Kincsem

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Kincsem
Kincsem.jpg
Sire Cambuscan (GB)
Grandsire Newminster
Dam Water Nymph
Damsire Cotswold (GB)
Sex Filly
Foaled 1874
Country Hungary
Colour Chestnut
Breeder Ernst von Blaskovich
Owner Ernst von Blaskovich
Trainer Robert Hesp
Record 55: 55–0–0
Earnings 199,705 fl = 379,805 goldmark (sic)[1]
Major wins
Hungarian Two Thousand Guineas (1877)
Hungarian One Thousand Guineas (1877)
Hungarian Oaks (1877)
Hungarian Autumn Oaks (1877, 1878, 1879)
Hungarian St. Leger (1877)
Austrian Derby (1877)
Austrian Kaiserpreis (1877)
Grosser Preis von Hanover (1877)
Grosser Preis von Baden (1877, 1878, 1879)
Staatspreis Eister Classe (1878)
Goodwood Cup (1878)
Grand Prix de Deauville (1878)
Honours
Kincsem Park in Budapest, Hungary
Kincsem Museum, Budapest, Hungary
Kincsem Horse Park, Tápiószentmárton, Hungary
Kincsem Hotel, Kisbér, Hungary
Kincsem Farm, Archer, Florida
Life-sized statue at Kincsem Park, Budapest
Last updated on June 9, 2009

Kincsem (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈkintʃɛm]; Hungarian for "My Precious" or "My Treasure"; 1874–1887) was the most successful Thoroughbred race horse ever, having won 55 races for 55 starts. Foaled in Kisbér, Hungary in 1874, she is a national icon, and is revered in other parts of the world, too. Over four seasons she won all her races against both female and male company at various race tracks across Europe, a record still unbeaten.

Pedigree[edit]

Kincsem's sire, Cambuscan, was owned by Queen Victoria. He was sold to Hungarian interests in 1873 and was brought to stand at the Hungarian National Stud, Kisber. Cambuscan, second in England's St. Leger Stakes in 1864, was by Newminster, his dam, The Arrow was by Slane. Kincsem was out of the Hungarian mare Waternymph, a daughter of the English horse Cotswold, by Newcourt (by Sir Hercules). Kincsem's third dam, Seaweed was also by Slane making her inbred to him in the third and fourth generations (3x4).[2]

A perhaps apocryphal story surrounds the beginnings of Kincsem. Running with a group of fifty horses on the grounds of her owner's ancestral Hungarian home, she alone was lanky and ungainly. She would stand with her head low and her eyes half-opened. One night she went missing and when found again, was with a band of gypsies. "Why," asked her puzzled owner of the thief, "steal this horse when there were so many better to chose from?" "Because," answered the gypsy, "The other horses may be better looking, but she was the best of the lot. She'll be a champion."[3]

Racing career[edit]

Life-sized statue at Kincsem Park, Budapest

Kincsem's career began in 1876. She was entered for ten races in ten different places in Hungary, Germany and Austria as a two-year-old and won them all.[1]

As her unbeaten streak against Europe's best horses continued, Kincsem attracted great interest from the European racing public. Emperor Franz Josef was known to be a fan. As a three-year-old she won the Two Thousand Guineas in Pozsony, the One Thousand Guineas and the Oaks in Budapest, not to mention the Austrian Derby, the Kaiserpreis in Vienna and the Grosser Preis von Hanover and Grosser Preis von Baden. In all she had seventeen victories.

Her four-year-old campaign was equally successful, beginning with nine straight victories. She travelled to England to take part in the Goodwood Cup, but injury to the fancied Verneuil meant it was an easier challenge than expected.

As a four-year-old Kincsem won the Grand Prix de Deauville and the Grosser Preis von Baden again (after a run-off following a dead-heat).

Kincsem had her fiftieth victory in Frankfurt the next year. Her last race was the Hungarian Autumn Oaks which she won for the third time.

Stud record[edit]

Kincsem retired at the age of seven and was only at stud for a short time.

Her five offspring were:

  • Budagyöngye ("Pearl of Buda"), filly 1882, by Buccaneer. Won German Derby
  • Olyan Nincs ("None Such"), filly 1883, by Buccaneer. Won Hungarian St Leger.
  • Talpra Magyar ("On Your Feet Hungarian"), stallion 1885, by Buccaneer. Untried, but sired the exceptional, Tokio, winner of the Austrian Derby, Grosser Preis von Baden, and the Hungarian St Leger.
  • Kincsőr ("Guardian of Treasure"), stallion 1886, by Doncaster, second in the Austrian Derby and died shortly before the German Derby in which he was highly favoured.
  • Kincs ("Treasure"), filly 1887, by Doncaster. Untried, she became an influential broodmare, her daughter Napfény ("Sunshine") being a major stakes winner and in turn producing the good filly Miczi, winner of stakes races in Hungary and Austria.

The progeny of Kincsem's three daughters won 41 classic races in Austria, France, Germany, Hungary and Italy.[1]

She died on her thirteenth birthday March 17, 1887 from a colic attack, shortly after the birth of her last foal, Kincs.[1] Newspapers across Hungary edged their pages in black the day she passed. Flags were flown at half mast.[3]

There is a life sized statue of her near the stadium at Kincsem Park in Budapest where the Kincsem Museum is located.

Tabulated pedigree[edit]

Pedigree of Kincsem (HUN), ch. m., 1874
Sire
Cambuscan (GB)
1861
Newminster
1848
Touchstone Camel
Banter
Beeswing Doctor Syntax
Ardrossan mare (1817)
The Arrow
1850
Slane Royal Oak
Orville mare (1819)
Southdown Defence
Feltona
Dam
Waternymph
1860
Cotswold (GB)
1853
Newcourt Sir Hercules
Sylph
Aurora Pantaloon
Lady
The Mermaid (GB)
1853
Melbourne Humphrey Clinker
Cervantes mare (1825)
Seaweed Slane
Seakale (Family: 4-o)

Film[edit]

There is a film in development based on the life of Kincsem and it's an integral part of the Hungarian Equestrian Development Program as voted by the Hungarian Ministry of Culture. No word on the date of the theatrical release yet.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Ahnert, Rainer L. (editor in chief), “Thoroughbred Breeding of the World”, Pozdun Publishing, Germany, 1970
  2. ^ ASB – Kincsem (HUN) Retrieved on 2009-8-7
  3. ^ a b Turf and Sport Digest, September, 1949

External links[edit]