Horses have played an important role in our history both in terms of working animals and as racing horses. There have been many horses that have become household names due to their successes on the race track and many owners and horse lovers will even have a Bronze Horse Sculpture created, like the ones you can see from Gill Parker in memory of their horses.
Thoroughbred horses were imported to the West from the Middle East about three hundred years ago and changed the sport of horse racing forever. However, there are only a few names that are readily recognised and these were the rare race horses with even more speed and strength that seemed to be blessed. Some race horses were just terrific.
One of the most successful race horses during the Victorian period was called the Flying Fox. He only raced for two years because he did not have the best temperament, but he completely dominated and went undefeated throughout those two years. As he began racing and won the Triple Crown, the Eclipse Stakes and the Princess of Wales Stakes, he was three years old. The later US Triple Crown winner, Coaltown, was also sired by him.
Seabiscuit is a name we all acknowledge. He was a descendant of the famous Man O ‘War race horse, but when it came to racing, he seemed not to have much of the speed or passion of that horse. It was fairly disastrous for the first 17 races and he lost all of them, most of them in last place. He had been sold on to another trainer who had chosen not to give him up. Some new training approaches were tried by Tom Smith and Seabiscuit proceeded to become the most dominant race horse in the US. His finest hour was in a race against the favoured War Admiral, beating him four times and earning the US Horse of the Year Award.