Durbar (horse)

Durbar (horse)

Sire Rabelais
Grandsire St. Simon
Dam Armenia
Damsire Meddler
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1911
Country France
Colour Bay
Breeder Herman B. Duryea
Owner Herman B. Duryea
Trainer Tom Murphy
Record 13: 5-1-2
Earnings £
Major wins
Prix Noailles (1914)
Epsom Derby (1914)
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)

Durbar (known in England and the United States as Durbar II) was a French racehorse. Although not the best of his generation in France (he was inferior to both Sardanaple and La Farina), he proved too good for the leading British colts in the 1914 Epsom Derby, which he won by three lengths. His pedigree was controversial, with the British authorities not recognising him as a Thoroughbred. His racing career was ended by the outbreak of the First World War.


Durbar, a bay horse standing 15.3 hands high with a white blaze and three white socks, was bred in France by his owner Herman B. Duryea. Duryea had been a prominent owner and breeder of racehorses in New York State, until 1908. In that year, gambling was made illegal in the state by the Hart–Agnew Law, forcing most racetracks to close, and like several of his compatriots Duryea transferred his racing and breeding operations to Europe.

Shortly afterwards and possibly in response to the influx of American horses, the Jockey Club created a new regulation which became known as the Jersey Act, banning horses without proven “pure” descent from foundation mares from being registered in the General Stud Book. Such horses, including many from the most successful American families, were allowed to race but could not be considered Thoroughbreds. Durbar fell foul of the new rule as his dam Armenia descended from an unknown mare.

Racing career

1913: two-year-old season

1914: three-year-old season


In their book A Century of Champions, John Randall and Tony Morris rated Durbar an “average” Derby winner.

Stud career

Durbar first stood as a stallion at his owner's Haras du Gazon at Neuvy-au-Houlme in Normandy, France. In 1924 he was sent to America to stand at the Claiborne Farm stud at Paris, Kentucky. In 1931 he was moved again, this time to the Prospect Hill Stud at Bel Air, Maryland, but died before the start of the breeding season. His best European runners included Rebia (Poule d'Essai des Pouliches) and Scaramouche (Prix de la Foret). He was less successful after his move to the United States.



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