Holy Vows, also known as Derby

Holy Vows, aka Derby, with one of his foals

Well, do I have some news for you.  We’ve deciphered Derby’s tattoo, and we now know “who” he is — Holy Vows, sired by Holy Bull, out of a mare named Final Vows, by Halo.

And, I learned something pretty astounding – Derby was bred before he was gelded, and he has at least two foals on the ground. I found this picture on the web of him, with his filly, last night.  I can’t believe this horse was ever a breeding stallion – he is the polar opposite of studdy, and can walk by a mare without batting an eye (or curling his nose.)

As far as Thoroughbred pedigrees go, this is a good one.  These are quality horses that have proven themselves in athletic endeavors.  Derby wasn’t successful as a racehorse – in fact, he was downright pitiful, running thrice finishing off the board in all starts and dead last in two of them – but he’s got nice conformation and movement – which his more illustrious parents transmitted.  He gets his sturdy build (and his cute face)  from his daddy, champion and Horse of the Year, Holy Bull, as you can  see to the right:


Derby’s dam, Final Vows, was a good producer, and among her progeny she foaled graded stakes winner Mighty Magee, Derby’s half brother.  Her sire was Halo, who died in 2000 and was one of racing’s most prepotent sires, siring super-stallion, champion and classic winner Sunday Silence, Kentucky Derby winner Sunny’s Halo, champions Devil’s Bag and Glorious Song, and a slew of other top race horses including Jolie’s Halo, Lively One and Saint Ballado.

Grandpappy Halo, evil but talented.

It’s a good thing Halo was a good sire, because he was also a miserable creature with an evil temper and a reputation for savaging his handlers.   Needless to say, Derby had his back turned when the genetics were being handed out – he didn’t inherit any of Halo’s brilliance, but he certainly didn’t get that temper, either.

Generally speaking, Thoroughbred bloodlines mean little for dressage.  But to me, each Thoroughbred is a living piece of history.  I followed Holy Bull’s triumphs avidly, and am well acquainted with Halo, his story and his progeny.  It’s fun knowing my boy  has these illustrious ties, even if it means nothing.

About Sarah Skerik
Sarah Skerik is an experienced digital business executive and strategist with a long track record of success in team leadership, employee development, marketing and business development.

6 Responses to Holy Vows, also known as Derby

  1. I completely agree about the intrigue of TB pedigrees. My last horse before Balloo was named Hunter by us, but he also had the unfortunate registered name of YesBwana. He wasn’t terrible on the track which is probably why he raced for as many years as he did (and also probably why he was never going to be a dressage horse). His pedigree is here: http://www.pedigreequery.com/yesbwana

    • Sarah Skerik says:

      I fully believe in using the Jockey Club name it it’s not too stupid. Maddie’s name was La Cheryl. That qualifies as too stupid. YesBwana? Also qualifies! I like Are You Sirius much better!

  2. That’s actually a super cool name, imho. So neat that you actually know some of his relatives.

  3. Cool post. I love Holy Bull. I think my ottb is built a bit like he is. You have to go back two generations to get to notable relatives in Val’s pedigree – Buckpasser and Foolish Pleasure, who had the misfortune to run in the ill fated match race against Ruffian. More interesting is his registered name – Sinister Wind – considering I live on an island that is very prone to hurricanes. Derby has a wonderful pedigree 🙂

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