Ruler (horse)

Sire Young Marske
Grandsire Marske
Dam Flora
Damsire Lofty
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1777
Country Great Britain
Colour Bay
Breeder William Bethell
Owner William Bethell
Record 5: 3-0-1
Major wins
St. Leger Stakes (1780)

Ruler (1777 – 4 February 1806) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse. He won three of his five starts, including the two-mile St. Leger Stakes in 1780. He was bred and owned by William Bethell.


Ruler was a bay colt bred by William Bethell and foaled in 1777.[1] He was sired by Young Marske, who won his only race and later became a successful stallion.[2] Ruler was the second foal of Flora, a daughter of Lofty.[1]

Racing career

Ruler's first race was at Hunmanby on 24 May 1780, when he started as the odds-on favourite for a sweepstakes of 25 guineas each. He won the race, beating Foxhuntoribus, Young Ragman, Young Hyder and one other. On 27 September, he started at the price of 5/2 for the two-mile St. Leger Stakes at Doncaster. He beat Mr. Stapleton's Antagonist (the 4/6 favourite), Lord Scarbrough's brother to Ovid, Lord Rockingham's chestnut colt, Sir John Lister Kaye's Zodiac and Colonel St. Leger's chestnut colt to win the race. His only start in 1781 was at York, where he finished third behind Fortitude and Arske. In May 1781 he beat Laura and Junior to win £50 at Hunmanby. At the York August meeting he faced Thornville, Regent and Laura in a subscription of 25 guineas each run over four miles. He looked likely to win, but dislocated his fetlock and had to be retired from racing.[3]

Stud career

Ruler stood as a stallion for John Pratt until his death in 1785. Ruler then purchased by Mark Bulmer and stood at Middleham in Yorkshire. He stud fee was initially two guineas and two shilling for the groom, but after some early success it was raised to five guineas and five shillings in 1791. In 1796, 1797 and 1798 he commanded a fee of eight and a half guineas, before returning to five guineas and five shillings in 1799. Ruler died on 24 February 1806 at Wyton in the East Riding of Yorkshire, where he had moved to after 1800. He sired a good number of winners, including Governor, High Eagle, Minikin, Mittimus, Pencil, Phalanx, Sober Robin and Weathercock.[3] One of Ruler's unnamed daughters foaled Miss Nancy, who was the dam of The Duchess.[1] The Duchess won the St. Leger in 1816 and Ruler also sired the dam of York Royal Plate winner Sweetwilliam.[4]


Pedigree of Ruler, bay stallion, 1777[1]
Young Marske (GB)
b. 1771
Marske (GB)
br. 1750
ch. 1732
Bartlett's Childers
Snake mare
Blacklegs mare Blacklegs
Bay Bolton mare
Blank mare (GB)
ch. 1759
b. 1740
Godolphin Arabian*
Little Hartley Mare
Bay Starling Bolton Starling
Flora (GB)
ch. 1765
Lofty (GB)
b. 1753
Godolphin Arabian* (unknown)
ch. 1735
Bay Bloody Buttocks
Riot (GB)
Godolphin Arabian*
Grey Robinson
Blaze mare Blaze
Fox mare

Note: b. = Bay, br. = Brown, ch. = Chestnut

* Ruler was inbred 3x4x4 to Godolphin Arabian. This means that the stallions appear once in the third generation and twice in the forth generation of his pedigree.


  1. ^ a b c d The General Stud Book. J. S. Skinner, Baltimore. 1834. Retrieved 2013-05-11. 
  2. ^ "Marske". Retrieved 2013-05-11. 
  3. ^ a b Johnson (1822). The Turf Register (Volume III). A. Bartholoman, High-Ousegate. 
  4. ^ "Early Studbook". Retrieved 2013-05-11. 
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