Rivers of Gold – excerpts: part 18

“… Since British horses breeders refused to send their mares to Diomed, Bunbury put the aging stallion up for sale.  Diomed was 21 years old when Colonel Hoomes purchased him for $250.  In horse years 21 is old.  Nonetheless Diomed was loaded on a ship bound for America.


At the time stallions were walked or ridden from farm to farm.  Diomed, no doubt pleased with his new career, trotted proudly up and down the dirt road of Virginia visiting farm upon farm, servicing countless mares.  Diomed diligently continued his stallion duties until he died at 31.  Along the way he sired some of the most significant American Thoroughbreds, including Sir Archy who’s descendants included Lexington, leading US sire.

Extremely popular among Virginia’s horse owners, at Diomed’s death it was reported, “…there was as much mourning over his demise and there was at the death of George Washington.”

Diomed’s bloodlines were stellar.  His ancestors were among the horses in the first edition of the General Stud Bok.  In other words, the crème de la crème.  Both his sire and dam were direct descendants of the Godolphin Arabian, one of the foundation stallions.  Diomed’s dam also traces to the Darley Arabian, another of the 3 original stallions.  Both Diomed’s parents descend from Flying Childers, considered to be the first great racehorse.

No doubt the genes of Diomed were part of the makeup of countless horses providing the river beds of our Canadian genetic streams.  The principal connection was through the stallion Lexington, Diomed’s great-great-grandson…

Rivers of Gold

… to be continued



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