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  Sir Charles

Sir Charles  
Chestnut colt, 1816
By Sir Archy - mare by Citizen.
Byerley Turk Sire Line.

Family A19

Sir Archy His sire, Sir Archy

Sir Charles was considered one of the very best sons of the great American stallion Sir Archy both as a runner and a sire. His only rival was Sir Archy's other great son, Bertrand, and it was hard for many to choose between them. In his day, Sir Charles was the champion of Virginia, home state of his owner/breeder James J. Harrison.

Sir Charles was foaled at Harrison's plantation "Diamond Grove" on the Meherrin River in Brunswick County. Sir Charles started 26 times, winning 20 and placing second four times. His wins were recorded as follows "four at four-mile heats, four of three-mile heats, six of two -mile heats, in six, distances not given."

His career finale was a disappointment but proved a high point for an even better horse, the Northern champion American Eclipse. The event was the first of several famous North-South challenge races, and this premier event was held at the Washington D.C. course on November 22, 1822. Sir Charles "struck a tendon" in a trial and his owner was forced to pay $5,000 forfeit, but the horse was back on course for the second heat later in the day. American Eclipse won "with great ease" although it was discovered that Sir Charles had broken down in the last mile.

Sir Charles was acquired as a stallion by Col. William Ransom Johnson and stood at his "Oaklands" plantation on the Appomattox River, Chesterfield County, Virginia. Later in life, he was moved to the nearby stud of Johnson's son, George W. Johnson and a half interest was sold to John Charles Craig.

Sir Charles led the American Sires List five times, in 1830, 1831, 1832, 1833, and 1836 and second in 1937. Given this record, he was determined to be, again along with Bertrand (who led the Sires' List in 1835), one of the two best sons of Sir Archy ever to stand at stud. So great was Sir Charles valued, that his owner refused repeated offers of $15,000 for him. When Sir Charles died on June 7, 1833 (eerily, the same day as his sire, Sir Archy died in North Carolina), Johnson looked to his vanquisher, American Eclipse to replace him at stud.

The best runner by Sir Charles was Wagner, a chestnut colt foaled from his sire's last crop in 1834, out of the mare Maria West by Marion (and thus inbred 2x3 to Sir Archy). Wagner contested in 20 races, winning 14 including two match races in Louisville, Kentucky in 1839, with the local hero Grey Eagle. Wagner stood with some note in Tennessee.

Sir Charles also sired two outstanding filly champions, Bonnets O'Blue (1827 out of Reality by Sir Archy) and Trifle (1828 out of a mare by Cicero). Both went on to become important producers, Bonnets O'Blue as the dam of the great racemare Fashion (by *Trustee), and Trifle as the dam of Gloriana and Miss Peyton (both by American Eclipse).

Sir Charles also sired Rosalie Somers, dam of the champion and leading sire Revenue (by Trustee), and Charlotte Hamilton (appearing in the pedigree of Himyar).

--Anne Peters

SIR CHARLES, Chestnut colt, 1816 - Family # A 19
Sir Archy
b. 1805
ch. 1777
mare by Cygnet
Sister to Juno
b. 1763
br. 1796
b. 1781
ch. 1782
mare by Bosphorus
mare by Citizen
ch. 1810
b. 1785
gr. 1763
ch. 1774
Fairy Queen
b. 1784
Symmes' Wildair
mare by *Yorick
*Dare Devil
Sally Shark

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