In honor of the Kentucky Derby, we’re taking a look back at some of the horses that shaped American history—from famous race winners to television’s biggest stars.
This 1973 winner of the Triple Crown made headlines for being the first horse to receive the honor in 25 years. He still holds records in all three major races: the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. There have even been films made to tell the tale of this famous thoroughbred.
Originally named Rienzi, this horse’s name was changed to Winchester for bravely carrying General Philip H. Sheridan from Winchester, Virginia, to Cedar Creek, Virginia, during the Civil War. He has resided in the Smithsonian since 1923.
Old Henry Clay
Nicknamed “America’s National Thoroughbred Trotting Horse”, Old Henry Clay was raised on Long Island, New York, and was bred for his natural trotting ability. He became so famous that eventually his bones were preserved by the Natural Science Establishment in Rochester, New York.
Roy Rogers, the famous movie star owner of Trigger, included the horse in all of his films and TV programs—which accumulate to nearly 200. Trigger became well-known for his beautiful Palomino coat, stamina, and intelligence.
Man O’ War
One wealthy horse—Man O’ War won nearly a quarter of a million dollars in the first half of the twentieth century, winning 20 of his 21 races. His owner, August Belmont Jr., fought in WWI, and helped make him one of the most famous race horses of all time.
For more Kentucky Derby history, visit www.americanlifestylemag.com/discover.