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
  • Nearco Italian bred Thoroughbred racehorse. ''Thoroughbred Heritage'' described him as  "one of the greatest racehorses of the Twentieth Century" and "one of the most important sires of the century." He was undefeated and his sire line was dominant.
  • 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
  • Oedipus: winner of the American Steeplechase triple crown


  • Peter Pan: winner of the Preakness Stakes, and had the Peter Pan Stakes named in his honor
  • Phar Lap: Australia and New Zealand's most famed Thoroughbred racehorse; won 37 of his 51 career starts
  • Pleasant Colony: 1981 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner
  • Potoooooooo: 18th-century thoroughbred racehorse who won over 30 races and defeated some of the greatest racehorses of the time.
  • Pretty Polly Irish Thoroughbred racehorse who won 15 consecutive races, fifth filly to win the British Fillies Triple Crown, record 24: 22-2-0


  • 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
  • Sham: The main competitor to Secretariat during the 1973 racing season
  • 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
  • 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 inducted into five different halls of fame, this bucking horse famously bucked at the best rodeos throughout the West and Canada
  • 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
  • Scamper ProRodeo Hall of Fame horse in barrel racing for hall of fame rider Charmayne James. They won the National Finals Rodeo a consecutive 10 times in a row, a record that still stands today.
  • 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 (January 15, 2013). "Frankel World's Best Thoroughbred". Retrieved February 1, 2014.
  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. ^