I think back to 1885 and to Apex, Duroc, Director, Nutwood, Gloster, Phallas, Sultan, and Sir Archie, sold by J. Horatio Earll for export to the Argentine Republic, noble American Merino sheep, sons of Skaneateles, shipped off to South America.
One cannot help but wonder what became of Duroc, named for the thoroughbred son of Epsom Derby winner Diomed, and the sire of American Eclipse. Or Nutwood, named for the only trotter to have a record under 2:20 and sire five more with records under 2:20.
And how could Horatio Earll part with his Phallas, doubly named, once for the stallion of Heraclius, emperor of Byzantium, the steed who carried his master to victory at the Battle of Ninevah (625 A.D.), and then for the trotter who beat Maxey Cobb in 1885? Or Sir Archie, named for another son of Diomed and one of the greatest American thoroughbreds of his day? Or Sultan, named for the leading sire in England and Ireland from 1832-1837?
We may never know if these were exceptionally fast sheep, or if Horatio Earll just had a thing for the ponies. The answer grazes somewhere in the grasslands of Patagonia.
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With thanks to the Register of the New York State American Merino Sheep Breeders’ Association, Volume II (1889), donated to Cornell University in 1904 by Horatio Earll, Secretary of the Association.