In the 17 ½ years since we published the very first Reine-de-Course story on Too Bald in Owner/Breeder, we have seen an upswing in interest regarding female families. While books about the “Rasmussen Factor”, Edward L. Bowen’s Matriarchs books and the latest – and best – John Sparkman’s Foundation Mares have all honored female lines in one way or another we were the first to give these great mares a name. But the first really organized series on mares belonged to our dear late friend Bob Stokhaug. Bob wrote “American Matriarchs” an excellent set of stories about American broodmares of the year for the old Thoroughbred Record. We have always given him credit for inspiring the Reines-de-Course, along with a variety of phone calls and letters to Leon Ramussen.
Because we once worked, however briefly, for John Sparkman, it was only natural that we look at Foundation Mares with real interest to see if there were any matrons about which he wrote that we had yet to make Reines-de-Course. It was always possible, of course, that he might have written about a line we did not intend ever to do, but then again he might well have pointed out a mare we had neglected for too long. It is in this manner that we settled upon Queen’s Statute for the most recent Reine-de-Course. Thus we want to make it perfectly clear that we credit John Sparkman with having written about her first.
The E. P. Taylor Factor
Whether we would have gotten to her more quickly is impossible to say. We have wended our way through E. P. Taylor’s best mares from *Iribelle and Fanfreluche to Natalma (in Almahmoud’s story), Lady Angela (in Pretty Polly’s story) and Abondance (the Dance In Time group) belongs to Quiver’s Satchel branch.
However, there will be no attempt here to one-up an old boss! Rather, we’ll discuss *Queen’s Statute’s background, pedigree and characteristics briefly but very much in Reine-de-Course mode.
Background and Pedigree
*Queen’s Statute was an unraced Herod-line mare bred in England by Frank Humphreys and imported to Canada by E. P. Taylor at the age of two in 1956.
Her pedigree was a stout one. She was tail-male Tourbillon via Djebel and was inbred to Son-In-Law. Tail-female to Family 22-B (the Echo branch of the Belgrade Turk Mare), she was linebred to this family line via a treble of Venus (x2 Vesuvienne/Lady Joan), expressed 9 x 9 x 8.
Although such good male runners as Lamtarra and Mercedes Won have come from this family, it is pretty much a female dominant line with no strong ‘sire source’ feel. And there is a ‘wow’ daughter:
Though each of her branches have offered up some class, the real “meat” of *Queen’s Statute is found under the winning Northern Dancer mare Royal Statute, as the accompanying chart will attest. Sparkman, a real fan of Northern Dancer, feels that the son of Nearctic was the key to moving this family forward. Perhaps, but the *Queen’s Statute sons by Northern Dancer did not fare well, nor was Falafel, her full sister, an equal so perhaps it was simply a function of Royal Statute being bred to better sires – or inbred -because plenty of them had more than one Northern Dancer line.
The *Queen’s Statute family as it currently stands is quite tricky to inbreed to, unless one is lucky enough to obtain a daughter of Brief Truce or a horse with a Mercedes Won line or even a Luhuk daughter provided one did not cross back on a *Queen’s Statute kin with another Mr. Prospector line. We personally would love to cross a mare carrying Keos back to a sire with a line of his full sister, Korveya. But Keos is hard, if not impossible, to find.
Beyond that, there is such a tangle of Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector/Blushing Groom that one has to be extremely careful not to use too much of a good thing. So our advice to those who might want to use this family for inbreeding is to look in regional markets for mares carrying rare lines like Victorian Order, or Queen’s Law (hint re the latter: Venezuelan imports via her good branch of Kerry Lake).
New Reines from this family include *Queen’s Statute herself; Queen’s Law; Royal Statute; Konafa; Korveya and Awaasif. We’d love to see something come racing into G1 form from one of the older lines like champion Court Royal in Canada and we’ll be watching, but for now this is it: Most definitely a quality family, but one from which you want a mare only.