Nearco

Clive Harper

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In 2012 I wrote: "One of the world's great pedigree researchers, Clive Harper died today aged 80.

A retired university lecturer, Clive was known as the 'interpreter' of Harold Hampton, a far-sighted Cockney who, without a computer proposed many theories of 'linebreeding' that still hold good today.

Clive Harper was a gentleman with a wicked sense of humour. The author of three books on thoroughbred breeding, he was the first to apply rigorous principles of research to the breeding of thoroughbreds. Over twenty years ago, in an article in NZ Bloodhorse, Clive presented the results of a study where he took a hundred NZ group winners and a hundred 'duffers' - horses who had been well tried, but failed to win a race. Analysing their pedigrees to six generations, he was able to prove conclusively that Group winners has pedigrees containing more intricate linebreeding, including sex balance and a higher number of close relatives.

On retirement Clive became a full-time pedigree consultant. He worked worldwide, offering advice to clients on how to find the stallion most suited to their mare. His NZ clients, who probably want to remain anonymous, benefitted from his advice at the yearling sales, and in finding consorts for their mares. There are a number of group-winners today that have been selected by Harper.

He would be the first to agree that linebreeding is not a 'silver bullet', merely a way of minimising the risks of breeding failure. As a practical breeder, he bred and raced horses successfully. Sadly he won't see his latest horse with Mike Breslin greet the judge.

Amazingly, pedigree research is probably more understood in NZ than anywhere else.

Clive Harper, a modest gentleman represented the very best of Kiwi breeding intellectuals. We will miss him greatly."

Yesterday, horses bred by Clive Harper won consecutive races at Riccarton.

Race 3 was the 1400m R72 race, won by Wafer.

Race 4 at Riccarton was the 3200m Maiden steeple, won by The Great Guru. Another Clive Harper horse! Trained by Lisa Latta, ridden by Shaun Fannin, by Gallant Guru from Greyling, he was winning his 4th race.

Both horses descend from the same damline that Harper had bred from consistently. His foundation mare was Pieces of Eight, by Brauner who he bought locally for €500 in 1984. The attraction was that she contained Round Table’s ¾ sister and Gainsborough Lass, who traced back to Queen Mary.  She went to Bottler, local sire and grandson of Round Table. The resulting filly Corqua was unplaced in five starts. She went to Tristram’s Heritage to produce Fruit Salad who won two races including black type and $20,000. Fruit Salad so named because her pedigree, when coloured-in to show common lines of inheritance ‘looked like a fruit salad’. (lots of close relatives in the 5th, & 6th generations and beyond)  This mating acquired another line of Round Table from Sir Tristram. Fruit Salad went to Sandtrap to produce Salada who won 4 times for $19,000, three wins under Robbie Hannam. Sandtrap had Round Table’s daughter Monarchy, which gave Salada 4 lines of Monarchy, a son of Round Table’s ¾ sister and 4 lines of Gainsborough Lass.

Salada went to Alamosa, and on Clive’s death passed on to Tineka Balcombe who is listed as the breeder of the resulting filly Wafer. Wafer has won 4 races and $96,000 to date, including the Listed Gore Guineas, and yesterday’s 1400m race at Riccarton. Alamosa brings in another line of Round Table, and Never Bend.

Clive consulted for a number of NZ studs, to whom he was loyal. The Great Guru, son of White Robe’s Gallant Guru out of a ¾ sister to Salada, who won three including her first two starts. The mating brings in more Never Bend and Round Table, as well as two closeup lines of Special. To date, The Great Guru has won twice on the flat and two over the sticks. More is expected of him.

Clive was an active member of the Levin breeders Forum, which meets monthly. A number of members of the forum have profited from Clive’s generosity and depth of pedigree knowledge, the author included. We fondly remember his obsession with Emma & Maria, Musket & Quiver and the Eulogy family. The examples of breeding to consistently upgrade his fillies is testament to how you can breed group winners from families that have lapsed into obscurity. Putting the best to the best was never Clive’s approach, and the two consecutive results at Riccarton yesterday bear testament.   

Clive, we remember you fondly. The author confesses he had a big bet ($3 to win) on Wafer yesterday.


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On ‎8‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 12:25 PM, Nearco said:

In 2012 I wrote: "One of the world's great pedigree researchers, Clive Harper died today aged 80.

 

A retired university lecturer, Clive was known as the 'interpreter' of Harold Hampton, a far-sighted Cockney who, without a computer proposed many theories of 'linebreeding' that still hold good today.

 

Clive Harper was a gentleman with a wicked sense of humour. The author of three books on thoroughbred breeding, he was the first to apply rigorous principles of research to the breeding of thoroughbreds. Over twenty years ago, in an article in NZ Bloodhorse, Clive presented the results of a study where he took a hundred NZ group winners and a hundred 'duffers' - horses who had been well tried, but failed to win a race. Analysing their pedigrees to six generations, he was able to prove conclusively that Group winners has pedigrees containing more intricate linebreeding, including sex balance and a higher number of close relatives.

 

On retirement Clive became a full-time pedigree consultant. He worked worldwide, offering advice to clients on how to find the stallion most suited to their mare. His NZ clients, who probably want to remain anonymous, benefitted from his advice at the yearling sales, and in finding consorts for their mares. There are a number of group-winners today that have been selected by Harper.

 

He would be the first to agree that linebreeding is not a 'silver bullet', merely a way of minimising the risks of breeding failure. As a practical breeder, he bred and raced horses successfully. Sadly he won't see his latest horse with Mike Breslin greet the judge.

 

Amazingly, pedigree research is probably more understood in NZ than anywhere else.

 

Clive Harper, a modest gentleman represented the very best of Kiwi breeding intellectuals. We will miss him greatly."

 

Yesterday, horses bred by Clive Harper won consecutive races at Riccarton.

 

Race 3 was the 1400m R72 race, won by Wafer.

 

Race 4 at Riccarton was the 3200m Maiden steeple, won by The Great Guru. Another Clive Harper horse! Trained by Lisa Latta, ridden by Shaun Fannin, by Gallant Guru from Greyling, he was winning his 4th race.

 

Both horses descend from the same damline that Harper had bred from consistently. His foundation mare was Pieces of Eight, by Brauner who he bought locally for €500 in 1984. The attraction was that she contained Round Table’s ¾ sister and Gainsborough Lass, who traced back to Queen Mary.  She went to Bottler, local sire and grandson of Round Table. The resulting filly Corqua was unplaced in five starts. She went to Tristram’s Heritage to produce Fruit Salad who won two races including black type and $20,000. Fruit Salad so named because her pedigree, when coloured-in to show common lines of inheritance ‘looked like a fruit salad’. (lots of close relatives in the 5th, & 6th generations and beyond)  This mating acquired another line of Round Table from Sir Tristram. Fruit Salad went to Sandtrap to produce Salada who won 4 times for $19,000, three wins under Robbie Hannam. Sandtrap had Round Table’s daughter Monarchy, which gave Salada 4 lines of Monarchy, a son of Round Table’s ¾ sister and 4 lines of Gainsborough Lass.

 

Salada went to Alamosa, and on Clive’s death passed on to Tineka Balcombe who is listed as the breeder of the resulting filly Wafer. Wafer has won 4 races and $96,000 to date, including the Listed Gore Guineas, and yesterday’s 1400m race at Riccarton. Alamosa brings in another line of Round Table, and Never Bend.

 

Clive consulted for a number of NZ studs, to whom he was loyal. The Great Guru, son of White Robe’s Gallant Guru out of a ¾ sister to Salada, who won three including her first two starts. The mating brings in more Never Bend and Round Table, as well as two closeup lines of Special. To date, The Great Guru has won twice on the flat and two over the sticks. More is expected of him.

 

Clive was an active member of the Levin breeders Forum, which meets monthly. A number of members of the forum have profited from Clive’s generosity and depth of pedigree knowledge, the author included. We fondly remember his obsession with Emma & Maria, Musket & Quiver and the Eulogy family. The examples of breeding to consistently upgrade his fillies is testament to how you can breed group winners from families that have lapsed into obscurity. Putting the best to the best was never Clive’s approach, and the two consecutive results at Riccarton yesterday bear testament.   

 

Clive, we remember you fondly. The author confesses he had a big bet ($3 to win) on Wafer yesterday.

 

 

 

Those progeny you mention are very modest performers ibn the big picture.

 

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