Stallion Timelines - Brief Introduction
Author: Jana Nemeckova, published: 11th January 2018
Ever since the creation of thoroughbred, sirelines come into existence, grow, weaken and disappear - after a shorter or longer period of time. We know a lot of them died out, and we're used to comfortably leave out the fact that the same cycle inevitably awaits our current and favourite ones. Thoroughbred sirelines are a fascinating thing, and it goes far beyond the creation of dynasties. Sirelines help to create each other and kill each other. In different times, in different places... and by different circumstances.
These contexts are one of the hardest things to follow because the 19th and the 20th century brought a wide range of sirelines. And, from their nature, they come very far from the history, where only real pedigree enthusiasts are willing to go nowadays. So we came up with one thing which might help: graphic timelines of thoroughbred stallions.
The first and the foremost, they should help to comprehend which sireline blossomed in which time. In the second place, there's going to be a great comparison which stallions were standing during the same period - which is another major issue average man can only hardly remember. And finally, it might help to understand the continuity of thoroughbred breeding, because this is what the thoroughbred breeding actually is: a line of peaks of various sirelines. If there's anything we, as thoroughbred breeders, pedigree researchers and thoroughbred fans, should understand, this is probably it.
We have to explain some technical aspects of this work though.
The timelines show not life periods of particular sires, but their periods at stud. It may be weird, but when you think about it, lifetime periods would say nothing about the sireline, and they're in no relation to stud careers and thus the direct influence of each stallion. And the second thing is that these years at stud doesn't correspond with the foal crops of every sire - they always start and end a year earlier. Please keep this in mind.
And there's another aspect we want to make clear from the beginning: we don't like it at all, but there can be errors. The thing is: it's impossible to check or sometimes even find the correct information for each stallion, especially those less important ones. It's easy to find any data about Bold Ruler, but with some stallion exported to Japan or Australia, who left only a handful of foals there, we can't be any sure when exactly his breeding career ended, for example. Or, with lots of foals from both Great Britain and Ireland, we can't be sure where some sire was standing at stud when we don't know the exact place.
This is a very unpleasant situation. We did probably the only thing we could do at all: we just included the years we were sure about - or made wider terms, like "Europe" instead of a country.
As we said, we don't like it at all, but there's one more aspect: it actually doesn't matter that much. We hate to say it, as we like the precise work and exact data. But what matters in these files is CONTEXT. And you will probably agree that whether some stallion's career ended one year earlier or later, it doesn't change anything in the life cycle of the whole line. And so doesn't the fact whether he was exported a year earlier or later, to Italy or to Switzerland.
You don't have to worry so much because in the most cases, stallions' careers can be mapped well. We would only like to ask you not to get mad when you find something you know it's an error. Instead, please, contact us and help us to correct the information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the work on these files, we also had to make several compromises. The original idea was to make these lines strictly chronological - but the only result, when you have a really big line with several branches, is the absolutely indescribable mess. So we divided lines into several branches, which are possible to follow, and we hope this will add to the better understandability of the lines, not vice versa.
Also, the original idea was to make several decades in a row - to better see the dynamics of the line during the decades. We already published several articles with these timelines, and although it looked well, we simply had to delete the timelines for the small-screen devices, which was not a good solution at all. The dividing into decades, as it is right now, is mostly due to the necessary responsivity for these devices. But once again, we were stunned by the parameters of the modern technologies, because there's NO way you can put nine empty cells of the table, and the tenth one with the name "Awesome Again" in it, on the screen of the iPhone. Once again, we're sorry for it. We're happy we were able to get them to the pretty small screens, and this is the technical limit here. We suppose it will work in the landscape orientation on the most devices though.
Last, but not least... please remember that we're only starting with these files. We will do our best to improve them in the future.