Sunday, September 25, 2022

Where Marqui comes from: Taraco Mourinho

 And now for the other half of Marqui's pedigree, her sire.  And honestly, as I went through the exercise I felt like I was looking at a whole other breed when compared to her dam.  It's fascinating how much variation there can be within one breed when they're focused on different goals.  They're all recognizably Welsh Cobs but the differences are pretty substantial.  Marqui's dam comes from US breeding, as did both of her parents.  They were all bred to perform first and foremost.  Her sire, on the other hand, is from the UK and from halter based bloodlines.  I have experience with how different working Quarter Horses are from their halter focused siblings but I didn't really know that happened with the Welsh Cob.

Taraco Mourinho, aka Mario, is an eleven year old Welsh Cob imported from the UK as a foal by his owner.  He was described as scruffy and naughty as a foal, then grew up to be a lovely show horse.  She's ridden him and trained him up the levels in dressage and he has great scores right up to Third Level.  Rumor has it that he's schooling PSG right now but his owner is focusing on Intermediare with her Lusitano stallion and materiale classes with Kiki's half brother.  His inspection noted his uphill tendency in all gaits, excellent type for his breed, being masculine without it being excessive, and for being cooperative at all gaits.  He was awarded Premium as a Welsh Cob and is in the Westfalen Stud Book I.  As he's ridden by an amateur and I've seen pictures of him trail riding and playing in the ocean, his temperament is definitely part of what sold me on the pairing.  Those that have met him describe him as very level headed but with a cob sense of humor.

Photos from Westfalen NA

Marqui is Mario's first purebred Welsh Cob foal.  Before her, he'd been crossed with WB mares with great success.  His filly Mata Hari was the #1 KDR in the Westfalen inspection tour 2021.

Photo from Westfalen NA

Mario is an import from the Taraco Stud and his breeding was not performance focused.  The Taraco stud is more focused on color and breed show performance.  The did start producing partbreds aimed at the dressage market in 2020 but the cob program is focused on buckskins and palominos that do well at Welsh shows.  Genetically speaking, Mario was supposed to be a buckskin or a palomino or even a double dilute with a smoky cream (homozygous dilute) dam and buckskin (heterozygous dilute) sire.  Naughty, naughty Mario from day one.

Mario's sire was Danaway Flash Jack.  Flash Jack was a multiple time champion at the Royal Welsh show as a colt and as a stallion and is a popular stallion in the UK for the halter breeders.

Photo from Rainhill Welsh Cobs

This is where the conversation gets complicated and I'm going to temper my comments.  Danaway Flash Jack is butt high.  Very butt high.  It's not the ideal conformation for a dressage horse.  Or saddle fitting for that matter.  It's a thing in the Cob stallions that show in hand.  Watch the Welsh breed shows in the UK on Youtube and you'll see a definite trend for the horses that are from halter bloodlines.  Part of the topline issues can be contributed to the way the cobs are presented (heads way up high especially when moving, parked out at the halt), excess weight, and lack of strength over the back.  And he does have a lovely head and eye catching look but it's not a horse built for performance in harness or under saddle.
Photo from Rainhill Welsh Cobs

Mario's grandsire is Trevallion Flash Jack and you can see why his son shared his name.  Just a tiny bit of similarity.  Trevallion horses show up in a lot of places including performance horses.  Northforks Cardi goes back to Trevallion Royal Consort as his sire's sire.  Falcon, the broodmare that just got added to the Mare Book I as Premium at age 22, also has Royal Consort as her sire's sire.  Another one where it's hard to find pictures of him, his Danaway son was much more popular.

Photo from Rainhill Welsh Cobs

Mario's granddam on the sire's side was Trevallion April.  She's a bit of a chunky monkey but was also a champion at the Welsh breed shows in the UK.  Little butt high but not like Danaway Flash Jack.  

Photo from Rainhill Welsh Cobs

On the bottom of the pedigree, Mario's dam is Paith Magical Rockset, a smoky cream mare that was well loved by her owner for her sweet temperament.  

Photo from Taraco Stud

Hard to tell much about her from this angle but super sweet face, I think Mario got his expression from his mother.  He also seems to have gotten more from his dam's side than his sire's side when you look back one more generation.  Rockset's sire was Paith Magical Meredith.  The bottom of his pedigree is mostly Paith.  Comparing Mario to his grand sire Meredith, there's more than a bit of family resemblance.

Photo from Rainhill Welsh Cobs

His grand dam on the dam's side is Paith Flying Rosalind.  No luck in finding a picture of her since she wasn't a champion and I've only found two offspring for her, one of which was Rockset.  

I had to share Mario's 5 generation pedigree because it gets a bit . . . repetitive back in generation 4 and 5.  Nebo Black Magic and Pentre Eiddwen Comet both show up five times.  Which makes sense given the history of the Welsh Cob.  Comet was foaled in 1946, just after World War II which devastated the Cob population.  He was part of the Premium scheme that encouraged owners of quality stallions to get their boys out there.  One of his sons was Nebo Black Magic who was foaled 1962.  He was so popular it's hard to find cobs that don't have him somewhere.  

Photo from Nebo Stud

Given his parents, smoky black Mario must have been a disappointment for the breeder.  He's definitely a dilute but he's not palomino or buckskin.  Instead he's the perfect coloring and markings to be a dressage horse.  Marqui does seem to have taken after her dam more than her sire (not a shocker from what I'm learning) but you can see her father in her longer neck and her expression when I get side eye.

Yeah, that expression is already familiar to me.

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