Timoleon (horse)

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For the Greek statesman of this name, see Timoleon.

Timoleon (USA).jpg
SireSir Archy
DamSaltram mare (A24) (1801)
DamsireSaltram (GB)
Foaled1813 or 1814
CountryUnited States
BreederBenjamin Jones
OwnerJ.J. Harrison

Colonel William Wynn
Robert R. Johnson

Colonel David Dancy
Recordabout 15 starts for 13 wins, 2 seconds
Last updated on 2 October 2010

Timoleon (foaled in either 1813 or 1814, depending on source*), was a good American Thoroughbred racehorse and was later an important sire.


A chestnut horse whose only marking was a small white star and standing 15 hands 3 inches high, Timoleon was bred by Benjamin Jones in Greensfield County, Virginia. He was by one of America's greatest foundation stallions and a National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame inductee, Sir Archy. Timoleon's dam was the Saltram mare (A24) (1801) by the imported British stallion, Saltram, from the Wildair mare (1795) by Syme's Wildair. In 1800, when Saltram was 20 years old he was imported to Virginia, then the heart of Thoroughbred breeding in the United States, by the Virginian "gentleman," William Lightfoot. Through this pedigree Timoleon combined the blood of the three Thoroughbred sirelines: Eclipse, Herod and Matchem.

Racing record[edit]

At three, Timoleon was purchased by William Wynn of Petersburg, Virginia who seems to have regretted his purchase because Timoleon was rapidly sold on to Robert R. Johnson. Wynn then went through an immediate change of heart. Ten days after selling the horse, he offered to buy him back for a thousand dollars more than his selling price, saying he was, "...superior to any race horse that ever turned a gravel on any race course in the United States".[1]

Timoleon was the "Pride of Virginia." But racing so long ago, the actual statistics on his career on the track are hard to trace. It seems he might have started 15 times and that he won 13 of those starts, which were over the then-usual distances of three or four miles. It also seems he might have won all fifteen if he'd been entered in better form.[2] Four of his wins were "walk-overs." In his day if a horse like Timoleon was scheduled to compete but no horse could be found to challenge him, then he (or she) would be allowed to canter the course, winning the purse and the race. It is certain he defeated some of the best horses of his time. He defeated the two best daughters of Sir Archy: Reality and Lady Lightfoot, who were both highly regarded.[1]

His final race took place in February 1818. He'd suffered with equine distemper (also called Strangles) a week before, was still entered, but had to be pulled up with respiratory problems, his second and last defeat.[2]

Stud record[edit]

Timoleon then stood briefly at stud at the farm of Johnson and Wynn's stables in North Carolina. In 1819 he was sold to Colonel David Dancy who took him first to General Hunter's plantation in Madison County Alabama and then, in 1829, to Nashville, Tennessee and one year later, to Charles City County, Virginia.[2]

Timoleon proved to be a good sire, even if only by producing Boston who sired the outstanding sire Lexington. But he also sired:

  • Hotspur who was undefeated until he broke down in a race against Flirtilla
  • Sally Walker, his best filly, was considered one of the best in her day.
  • Washington who defeated the great Henry

His date of death is as uncertain as his date of birth, but was probably 1836 when he was in his 24th year.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bloodlines bio Retrieved 2010-10-2
  2. ^ a b c Baseball Magazine
  • “The History of Thoroughbred Racing in America,” by William H.P. Robertson, Bonanza Books, New York

(*Australian Stud Book says 1814. Bloodlines says 1813.)

External links[edit]