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  Cullen Arabian

Cullen Arabian  
Brown-bay colt, c. 1740.
Imported c. 1745 from or via Algeria


The brown-bay Cullen Arabian was part of a wave of horses imported from "the East" in the mid-eighteenth century, one of the most popular of his ilk during his time and a generally successful sire who had some influence on English thoroughbreds, and on American thoroughbred bloodlines.

He was one of two horses, the other being the Mosco Grey Arabian, presented by the Emperor of Morocco to the British consul. They were brought to England around 1745 from Constantine (now Algeria) by a Mr. Mosco(e). The GSB says the Cullen Arabian was "(really a Barb)," which is supported by his port of departure, the Barbary Coast of Africa.

Once in England, the Cullen Arabian was sold to the well-known sportsman and racehorse owner Charles Cockayne, (5th) Viscount Cullen, whose seat was Rushton Hall in Northamptonshire. He was married to Ann, daughter of J. Burlase Warren, also a keen breeder and racehorse owner, best known as the owner the great racehorse Careless, and of Sportsman, grandsire of Pot-8-Os. The latter owned two of the Cullen Arabian's offspring from a Diamond mare, Camilla (1747), the dam of Croney (1767), a sire, and Camillus (1748), "a racer of very high form in his day." He also bred Whimsey (1747), the dam of the racehorse and sire Dragon (1757), and Mosco, who won the Royal Guineas at Lichfield in 1751, both from the Cullen Arabian. The Cullen Arabian also sired Fulk Greville's brown colt Hobby-Horse (1756), Bolingbroke's grey colt Exotic (1756, winner of a 300 guineas match at Newmarket in 1766); Sir John Moore's bay colt Hackney (1756, winner of 4 mile heats for 50 sovereigns at Huntingdon), and Oxford's bay filly Matron (1755).

His daughters were good producers. He got the dam of Sotheron's Elephant (1757, by Regulus), Compton's Principessa (1762 by Blank), Sedley's Aeolus (1757 by Regulus), Sedley's Regulator (1767 by Warren's Careless), Sedley's Lovely (1760 by Babraham), and Sedley's Hero (1770 by Sedley's Arabian); the dam of the famous race mare Cunegonde (1769, by Blank, later dam of Bolton by Highflyer), and the grandam of the excellent racing brothers (from a Snap mare and by Matchem) Conductor (1767), Alfred (1770), Dictator (1773), Ainderby (1769), and Laurustinus (1778).

His most lasting influence was through a grand-daughter, the Old England Mare (1766), seen in Family 2, an ancestress of Sir Hercules and Teddington, among others. Also through the aforementioned Principessa (1762, by Blank), a grandaughter of (Grisewood's) Lady Thigh and the Cullen Arabian, and a daughter of Lady Thigh and the Cullen Arabian, later known as Diana, who was the previously mentioned grandam of the Matchem brothers. These two mares are both important in Family 12. In addition, Diana (also called Duchess, and possibly Diamond) was exported to the U.S. in 1763. There she produced the racehorse Apollo (1767), and through a daughter became an ancestress of Lexington.

Other Cullen Arabian horses exported to the U.S. included Skim (1756, imported 1760), a champion racehorse between 1762-7 who won, among other races, the important Charleston Subscription Plate, and later an important sire, and Aristotle (1755, imported 1763), "...remarkable for getting the best carriage and riding nags."

In all, the Cullen Arabian sired around 30 foals between 1747 and 1760. He died at Rushton in 1761.

-- Patricia Erigero

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