Dark Ronald was born in England, where he raced and later stood at stud until he was sold to Germany. Dark Ronald, sired by Bay Ronald, was the founder of one of the two male Thoroughbred lines that have dominated Germany for many years. The other line is that descending from the stallion Louviers.
Before being sent to Germany, Dark Ronald sired Son-In-Law, who was a plodding distance horse, and in England he also sired the fine race horse and sire, Dark Legend. Both Son-In-Law and Dark Legend have played an important role in the pedigrees of jumpers in both Europe and North America. In Germany, Dark Ronald produced Prunus, who sired Oleander, one of the best race horses bred in Germany at any time. Cottage Son, previously mentioned as the grandsire of the Irish jumper Marco Codex, is a grandson of Son-In-Law. The sire of Cottage Son was Young Lover, who was by Son-in-Law.
A very important jumping line in both Europe and North America descends from the English Thoroughbred stallion Marco.
Marco was a descendant of the Matchem line, a Thoroughbred line particularly noted to be slow maturing, staying race horses. Marco stood at stud in England, where he had several sons of importance in both racing and jumping pedigrees. These sons included Marcovil and Omar Khayyam. Marco was also the grandsire of Cottage, a famous ‘chasing sire in England.
Marco's son Marcovil was far from being a first class performer on the race course. Hampered by bad forelegs, he won only two unimportant races as a three-year-old, but he had the ability to produce offspring who were better than he was himself.