By J.W. Equine

If one talks about the breeding of event horses in North America, Babamist immediately jumps to mind, as no other stallion on this continent comes close to his record. His offspring are well known in eventing circles and include Arctic Mist (registered as Grey Brother), Chamikazi (with Kim Morani), Epiphany, (with Cynthia Holz), Good Force (with rider/owner Lisa Lewis), Heyday (Pan Am gold medallist with Bruce Davidson), Mystic High (USCTA Mare of the Year), Mystic Milo (with Mary Hazzard), My Turn (with Mary Hazzard), Patrick Anyway (with Linden Wiesmann) and Snowy River (with Phyllis Dawson).  For a stallion to consistently get offspring of international caliber in a specific discipline there must be some strong genetic factors at work.

The 1969 chestnut was bred by W. Burling Cocks and foaled in Maryland. In his racing days, Babamist had 13 starts in 4 years over jumps, which resulted in a record of 5-0-1 and earnings of $10,620 for his owner, Mrs. M. Valentine. But certainly these were not strong enough credentials to suggest he would be such a prolific sire of eventers. Perhaps if we examine his pedigree we may be able to identify some of the influences that made him so prepotent.

Mystic II- (1954, Bay) Raced at 2 and 3 in Europe where he had 14 starts (5-5-1) including stakes wins in France and a stakes placing in Germany. After being imported to the U.S. he had 79 starts (15-15-11) from 3 to 7 years of age. At stud he got China Run (steeplechase stakes winner of the Temple Gwathmey and the Charles L. Appleton Memorial while setting a new course record), Freeman’s Hill (set a new track record and won the Maryland Hunt Cup Steeplechase twice, at 10 and 11 years old), Life’s Illusion (Champion Steeplechaser of 1975), Mystan (third in the Blockhouse Hurdle Handicap), Mystic Lad (winner of 7 races and second in the Elkridge Hurdle Handicap), Onamystic (new course record setter and second in the Virginia Gold Cup Steeplechase), Soothsayer (Champion Steeplechaser of 1972), Springdale (Grand prix winning jumper in the U.S.) and Springer (Canadian Equestrian Team jumper), among others.

Babadana- (1949) At the track, she only had 2 starts but was said to have jumping ability. She also produced Babamist’s half-brother, Roi-A-Dan, who was second in the Georgetown Steeplechase Handicap and third in the Fair Hill Steeplechase before retiring to a life as a show hunter.

Relic- (1945, Black) After a race career that saw him win 5 of 7 starts in North America, he was sent overseas where he soon garnered a position among the leading sires in England and France. The list of his offspring includes Dear Brutus (won the Midsummer Hurdle Handicap), Gric (a sire of hunters), Olden Times (ancestor to the eventers Falconmirth, Out And About, Primitive Gold, Trans Ama Flirt and Tashiling), Buisson Ardent (ancestor to the Irish-bred jumpers Abervail Dream and Kilbaha as well as the eventer Ferndale Rubber Ball) and Pericles (KWPN approved sire of jumpers, dressage mounts and approved sons including the Westphalian, Paradox I, and the pinto dressage sire, Samber, in addition to being the broodmare sire of the KWPN dressage sire, Ulft). Interestingly, Relic descends in tail-female line from the mare, Vaila, as does the famous USET jumper, Gem Twist.

Tosca- (1942, Bay) Ancestor to Schalkhaar (KWPN jumper), Carrera (KWPN jumper) and Ashley (Selle Francais jumper). Her full brother, Tournoi, was a winner on the flat and over jumps before going to stud in Canada where his blood can be found in hunters and jumpers.

Flushing II- (1939, Grey) A stakes winner in France, he had 63 starts while racing until 7 years old. Three of his wins came in hurdle races before he came to this continent. His dam also produced Callandi, winner of 10 races on the flat and over jumps and is ancestor to the Canadian jumper, Carousel. Flushing II sired Songai (a 1949 colt who set a new track record, won the Rouge Dragon Hurdle Handicap and was third in the Rouge Dragon Steeplechase and Bushwick Hurdle Handicaps). His influence is found in the pedigrees of Amerigo (eventer), Carousel (jumper), Paul Harvey (jumper) and Trans Ama Flirt (eventer).

Beaubabs- (1940) Dam of Bab’s Whey (a 1947 mare who won the Delaware Spring Maiden Steeplechase and was second in the International Gold Cup Steeplechase), Beau Shah (a 1955 gelding who won the Brunswick Hurdle Handicap and was second in the Saratoga National Maiden Hurdle Stakes) and Babadora (second dam of the hunter, Miss December).

Gino- (1930) A third place finisher in the English Two Thousand Guineas before changing residence to the U.S. He is a half-brother to the well-known sire, Alibhai and is the sire of American Way (Champion Steeplechaser of 1948), The Heir (Set a new track record at Saratoga and won 7 separate Steeplechase stakes races) and Winged Hoofs (second in the Shilelah Steeplechase and third in the Cagliostro Hurdle Handicap), just to name a few. His name also appears in the pedigree of Broadcast News and Bruce Davidson’s former mount, Beacon Charm.

Although not immediately evident, what did strike the author was the apparent soundness and longevity of many of these ancestors and their descendants. In addition, there are a good number of jumpers and dressage competitors that trace to these same bloodlines. As we all know, these are definitely qualities and abilities one seeks in an eventer. As further proof of the “eventing” genes in Babamist’s lineage, let’s compare his ancestors (refer to pedigree chart) to those of some currently ranked international horses as well as a few “biggies” from the past.

Competitor - Shared Ancestors

Amorino- (Hanoverian) Tourbillon, Man O’War, Gainsborough, Blenheim II

Arakai- Gainsborough, Tourbillon

Aspyring- Gainsborough, Tourbillon, Man O’War, Blenheim II

Bambi de Briere- (Selle Francais) Tracery, Sunstar

Custom Made- (ISH) Rabelais, Blandford, Gainsborough, Ksar, Bachelor’s Double

Supreme Rock- (ISH) Tourbillon, Blenheim II, Rabelais, Bachelor’s Double

Bermuda’s Gold- Gainsborough, Sundridge

Best Seller- Man O’War, Tourbillon, Teresina, Blenheim II, Friar Rock, Gainsborough,      Mahmoud

Better Times- Gainsborough, Tracery, Man O’War, Blenheim II, Black Toney, Blandford

Bounce- Gainsborough, Bachelor’s Double, Tracery, Blandford, Buchan

Broadcast News- Blandford, Tetratema, Gainsborough, Man O’War, Bachelor’s Double,   Gino

Charisma- Gainsborough, Blandford, Tetratema, Rabelais

Cornish Envoy- Gainsborough, Mah Mahal, Tourbillon

Coral Cove- Blenheim II, Gainsborough, The Tetrarch

Debat d’Estruval- Mahmoud, Blandford, Rabelais,

Eyespy II- Tourbillon, Blenheim II, Gainsborough, Mumtaz Mahal

Giltedge- Blandford, Bachelor’s Double

G.V. Braveheart- Gainsboprough, Blenheim II, Relic

Hinnegar- Blenheim II, Tourbillon, Gainsborough, Tetratema, Eroica

Hunter Red- Blandford, Gainsborough, Bachelor’s Double, Tracery

Jacob Two Two- Black Toney, Blenheim II, Tetratema, Buchan, Mumtaz Mahal

Jaybee- Tourbillon, Gainsborough, Mumtaz Mahal

J.J. Babu- Tourbillon, Man O’War, Friar’s Carse, Blandford, Mumtaz Mahal

Just A Mission- Blandford, Gainsborough, The Tetrarch, Sunstar, Tourbillon

Kibah Sandrift and Kibah Tic Toc- Gainsborough, Bachelor’s Double

King Apollo- Gainsborough, Sunstar, Tracery, Blandford, The Tetrarch

Madrigal and Montevideo- (Holsteiners) Blandford, Bachelor’s Double, Gainsborough, Sunstar, Maid Of The Mist

Mayhill- Sunstar, Blandford, The Tetrarch, Maid Of The Mist

Maori King- Gainsborough, The Tetrarch, Blandford, Rabelais, Sun Briar

Might Tango- Mahmoud, Buchan, Bachelor’s Double, 

Mister Maori- Blenheim II, Bachelor’s Double, Gainsborough, Tetratema, Blandford

Molakai- Mahmoud, Tetratema, 

Moon Man- Gainsborough, Teresina, Blenheim II, Mumtaz Mahal

Murphy Himself- Fair Play, Blenheim II, Blandford, Tetratema, Sunstar, Gainsborough

Native Roberto (The Native)- Tourbillon, Man O’War, Fair Play, Black Toney, Mumtaz Mahal

Nickel King- Tetratema, Teresina, Blandford, Blenheim II, Mahmoud, Gainsborough

Northerly Native- Mahmoud, Man O’War, Gainsborough, Black Toney

Out and About- Relic, Tourbillon, Buchan, Teresina, Mahmoud, Blenheim II,  Gainsborough

Over To You- Gainsborough, Blandford, Tourbillon, Man O’War, Friar’s Carse, Sunstar

Pathfinder- Mahmoud, Tourbillon, Buchan, Black Toney, Man O’War, Friar’s Carse

Ready Teddy- Bachelor’s Double, Gainsborough, Tetratema, Blandford, Mumtaz Mahal

Regal Scot- Relic, Mahmoud, Gainsborough, Bachelor’s Double

Rainbow Magic, Simply Rhett and Matt Butler- Gainsborough, Blandford, Blenheim II,                  Teresina, Mumtaz Mahal, Fair Play, Sun Briar

Roman Guard- Gainsborough, Blenheim II, Mumtaz Mahal, Blenheim II, Buchan

Scotia Goldrush- Teresina, Tracery, Blenheim II, Gainsborough, Buchan, Black Toney

Shear H2O and Shear L’Eau- Blenheim II, Gainsborough, Tourbillon, Black Toney

Silence- Gainsborough, Bachelor’s Double, Blenheim II, Man O’War, Mumtaz Mahal

Sky’s Prospect- War Relic, Blenheim II, Mahmoud, Gainsborough, Mumtaz Mahal

Squelch- War Relic, Blenheim II, Bachelor’s Double, Tourbillon, Mahmoud, Teresina,                    Man O’War, 

Squirrel Hill- Tourbillon, Gainsborough, Blenheim II, Bachelor’s Double, Man O’War

Sunburst- Blenheim II, Mumtaz Mahal, Gainsborough, Tredennis, Lady Bawn, Rabelais,    Black Toney, Tourbillon

Team Toggi Chesterfield- Blandford, Gainsborough, Mahmoud, Malva, Mumtaz Mahal

The Gangster II- Mahmoud, Gainsborough, Fair Play, Tetratema

Tin Tommy- Rabelais, Mumtaz Mahal, Tourbillon

True Blue Girdwood- Mahmoud, Tourbillon, Black Toney, Gainsborough

Uppercut- Tourbillon, Black Toney, Blenheim II, Mumtaz Mahal, Gainsborough

Welton Envoy- Mah Mahal, Gainsborough, Blandford

Westlord- Gainsborough, Blandford, Blenheim II, Mumtaz Mahal, Roi Herode

Word For Word- Relic, Mahmoud, Buchan, Bachelor’s Double

Worth The Trust- Black Toney, Mah Mahal, Blandford, Man O’War

Given the extent to which the ancestors appear in the pedigrees of world class eventers, it soon becomes evident that this is the lineage of a horse that was genetically destined to be a sire of distinction. Babamist was not a fluke. He merely fulfilled his destiny.