Thoroughbreds can be traced back to Darley Arabian.
- Whyte 1840, p. 79.
- Ahnert, Rainer L. (editor in chief), “Thoroughbred Breeding of the World”, Pozdun Publishing, Germany, 1970
- Cunningham, E. P.; Dooley, J. J.; Splan, R. K.; Bradley, D. G. (2001). "Microsatellite diversity, pedigree relatedness and the contributions of founder lineages to thoroughbred horses". Animal Genetics 32 (6): 360–364. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2052.2001.00785.x. PMID 11736806.
- "95% of thoroughbreds linked to one superstud". New Scientist. 6 September 2005.
- Whyte, James Christie (1840). History of the British turf, from the earliest period to the present day, Volume I. London: H. Colburn. Retrieved 1 May 2013.