Sir Archie: An Equine Superstar

The accompanying image depicts “Sir Archy” (Sir Archie being the preferred spelling), a champion racer generally recognized by sport historians as a “foundation sire of the American turf.” Foaled in Virginia in 1805, Sir Archie was purchased by William Ransom Johnson in 1808 and moved to Warrenton, N.C., for training. Sir Archie had several other Tar Heel owners. Former North Carolina Governor William R. Davie paid $5,000, an immense sum of money at the time, to add the stallion to his stables at Halifax in 1809. Later, William Amis, the owner of Mowfield Plantation in Northampton County, bought Sir Archie. It is there where the great horse died in 1833, having spent twenty-five of his twenty-eight years in North Carolina.

Sir Archie

A prolific stud in retirement, Sir Archie sired many offspring and linked his bloodline to an array of later champions, including Lexington, Fair Play, Man O’War, Display, Native Dancer, and Secretariat. In addition, the current Triple Crown contender, Big Brown, is a descendent. The best reference for learning more about this legendary horse and about North Carolina’s early racing history is The Life and Times of Sir Archie written by Elizabeth Amis Cameron Blanchard and Manly Wade Wellman (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1958).

7 thoughts on “Sir Archie: An Equine Superstar”

  1. I HAVE A WONDERFUL PICTURE OF SIR ARCHIE AND IT MENTIONS HALIFAX COUNTY IN IT. [MY HOME TOWN] DUE TO MY HEALTH I HAVE TO SELL IT. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED THEN PLEASE CONTACT ME AT
    859-227-7159. BILL SHAW

  2. I love learning about Northampton County History. We have to learn it in our JROTC Class beacause our teacher wants us to know about where we are from.

  3. i really enjoy learning about Northampton County. I wasn’t born here but ever since I moved here in the 7th grade I have been able to call it home. I’m in JROTC with Christina and I can agree with what she says about Cheif. He will test you on just about everything there is to know about our County and he tries to make it fun, which something people don’t think about history, is how fun it actually can be.

  4. To ribbitgirl22@gmail.com :

    Hi I’m sure you’ve finished your project, but just in case you’re still interested the Thoroughbreds, Sir Archie was called the “Godolphin of America” referring to the Godolphin Arabian – one of the 3 foundation sires of the thoroughbred breed( the Godolphin Arabian, the Darley Arabian, and the Byerly Turk).

    Here’s an illustration of the Golophin Arabian’s head, from KING OF THE WIND:

    file:///.file/id=6571367.904409

    I’m also from NC, and worked in Northhampton Co., but missed learning about Sir Archie.

    I did raise a Thoroughbred filly in KY by Quiet American – they actually are addictive- smartest horse I ever worked with.

    All the best ~ MKA

  5. I have heard from 2 area residents that Sir Archie raced on my farm on Little Fishing Creek near White Oak and Ita in Halifax Co. There is a 13 acre field next to the creek that is known as ‘”the racetrack ”.
    Do you have any info. On this ?

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