Sire Lines
by Lesli Kathman

Farceur (1910-1921) was one of the early founders of the American Belgian. Farceur was imported from Belgium as a two-year old, and reflects the type found in Belgium at the time; a type that American breeders would eventually replace with the more stylish, sorrel horse epitomized by the Conqueror-Conquest line. But that was 40 years after Farceur's death. In his own lifetime, Farceur embodied the ideal for Belgian stallions.

Beyond success in the show ring, Farceur would become a legendary sire. Farceur's owner, C.G. Good, was a student of genetics, and had read about the use of close linebreeding in pigeons and chickens. After experimenting with birds, he set out to apply the theory to horse breeding. The plan was to retain the two best Farceur sons to eventually breed to a Farceur daughter. In the following generation, two grandsons would be held back to breed to the granddaughters. Using this system, Good was able to breed generations of nearly identical horses. Farceur offspring would dominate the show ring and the stud book. Seven of his sons would win the National Champion stallion title, and his female descendents would claim nine of the twenty-five mare titles awarded before 1964. The name Farceur is still found in the back of most American Belgian pedigrees, even if his type and color have not survived in great numbers.

The two sons retained by Good were Oakdale Farceur and Supreme Farceur. They, along with Major Farceur, would continue the sire line. The grandsons retained by Good would be Farceur's Resque and Supreme Emblem. Throughout his lifetime, Good would never vary from his original linebreeding program -- outcrosses were not introduced into the herd until the 1960s by his son Lester.

Probably the most influential Farceur son would turn out to be Master Farceur, the crippled stallion who would eventually sire Jay Farceur, himself a great show horse and sire in the 30s and 40s. Jay's picture is still used frequently to illustrate the breed.

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