Fanfreluche (horse)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sire Northern Dancer
Grandsire Nearctic
Dam Ciboulette
Damsire Chop Chop
Sex Filly
Foaled 1967
Country Canada
Colour Dark Bay/Brown
Breeder J. Louis Lévesque
Owner J. Louis Lévesque
Trainer Yonnie Starr
Record 21-11-6-2
Earnings $238,688
Major wins
Princess Elizabeth Stakes (1969)
Natalma Stakes (1969)
Manitoba Derby (1970)
Alabama Stakes (1970)
Benson & Hedges Invitational Handicap (1970)
Quebec Derby (1970)
TRA United States Champion 3-Year-Old Filly (1970)
Canadian Horse of the Year (1970)
Sovereign Award for Outstanding Broodmare (1978)
Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame (1981)
Fanfreluche Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack
Last updated on February 9, 2010

Fanfreluche (April 9, 1967 – 1999) was a Canadian-bred Champion Thoroughbred racehorse.


Fanfreluche was a bay mare bred in Canada. She was named by her French Canadian owner Jean-Louis Levesque[1] for the title character of a popular children's television show on the French-language division of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Racing career[edit]

Successfully raced in Canada as a two-year-old, at age three Fanfreluche's performances in both Canada and the United States earned her the Sovereign Award for Canadian Horse of the Year.[1] Fanfreluche was voted American Champion Three-Year-Old Filly in 1970 by the Thoroughbred Racing Association. Office Queen won the rival Daily Racing Form poll[2] in the last year that champions were voted on separately.

Breeding record[edit]

At the end of her three-year-old racing season, Fanfreluche was sold as a broodmare prospect to prominent American horseman Bertram R. Firestone for a then world-record price of $1.3 million. Bred to notable stallion Buckpasser, in 1972 she produced the two-time Canadian Horse of the Year L'Enjoleur.[1]

The Kidnapping[edit]

In June 1977, while in foal to Secretariat, Fanfreluche was abducted from Claiborne Farm near Paris, Kentucky.[3] In December, five months after her disappearance, the FBI located her 158 miles south near the small town of Tompkinsville, not far from the Tennessee border. Fanfreluche was being kept by a family who said they had found her wandering along the country road.[3] Returned safely to Claiborne Farm, in the spring of 1978 Fanfreluche gave birth to her foal, a colt given the French language name "Sain Et Sauf", which in English translates as Safe And Sound.

A few years later, in February 1983, the Irish racehorse Shergar was also the victim of a kidnapping but unlike Fanfreluche, Shergar was never found.

Fanfreluche died in July 1999 of old age and was buried at Big Sink Farm in Midway, Kentucky.


  1. ^ a b c DelNagro, Mike (August 1, 1977). "The Million-dollar Horse Heist". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 5, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Forty Marcy tabbed". Ocala Star-Banner. November 29, 1970. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  3. ^ a b Reed, William F. (December 19, 1977). "The Toast of Tompkinsville: Old Brandy, the stray mare found out on Kentucky Rt. 53, charmed a steamfitter's family, which never suspected she was Fanfreluche, the $500,000 champion". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 5, 2013. [dead link]