Tuesday, March 20, 2012


News of the passing of former Florida stallion, Fortunate Prospect (537 winners from 632 runners!, 28 SWs and $38m in stakes) got us thinking …
The 31 year old Northern Prospect stallion was euthanised at the Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Centre due to complications of old age and while three decades is a pretty good knock for any horse, it’s a long way short of being a record.
Allegedly the oldest (recorded) horse was Old Billy who died on 27 November 1822 at the age of 62! (wonder if he was called Old Billy when he was only two?).
The oldest thoroughbred was Tango Duke who died on 25 January 1978 at the age of 42 – he lived through a depression, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and The Beatles.
And the oldest horse to win a race was Revenge who scored at Shrewsbury in England in 1790 at the age of 18.
Here’s some other horsey facts and figures (not necessarily thoroughbred related):
  • It takes a horse three days to digest an oat
  • The smallest horse was a stallion called Little Pumpkin who stood 35.5cms (14 inches high) and weighed just 9kgs (20 pounds) … one might consider the use of the term ‘stallion’ to be superfluous
  • Mr Ed could answer a telephone, open doors, write notes with a pencil and unplug a light – but no, he couldn’t really speak. Wilbur!
  • In Arizona, it’s illegal for cowboys to walk through a hotel lobby wearing their spurs (helpful tip for those of you planning on vacationing in Arionza with your spurs)
  • Feeding garlic to horses in believed to help combat worms, repel flies, aid respiratory disorders and clean the blood. Evidently that’s a bunch of horse manure, but scientists have worked out it does cause bad breath!
  • During Oliver Cromwell’s reign he banned horse racing (and we just thought he was unpopular because he massacred thousands of men, women and children)
  • At one time it was a Japanese custom to hang the head of a horse at the entrance to a farm house as a good luck talisman (although, not so good luck for the horse!)
No, it's not a real horse head!

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