List of historical horses

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This list includes actual horses that exist in the historical record. For fictional horses, see: List of fictional horses.





  • California Chrome: won the 140th Kentucky Derby; won the Preakness; won the 2016 Dubai World Cup; two-time American Horse of the Year
  • Carbine: outstanding racehorse and sire; winner of the Melbourne Cup
  • Cardigan Bay: New Zealand's "million dollar pacer"; the first to win a million in the US; appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show
  • Castleshane: winner of eight flat races and two jumps
  • Cicero: winner of the 1905 Epsom Derby as the shortest-priced successful favourite in the history of the event
  • Cigar: champion in the 1990s who won 16 consecutive races
  • Citation: U.S. Triple Crown winner (1948); also won 16 consecutive major stakes races; first horse to earn $1 million\
  • Country House: Winner of Kentucky Derby 2019 after Maximum Security was demoted from 1st place for interference with other horses
  • Crisp: remembered for his epic race in the Grand National with Red Rum
  • Curlin: third richest US-based horse of all time, winner of 2007 Preakness Stakes and Breeders' Cup Classic and 2008 Dubai World Cup



  • Dan Patch: America's greatest pacer
  • Danehill: American-bred and British-trained sprint champion who went on to become a champion sire in both the northern and southern hemispheres; the first major "shuttle stallion"
  • Dance Smartly: second Canadian filly ever to win the Canadian Triple Crown, and the first to win a Breeders Cup Race
  • Dawn Run: only horse ever to complete Champion Hurdle, Cheltenham Gold Cup double
  • Deep Impact: Japanese Triple Crown winner; also smashed the world record over 3200 metres and seven-time leading sire in Japan
  • Desert Gold: race mare who won 19 races successive races during World War I; often raced against Gloaming
  • Desert Orchid: won King George four times and Cheltenham Gold Cup
  • Dr. Fager: "the Doctor"; set the world record at 1 mile on any surface, 1:32 1/5, and held it for more than 20 years
  • Doncaster: very successful racehorse, sire of the great Bend Or


  • Easy Goer: Hall of Fame champion who ran the fastest mile of all time on dirt by any three-year-old Thoroughbred in 1:32.2; ran the second fastest Belmont Stakes of all time behind Secretariat; had a great rivalry with Sunday Silence
  • Eclipse: celebrated 18th-century racehorse that won 18 races in 18 starts; influential sire
  • Emanas:Fastest Brazilian horse to win Brazilian Cup (1986, 1989 and 1990)
  • Eight Belles: first filly to win the Martha Washington Stakes, by a record 13½ lengths
  • Exterminator: exceedingly popular "iron horse" of American racing history










  • Nasrullah: one of the most successful Thoroughbred sires of the 20th century, grandsire to Secretariat
  • Native Dancer (also nicknamed the Grey Ghost): won 21 of 22 career races, with only loss in the Kentucky Derby; sire whose descendants have come to dominate modern Triple Crown racing
  • Needles: the first Florida-bred horse to win the Kentucky Derby (1956), also won the Belmont Stakes
  • Niatross: pacer who won 37 of his 39 races and broke many records, considered to be one of the greatest harness racers of all time
  • Night Raid: sire of Phar Lap
  • Nijinsky II: last horse to win the English Triple Crown (1970)
  • Northern Dancer: Canada's champion on the racetrack; most successful sire of the 20th century


  • Overdose: champion Hungarian sprinter and winner of 14 straight races
  • Orfevre: winner of almost 20 million US dollars in earnings and is one of the highest earning racehorses ever
  • Oeidipus: winner of the American Steeplechase triple crown



  • Quevega: only horse in the history to win at six consecutive Cheltenham Festivals
  • Queensway: won the Canadian Triple Crown


  • Rachel Alexandra: filly and winner of the 2009 Preakness Stakes
  • Roy Olcott: harness racehorse
  • Real Quiet: winner of the 1998 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes; lost the third leg of the U.S. Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, by a margin of four inches
  • Red Rum: only horse in the history of the Aintree Grand National to win the race three times (placed second on two other occasions)
  • Regret: first filly to win the Kentucky Derby (1915)
  • Ribot: Thoroughbred undefeated in sixteen races
  • Rock Sand: English Triple Crown winner (1903); sire of the dam of Man o' War
  • Round Table: sire of stakes winners; born in the same barn the same night as Bold Ruler, in 1954
  • Ruffian: filly champion who won every race she started until her final (and fatal) race
  • Ruthless: first ever winner of the Belmont Stakes, and the first of only three fillies ever to win the Belmont Stakes


  • Sadler's Wells: one of Europe's most successful sires of the late 20th century
  • Sardar: stallion presented as a gift to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy by President Ayub Khan on her visit to Pakistan
  • Sea Bird: second highest Timeform rated horse (rated 145)
  • Sea the Stars: first horse ever to win the 2,000 Guineas, Epsom Derby, and Arc de Triomphe in the same year (2009)
  • Seabiscuit: beat War Admiral in a nationally broadcast 1938 match race; like Phar Lap, raced during the Depression
  • Seattle Slew: U.S. Triple Crown winner (1977)
  • Secretariat: U.S. Triple Crown winner (1973); one of the most famous horses in Thoroughbred racing
  • Shergar: winner of the 1981 Epsom Derby by a record 10 lengths, the longest winning margin in a race run annually since 1781; kidnapped by the IRA in 1983, and was held for ransom, but the owner syndicate refused to pay, fearing that valuable horses would become targets; the stallion was never found
  • Silky Sullivan: a racehorse
  • Sir Winston: Winner of 2019 Belmont Stakes
  • Skewball: immortalized in 18th century poetry as a sku-ball winning against a Thoroughbred
  • Sleipnir: Odin’s horse (Norse mythology)
  • Smarty Jones: became the first unbeaten Kentucky Derby winner since Seattle Slew in 1977
  • Spectacular Bid: Hall of Fame champion who went undefeated as a four-year-old, and won 26 of 30 career starts
  • Steel Dust: 19th-century quarter-mile racing horse[3]
  • Storm Cat: one of the most successful U.S. sires of the late 20th century
  • Sunday Silence: winner in the US; champion sire in Japan
  • Sunline: first Southern Hemisphere horse to top $10million in stakes earnings; three-time Australian (2000-2002); four-time New Zealand (1999-2002) horse of the year; 13-time Group 1 winner
  • Swale: 1984 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner, died eight days after the Belmont win






  • Xaar: winner of Prix de Cabourg (1997), Prix de la Salamandre (1997)
  • Xtra Heat: champion 3-year-old filly of 2001, and the only filly to win the Endine stakes twice


  • Yeats: only horse ever to win 4 Ascot Gold Cups, also won 3 other group 1 races
  • Your Host: winner of 1950 Santa Anita Derby, 1951 Santa Catalina Handicap, sire of the great Kelso


Competition horses[edit]

  • Big Ben, Canadian international show jumper and Olympian
  • Hickstead, Canadian international show jumper and Olympic individual show jumping gold medal winner
  • Huaso (1933 – August 24, 1961), famous Chilean jumping horse that still holds the record in highest jump: 2.47 m (8 ft ​1 14 in)
  • Midnight Sun, two-time Grand Champion and leading foundation sire of the Tennessee Walking Horse breed
  • Milton, British international show jumper and Olympian ridden by John Whitaker
  • Noble Flaire, Morgan horse who was the first to win three Park Harness World Championships at the American Morgan Horse World Championship Horse Show
  • Radium, outstanding campdrafter; influential sire in Australia
  • Seldom Seen, pony who successfully competed in dressage despite being unusually small
  • Snowman, former plough horse rescued from being butchered by rider Harry de Lyer; won the 1958 National Horse Show Open Jumper championship against professional and Olympic level competition; twice named the American Horse Shows Association Horse of the Year
  • Totilas, first horse to score above a 90 in dressage
  • Touch of Class, bay TB mare, ridden by Joe Fargis, won two gold medals in the 1984 Olympics
  • Valegro, current world record holder in dressage with 94,3% Royal Dutch Sport Horse, ridden by Charlotte Dujardin

Military horses[edit]

Horses of various other fame[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Greg Wood. "Frankel World's Best Thoroughbred". Retrieved 2014-02-01. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Kirsch, George B. (editor) (1995) "Smuggler vs. Goldsmith Maid, 1876" Sports in North America: A Documentary History, Volume 4: Sports in war, revival and expansion, 1860-1880 Academic International Press, Gulf Breeze, Florida, pp. 206-210, ISBN 0-87569-135-8
  3. ^ Denhardt, Robert Moorman (1967) Quarter Horses: A Story of Two Centuries University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Oklahoma, pp. 20-32, OCLC 1381366
  4. ^