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Lyphard at Gainesway Farm in 1981
Sire Northern Dancer
Grandsire Nearctic
Dam Goofed
Damsire Court Martial
Sex Stallion
Foaled May 10, 1969
Country United States
Colour Bay
Breeder J. O. Burgwin
Owner Germaine Wertheimer
Trainer Alec Head
Record 12: 6–1–0
Earnings $202,332
Major wins
Prix Herod (1971)
Prix Daru (1972)
Prix Jacques Le Marois (1972)
Prix Lagrange (1972)
Prix de la Forêt (1972)
Champion 1st-season Sire in France & England (1976)
Leading sire in France (1978 & 1979)
Leading broodmare sire in France (1985)
Leading sire in North America (1986)

Lyphard (May 10, 1969 – June 10, 2005) was a French Thoroughbred racehorse and an important sire.


American bred in Pennsylvania, Lyphard was a son of Northern Dancer out of the mare Goofed.[1] He was auctioned as a weanling at November's Keeneland Sales to Tim Rogers, a horseman from Ireland, who then put him up for sale at Newmarket in England. There, renowned French trainer and breeder Alec Head purchased him on behalf of Madame Germaine Wertheimer, widow of the prominent French horseman and owner of the famous House of Chanel, Pierre Wertheimer. Germaine Wertheimer gave Lyphard his name in honor of the Ukrainian-born French ballet dancer and choreographer Serge Lifar.

Racing career[edit]

On the track, Lyphard competed in France, Ireland, and England, winning six of his twelve starts, including the Group One Prix Jacques Le Marois and Prix de la Forêt.

Stud record[edit]

Retired after the end of the 1972 racing season, he was sent to stand at stud at the Haras d'Etreham near Bayeux in Normandy. There, his offspring included the filly Durtal (foaled 1974), who won the Cheveley Park Stakes, plus the colt Pharly (1974), who won several important races in France, including the Group One Prix de la Forêt, Prix Lupin and Prix du Moulin de Longchamp.

Madame Wertheimer died in 1974. In 1978, Lyphard was sent to stand at Gainsway Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, where he became famous as the sire of a number of important horses.[2] In all, he produced 115 graded stakes race winners, including:

Lyphard was the damsire of Hatoof, winner of the 1992 1,000 Guineas and the 1994 U.S. Champion Female Turf Horse. Lyphard was also the grandsire of 1993 Epsom Derby winner Commander in Chief. Among his other descendants are Deep Impact, Japan's Horse of the Year in 2005 & 2006, and the No.1 ranked horse in the world in 2006, Invasor.

At maturity, he reached 15.2 hands (62 inches, 157 cm) high.[4]

Retirement and Death[edit]

In 1996, Lyphard was pensioned from stallion duty at age 27 and lived another nine years. He was one of the oldest Thoroughbred horses in the world by the time he was humanely euthanized on June 10, 2005 as a result of the infirmities of his very old age.


Among all the records of foaling and death dates for thoroughbred horses, Lyphard is recognized as one of the longest lived ever. At 36 years and 31 days, he is the second longest lived known stallion behind Bargain Day at 37 years and 17 days (June 7, 1965 - June 24, 2002). Other longer lived thoroughbreds include the gelding Merrick (January 25, 1903 - March 13, 1941) and the supposed Australian Tango Duke Legend (October 8(?), 1935 - January 25, 1978) and Stop The Music (March 23, 1970 – July 8, 2005).


Pedigree of Lyphard[5]
Northern Dancer
b. 1961
b. 1954
b. 1935
Lady Angela
b. 1944
Sister Sarah
b. 1957
Native Dancer
b. 1950
b. 1947
b. 1960
Court Martial
b. 1942
Fair Trial
b. 1932
Lady Juror
b. 1931
Hurry On
b. 1950
b. 1934
La Favorite
b. 1934
La Pompadour, family 17-b