When A. B. (Bull) Hancock Jr. imported *Nasrullah for stud duty to the United States, he gave breeders a bloodline that continues to shape the breed. As Kent Hollingsworth wrote in The Kentucky Thoroughbred, “Nasrullah was the most influential, most important stallion imported to America since the first English Derby winner, Diomed, arrived in Virginia in 1800.”
*Nasrullah was a champion from the first crop by unbeaten Nearco. Hancock wanted a son of Nearco and set his sites on *Nasrullah while he was racing. It would take several offers over seven years plus assistance from his father-in-law, Nashville attorney Seth Walker, to finalize the transaction that would bring *Nasrullah to Claiborne in July, 1950, the same year *Nasrullah’s son *Noor defeated champion Citation four times. He quickly became one of the most important sires of the 20th century and helped establish the modern-day dominance of Nearco’s male line.
*Nasrullah provided a needed boost to the Claiborne stallion roster as *Sir Gallahad III was deceased and *Blenheim II was aged 24 when the “lovable rogue” arrived. The combination of *Nasrullah, a carefully-culled broodmare band, and retaining their progeny for racing, soon made Claiborne one of the nation’s top owners as well as a leading breeder.
Nasrullah stood at Claiborne for nine years before his death in 1959. He led the sire list five times, one of only three stallions of the 20th Century to lead the list that often. Nasrullah sired a total of nine champions in America, including Nashua, Never Bend, and Bold Ruler, each a major sire in his right. The latter was foaled at Claiborne, born the same night as Round Table in 1954. Bred by Mrs. Henry Carnegie Phipps, owner of Wheatley Stable and a Claiborne client for several decades, Bold Ruler was Horse of the Year for Mrs. Phipps in 1957, then retired to Claiborne. He upped the century’s best record by leading the sire list eight times. The Hall of Fame has enshrined his sons Bold Ruler, *Noor and Nashua, as well as second-generation offspring, Secretariat and Ruffian.
Died May 26, 1959. Buried at Claiborne Farm.