John Bull (horse)

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John Bull
Sire Fortitude
Grandsire Herod
Dam Xantippe
Damsire Eclipse
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1789
Country Kingdom of Great Britain
Colour Chestnut
Breeder 1st Earl Grosvenor
Owner Lord Grosvenor
Record 3:2-0-0
Major wins
Great Produce Stakes (1792)
Epsom Derby (1792)

John Bull (1789–1812) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career that lasted from April 1792 to April 1793, he ran three times and won two races. In 1792, he won the Great Produce Stakes on his racecourse debut and then took the Epsom Derby on his only other start of the year. He finished unplaced in his only subsequent race.


John Bull was "a very large, strong"[1] chestnut horse bred by his owner Richard Grosvenor, 1st Earl Grosvenor. He was the second of seven foals bred by Lord Grosvenor from his mare Xantippe, a daughter of Eclipse.[2]

Racing career[edit]

1792: three-year-old season[edit]

John Bull made his first appearance at the Newmarket Craven meeting early in 1792. The Great Produce Stakes was run over ten furlongs "Across the Flat" and attracted 35 entries, each paying 200 guineas, of which nine appeared to run in the race on 9 April. John Bull started the 5/4 favourite as part of a two-horse entry by Lord Grosvenor, and won beating Ormond and Hotspur,[3] claiming a first prize of 4,200 guineas.[4]

At Epsom on 24 May John Bull started the 4/6 favourite for the Derby in a field of seven runners, with Lord Derby's colt Bustard the second choice in the betting at 5/2. Ridden by Frank Buckle, he won from the 100/1 outsider Speculator, with Bustard third.[5]

John Bull was scheduled to run a match race at Newmarket on 16 October against Lord Foley's four-year-old Vermin, the 1791 Derby runner-up. He was withdrawn from the match and Lord Grosvenor paid a 300 guinea forfeit to Lord Foley.[6]

1793: four-year-old season[edit]

More than ten months after his Derby win, John Bull reappeared at the 1793 Craven meeting where he ran in a four-mile Sweepstakes for four-year-olds, which attracted five other runners. He finished unplaced behind St. George, Speculator and Cayenne.[7]

Stud career[edit]

John Bull began his breeding career at Oxcroft near Balsham, Cambridgeshire. In 1796 he stood at a fee of 20 guineas in with a guinea for the groom, the same as the established stallion Potoooooooo at the same stud.[8] A year later he was moved to Figdale, near Chester and his fee reduced to 15 guineas.[9] From 1808 he was moved to Scotland where he stood at Auchins in Ayrshire at 10 guineas until at least 1810.[10] John Bull died in the spring of 1812.[11]

He was a successful sire of winners, with the best of his offspring including Admiral Nelson (1795), Violante (1802) and Ardrossan (1809).[12] John Bull was described as the second most popular stallion of his time, after Sir Peter Teazle.[13] John Bull sired the mare Lady Catherine, who produced the Duke of Wellington's battle charger Copenhagen. Copenhagen was the Duke's mount during the Battle of Waterloo, carrying him for 17 hours continuously during the battle.[1]


Pedigree of John Bull (GB), chestnut stallion, 1789
Fortitude (GB)
Tartar Partner
Cypron Blaze
Snap mare
Snap Snip
sister to Slipby
Milksop Cade
Miss Partner
Xantippe (GB)
Marske Squirt
The Ruby Mare
Spilletta Regulus
Mother Western
Grecian Princess
Williams Forester Croft's Forester
Looby mare
Coalition colt mare Coalition colt
Bustard mare (Family:13)[14]


  1. ^ a b Stocqueler, Joachim Hayward (1853). The life of Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington, Volume 2. London: Ingram, Cooke and Co. p. 35. 
  2. ^ The General stud book. Weatherbys. p. 284. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  3. ^ Robert Hunter. Racing calendar. 1792. John Whitworth. p. 4. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  4. ^ Robert Hunter. Racing calendar. 1792. John Whitworth. p. 162. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  5. ^ Robert Hunter. Racing calendar. 1792. John Whitworth. p. 34. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  6. ^ Robert Hunter. Racing calendar. 1792. John Whitworth. p. 131. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  7. ^ Sporting magazine : or, monthly calendar of the ... v. 2 (Apr. -Sept. 1793). Rogerson & Tuxford. p. 380. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  8. ^ Robert Hunter. Racing calendar. 1795. John Whitworth. p. 325. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  9. ^ Robert Hunter. Racing calendar. 1796. John Whitworth. p. 319. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  10. ^ Robert Hunter. Racing calendar. 1807. John Whitworth. p. 440. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  11. ^ The General stud book. Weatherbys. p. 1030. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  12. ^ "Early Studbook I J K". Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  13. ^ American turf register and sporting magazine. J S Skinner. 1832. p. 446. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  14. ^ "Sedbury Royal Mare - Family 13". Retrieved 2012-02-05.