Posts Tagged ‘Badlands Hanover’

Lydia Knight, like Nibble Hanover, flies under the radar in many considerations of top mares in harness racing history.

But what an influence she has had. Did you know she shares her ancestral maternal line with trotting sensation and sire Love You? Weird eh! But true. This is the line referred to as U29.

Her own pedigree is solid but not spectacular. To be honest there is nothing there that I can see as a predictor of future influence. She was a daughter of Peter The Brewer (a son of Peter The Great) and a Guy Axworthy mare called Guy Rosa.

But going back a couple of maternal generations to Lady Shipley there are some interesting links to the French trotter/sire Buvetier D’Aunou (sire of Ganymede, and also sire in NZ of a mare named The Quiet Storm), and perhaps more potently the modern French trotters/sires Love You, Repeat Love and In Dix Huit. You never know where you may end up when you start clicking around the pedigree of great mares! In this case, it is Lady Shipley’s daughter Florence D (b1879) and Florence D’s grand-daughter Miladi Anne who was bred to Es Tu La III, a French sire I know nothing about, and in turn her 1934 grand-daughter Miss Volo (F U29 ) and finally through Miss Volo’s daughter Tanie we find some names we also know – Jet D’Emeraude, and another branch of Tanie to the very good French mare Amour d’Aunou and her descendants – Guilty Of Love (dam of Love You), and high performers Private Love, Buvetier d’Aunou and Defi d’Aunou. It is worth clicking though the family on Classic Families to see these connections. 

There is something in this family that adds value at certain moments and makes those defining crossroads, much like we looked at in the series on Romola  and Romola Hal.

Back to Lydia Knight herself. I like to paint a picture of these horses in some sort of real way, not just as a name in a pedigree. She is hard to track down but I’ve uncovered a bit of information and stories from the time that help. She was born in 1929, and was a brown filly. Given her name, it is likely she was bred at Almahurst Farm belonging to the Knight family, but I don’t have the details to support that. For her latter career at least she was owned by Tanglewood Farm. She was dual gaited and took a record of 2:03 for pacing and 2.06 for trotting which in 1935 led to her featuring in a photo montage on the front page of the Kutztown Patriot of 15 August when she took her trotting mark and became the fastest dual-gaited mare during their 1935 Fair and Exhibition:

Lydia Knight takes world record for dual-gaited mare

(A slice of the montage and the caption from the 1935 Kutztown Patriot newspaper) “To the right is Lydia Knight, brown mare, driven by Houston Stone as she crossed the finish line in world record time. Owned and entered by the Tanglewood Farm, Winston-Salem, N. C, she stepped off the 2:24 class trot in 2:06 1/4 to establish a new world’s trot record for a double-gaited mare.”

I can’t find for sure how many foals she had in total – Classic Families records 7 but of course that database doesn’t record progeny that did not contribute to the family at all, so there could have been more. Let’s focus on the 7 that did – and the first of those, Knightland, was born in 1943, and the last of them, Last Knight, in 1955. She may have had some earlier foals that didn’t perform, but even so it does make her main breeding era span when she was definitely a mature mare around 14 to 25 years old!

The advantage of that was aligning with Nibble Hanover at stud. Of those 7 foals 5 are by Nibble Hanover and the results show they certainly clicked. Lydia was a bit of a cougar – Nibble Hanover was born the year after she took that dual-gaited record at the Kutztown Fair!

Let’s have a quick look through Lydia Knight’s legacy from each of those foals, because it is easy to skip over them and focus on Knight Dream.

Knightland (by Scotland) – I am not sure how many foals Knightland had in total, but clearly her 1956 filly foal Adios Land (by Adios Boy) is the only one who carried this line into the future. Adios Land has 10 foals on the Classic Families database and overall what a very solid line it has turned out to be. In terms of modern day performers that we know down under, this line has produced Preacher Edith and therefore her descendants Parson’s Den and Lady Ashlee Ann (the dam of Betterthancheddar and other very good performers). Lydia Knight’s trotting gait carries on in some of the Adios Land branches that migrated to Scandanavia and one those is a grandson of Sampson Maid called Sandy Bowl (by Super Bowl) who ended up as the sire of some very good trotters, but nothing that has bred on at an elite level that I can spot. Likewise Sandy Bowl’s sister (aptly if unimaginatively named Sandys Sister) has left some good trotting descendants in America, the best being a 2011 great-grandson called Muscle Matters by Muscle Mass. But her real legacy lies in Europe where her Victory Dream son Keepitinthefamily turned into a very nice sire including the high performing Swedish trotter Finders Keepers.

Lydia Knight’s next daughter was Marjorie Armstrong (by Nibble Hanover), who was mainly bred to Adios. Like so many maternal lines, it has many branches which are often if not dead ends then just mildly successful with consistent performers or one or two really good ones dotted among the decendents. For us New Zealanders of most interest is that two sires who stood here were both sons of Marjorie Armstrong – Bulvon (by  Thorpe Hanover, very limited success) and Schicker (by Most Happy Fella, slightly better innings as a sire). In North America Marjorie Armstrong also pops up in the maternal line of the very good racehorse Stabilizer (1:54.4, $525,771 and world champion status) who crosses 4 x 4 to her and her full brother Knight Dream. And the richest son of Laag, Bilateral, has a 5 x 5 x 5 to the same siblings – Laag through his sire Abercrombie, and through his bottom maternal line to Majorie Armstrong. She also is in the maternal line of the very, very good 2007 gelding PH Supercam by Million Dollar Cam – 1:49.2 and $1,244,251. 

The following year Lydia Knight foaled the little chap who grew up to be Knight Dream. What a legacy he has left as a sire and a broodmare sire. We will come back to him separately.

Following that in 1950 was Sweet Dream, another full sister to Knight Dream. She has left many branches that have popped up very good horses along the way. Of most long term significance is Badlands Hanover by Behave Hanover, a great-granddaughter of Sweet D

ream. I have so much respect for Badlands Hanover as a sire. He came into siring ranks when sons of Western Hanover were not nearly as attractive

Badlands Hanover

Badlands Hanover – classy sire with many links to Lydia Knight.

or recognised in New Zealand as other lines, and yet by sheer tenacity (much like his best horses) he has proven himself a sire that has delivered again and again through the past 16 years, and often through top, tough females. In American he has retained his status as a popular sire consistently for well over a decade. Durable and classy. He is now 20 years old and hasn’t shuttled here since 2013 but is still available as frozen semen. He deserves a blog to himself, but for the moment just a tip o’ the hat to a fantastic quality sire – and one very real and enduring descendant of Lydia Knight. As well as the maternal link to Sweet Dream, Badlands Hanover carries Knight Dream through double doses of both Best Of All and Most Happy Fella.

A more direct offspring of Sweet Dream also stood as a sire here – Timely Knight – in the mid to late 1970s. He had been a very good racehorse. His two outstanding foals were the great mare Armalight and a tough colt Camelot (who stood himself for a while but with little to show for it). Armalight of course was a top racemare but has proved a bit of an enigma in terms of breeding on. With every chance at top sires the most consistent branch as been her Vance Hanover daughter Berkleigh Square who produced  the very good London Pride and London Express, raced mainly in Australia, while one of Armalight’s great-great-grandaughters is the dam of the super Bettor’s Delight horse Ohoka Punter who has 38 starts for 17 wins ($664,376) and at this point in time (May 2016) is almost equalling pegging with his maternal ancestor Armalight’s score of 36 starts for 18 wins ($277,520). Timely Knight’s daughter Marilyn led to a sprawling family with the best branches coming from Candle In The Wind, with English Elegance, Thomas Pyke, and Jaccka Turk etc.

Lydia Knight’s later foals are:

Rosa Knight (also by Nibble Hanover) whose best branch crossed to a son of Scotland (Scottish Pence) to produce Rosa Pence, and one of her best descendants is Catch The Wind, a 1977 filly by Aldebert Hanover who is descended from May Dodge i.e. the U7 family that I am talking about in my parallel series on Romola Hal’s descendants.  Remember it was the Knight Dream (U29) intersection with the Miss Duvall (U7) line that seemed to really kick things off with Adora’s resulting foal K Nora. Although the offspring from Rosa Knight’s branch haven’t endured at a high level.

Beautiful Dream (again by Nibble Hanover) was Lydia Knight’s 1953 foal, and the best of her descendants has been the 1982 mare Saccharum ($805,295) but that line hasn’t kicked on to any degree.

What I notice when I look at the stronger lines from Lydia Knight – or the pedigree some of the really key horses in those lines – is that at some stage they intersected again with Nibble Hanover himself or Knight Dream and his amazing influence. And of course the apparent synergy with the U7 family as well. Nibble Hanover’s family is U12 going back to the Miss Copeland mare and in a superb case of serendipity to her grandam called “Lydia”. I’ll blog more about that another time.

Lydia Knight and Nibble Hanover. What a team.

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