20 Most Famous Racehorse & Celebrity Horse Names in History
Horse racing has a long history and fans all around the world place bets daily. Some are the all-time greatest standouts and most famous in racehorse history. Namesakes of these racehorses make beautiful horse name plates. Then there are all the horses in television and movies. Imagine how great their names would look hanging on a stable.
Eclipse – Conceivably the 18th century’s greatest racehorse, Eclipse had a pristine 18-race career in his 25-year life. He dominated distances of between 2 and 4 miles, leading to the coined phrase “the rest were nowhere”. France’s Prix Eclipse, Group 1 Eclipse Stakes and the U.S. Eclipse Horse Racing are named in remembrance of his exploits.
Flying Fox – During the Victorian era, Flying Fox was one of the most celebrated. Racing for a short two-years, and well-known for poor temperament. This three-year-old went unbeaten winning the Princess of Wale’s Stakes, Eclipse Stakes and the Triple Crown.
Phar Lap – meaning lightning in Thai – a New Zealand-bred and Australian icon had a four-year career. He measured 17.1 hands high and his heart weighed 13.7 pounds, much higher than the average 9 pounds for a horse. Phar Lap set eight track records winning 37 out of 52 races in his career before mysteriously dying at his peak in 1932. Speculation was fowl play – poisoned by American gangsters who feared big gambling losses.
Seabiscuit – Descending from Man ‘o War, and stuff made of legends, with his rags to riches story. Not only did he lose his first 17 races, but came in at the rear of the field. Eventually trainer Tom Smith purchased Seabiscuit and turned him into the United States most dominant handicap racehorse. His defining career moment was when he defeated the 1/4 favorite War Admiral by four lengths earning him the U.S. Horse of the Year Award.
National Geographic – From Nag to Riches: The Story of Seabiscuit
Red Rum – Stealing the hearts of the UK during the 1970s recession, Red Rum suffered a debilitating and incurable bone disease from birth and bred strictly to compete in meets just over a mile long. In five years he championed taking the Grand National title three times.
Secretariat – Maybe the most well-known racehorse of all time was the first in racing history to be awarded the Horse of the Year Award. His US Triple Crown performances ingrained his place in history. He became the first racehorse to win the Kentucky Derby – starting from last place – winning in under 2-minutes. He set a track record – unbeaten – when he won the Preakness Stakes, then topped these performances when he won the Belmont Stakes, then added Triple Crown to his title. One of the most prominent accomplishments was his stunning win against four racehorses by thirty-one lengths, setting the fastest time on a dirt track for a 1 mile 4 furlong race in history.
Man o’ War – Having some of the most performances in American race history, as a juvenile he won nine out of ten races. National attention came for Man o’War when he crushed some of the country’s most popular fields. His accomplishments include the Belmont Stakes winning by 20 lengths, but his biggest astonishment was winning Kenilworth Park by 100 lengths.
Seattle Slew – Purchased for just a mere $17,500 and descendent of My Charmer and Bold Reasoning, Seattle Slew still holds the spot for being the only racehorse to have won the Triple Crown with a perfect career.
Zenyatta – Suffering one defeat in her 20 races career, and biggest achievement coming from her win at the 2009 Breeder’s Cup defeating both winners of 2009’s Belmont Stakes and Kentucky Derby, and two winners from the European Group 1. Zenyatta was the first mare to not only add the Breeders’Cup Classic to her title, but the first horse to ever win two different Breeders’Cup races on the same day.
American Pharoah – In the 2015, Kentucky Derby eighteen of the best of the best racehorses lined up. It had been 37-years since a racehorse had taken the American Triple Crown by storm, but temperamental American Pharoah had betters around the world sitting on the edge of their seat as he fought hard taking it by just one length. In 2015, American Pharoah added the Breeder’s Cup Classic to his Triple Crown – beating a world-class field – making him history’s first “Grand Slam”champion.
Horse Names in the Big Lights – Celebrity Horses
Mister Ed, a talking horse, was one of the first horses on TV loved by kids and big kids alike.
Silver, first made his debut in “Gone with the Wind” later becoming the Lone Rangers horse known as Silver.
Trigger, road by Roy Rogers and calling the many horses filling the role.Trigger.
Flicka, Mary O’Hara’s 1941 children’s novel made a movie debut in the 1955 film release of “My Friend Flicka”.
Secretariat, Making of the Movie, by Bill Doolittle.
Fury, TV series from 1955 – 1961, watched all around the world, sometimes known as Brave Stallion, but mostly Fury.
Black Beauty, an 1877, autobiography by Anna Sewell, became a classic inspiring four television series and eight movies. Five Fascinating Facts about Black Beauty
Black Stallion filmed in 1979 – 11 Things You Never Knew About the Making of the Black Stallion
Seabiscuit, “The Story of Seabiscuit” movie was released in theaters in 1949.
Topper, Hopalong Cassidy’s horse starred in “The Greatest Show on Earth”.