Himyar (1875 – December 30, 1905) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. Although successful as a racehorse he is most notable as the sire of 1898 Kentucky Derby winner Plaudit and Domino, the grandsire of Colin and Peter Pan. Himyar lived to be thirty years old, outliving both Domino and his famous grandson Commando, who both died young.

Portrait of Himyar by Harry Lyman (1888)
CountryUnited States
BreederMajor Barak G. Thomas
Owner1) Dixiana Farm
2) Edwin S. Gardner
Record27 starts:14–6–4
Major wins
Colt Stakes (1877)
Colt and Filly Fall Stakes (1877)
Belle Meade Stakes (1877)
Phoenix Hotel Stakes (1878)
Belle Meade Stakes (1878)
January Stakes (1878)
Merchant's Stakes (1880)
Turf Stakes (1880)
American Classic Race placing:
Kentucky Derby 2nd (1878)
Leading sire in North America (1893)

Early years and racing career edit

Himyar was a light bay colt sired by Alarm, who was a son of the British-bred stallion Eclipse (by Orlando). His dam Hira was sired by the 19th-century foundation sire, Lexington. Himyar was foaled in 1875 at Dixiana Farm, the Lexington stud farm of Major Barak Thomas, who also owned Himyar's sire Alarm.

Himyar had a nervous disposition and was difficult to train. He was described by sportswriter Charles Hatton as "light-boned, sickle-hocked [and] heavy-quartered."[1]

Himyar showed promising form as a two-year-old, winning many high dollar stakes races while racing in "the West", which at the time referred to Kentucky and Tennessee. His main wins at age two included the Colt Stakes over 6 furlongs at Lexington, the Colt and Filly Stakes over 8 furlongs at Lexington and the Belle Meade Stakes at Louisville. He was retroactively considered the co-champion two-year-old colt of 1877.[1]

At age three, Himyar won the Phoenix Hotel Stakes over 14 furlongs at Lexington, the Belle Meade Stakes over 12 furlongs in Nashville and the January Stakes, consisting of 1-mile heats. He was second in the 1878 Kentucky Derby, losing to Day Star by two lengths.[1]

As an older horse, Himyar's main wins came in the Merchants' Stakes over 9 furlongs and the Turf Stakes, both in 1880.[1] Himyar injured his leg in May 1881 and was retired from racing at six years old.[2]

Stud career edit

Himyar stood at stud for 16 years at Dixiana Farm but was sold in 1897 by Thomas, who was experiencing financial difficulties and was then bought by Edwin Sumner Gardner of Saundersville, Tennessee for $2,500.[3] Himyar died at Gardner's Avondale Stud farm on December 30, 1905, of old age[4] and was buried with the epitaph, "From his ashes speed springs eternal."[5] Himyar's most notable offspring are the colts, Domino, who was nicknamed 'the black whirlwind' during his racing career, and Plaudit. He also sired the filly Correction in 1888, who won 38 major stakes races and was considered one of the fastest fillies of the time.

Himyar was the leading sire in North America of 1893.[1] Through Plaudit, Himyar appears in the pedigrees of many Quarter Horses and his tail-male line is carried through the descendants of Holy Bull (through Plaudit) and Broad Brush (through Domino). The Himyar sire-line also produced the 1983 Epsom Derby winner Teenoso.

Honors edit

The town of Himyar, Kentucky was named in honor of the racehorse.[6]

Pedigree edit

Pedigree of Himyar,[7] bay horse, 1875
1869 bay
1855 bay
Orlando (GB) Touchstone (GB)
Vulture (GB)
Gaze (GB) Bay Middleton (GB)
Flycatcher (GB)
1859 bay
Stockwell (GB) The Baron (IRE)
Pocahontas (GB)
Countess of Abermarle (GB) Lanercost (GB)
Velocipede Mare (GB)
1864 chestnut
1850 bay
Boston Timoleon
Florizel Mare
Alice Carneal Sarpedon (GB)
1846 chestnut
Ambassador (GB) Emilius (GB)
Trapes (GB)
Flight Leviathan (GB)
Charlotte Hamilton (family A15)[8]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e "Himyar (horse)". American Classic Pedigrees. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  2. ^ NY Times. May 2, 1881
  3. ^ Thomas B. Merry. The American Thoroughbred. 1905. p. 120.
  4. ^ Daily Racing Form. August 30, 1912
  5. ^ Daily Racing Form. May 1, 1948
  6. ^ Rennick, Robert M. (1987). Kentucky Place Names. University Press of Kentucky. p. 141. ISBN 0813126312. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  7. ^ "Pedigree of Himyar". Equineline. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  8. ^ "Miss Bell - Family A15". www.bloodlines.net. Retrieved October 30, 2020.