A.B. Hancock Sr. was on the leading edge of many trends, and Sir Gallahad III is evidence of several. In the early 20th century, Teddy was becoming a dominant force in European bloodlines. With the acquisition of Sir Gallahad III, Hancock brought the Teddy line into favor in U.S. racing circles. A four-man group, comprised of Hanover Bank president William Woodward, Marshall Field, Robert Fairburn, and Hancock, purchased Sir Gallahad III for $125,000, and thus ushered in the era of stallion syndication. The significance of the event is still appreciated today, as the importation of Sir Gallahah III was ranked 24th among Horseracing’s Top 100 Moments in a book by that title published in 2006.
Sir Gallahad III’s impact at stud was felt at once as he sired Woodward’s 1930 Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox in his first Claiborne crop. Gallant Fox helped earn Sir Gallahad III the first of his four Leading Sire titles. Far back in Sir Gallahad III’s male line were two English Triple Crown winners, Ormonde and Flying Fox, separated by one generation. Standing at Claiborne alongside his sire, Gallant Fox went one better by siring Omaha to complete America’s only sire-son Triple Crown feat.
Sir Gallahad III sired additional Kentucky Derby winners, Gallahadion and Hoop Jr., Preakness winner High Quest, and the immortal champion filly Vagrancy. In all, Sir Gallahad III sired 567 foals in his long and vigorous stud career, with a remarkable 64 stakes winners (11% from foals). His daughters became important producers and made Sir Gallahad III the Leading Broodmare Sire on twelve occasions, ten in succession. No horse before or since has dominated this list for so long.
Died July 8, 1949, his remains rest in the Marchmont cemetery next to Gallant Fox’s dam, Marguerite.