Spread Eagle (horse)

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Spread Eagle
Sire Volunteer
Grandsire Eclipse
Dam Highflyer Mare
Damsire Highflyer
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1792
Country Great Britain
Colour Bay
Breeder Sir Francis Standish
Owner 1) Sir Francis Standish
2) James Hoomes
Trainer Richard Prince
Record 5 wins
Major wins
Prince's Stakes (1795)
Epsom Derby (1795)
King's Plate (1798)

Spread Eagle (1792–1805) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse that won the 1795 Epsom Derby and was later imported into the United States to factor into the pedigrees of early American racehorses.

Pedigree and racing career[edit]

Spread Eagle was sired by Volunteer out of an unnamed mare by Highflyer in 1792.[1] His dam also produced Eagle (also later imported to the US) and the 1796 Derby winner Didelot. He was named after an inn at Epsom that was frequented by racing officials during the week of the Derby.[2] First raced at age three, Spread Eagle won 100 guinea race at Newmarket in 1795, followed by wins in the Prince's Stakes (second class) and the Epsom Derby. Illness in the later part of 1795 prevented him racing until 1796. In 1796 he won one race, a 100-guinea stakes race at York and won the King's Plate as a six-year-old in 1798. He was retired to stud in 1798 and stood briefly in Newmarket for a fee of 12 guineas per mare before being exported.[1]

Exportation and stud career[edit]

Spread Eagle was exported in August 1798 to the United States[3] by James Hoomes and was used as a breeding stallion in Virginia.[4] Spread Eagle died in 1805 at the age of thirteen years in Kentucky.[5] His most notable offspring was Maid of the Oaks, a chestnut mare foaled in Virginia in 1801, that is the ancestress of the female line of Commando and subsequently is present in the pedigrees of some modern racehorses.[6]


  1. ^ a b Weighton, Market (June 1798). The Sporting Magazine, Volume 12. p. 121. 
  2. ^ Murray, John (1878). Handbook for England and Wales; alphabetically arranged. p. 166. 
  3. ^ Sporting Magazine, Volume 12. August 1798. p. 275. 
  4. ^ Skinner, John S. (ed.) (August 1826). "Annals of the turf". The American Farmer. 8 (23): 183. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  5. ^ Anderson, James Douglas and Balie Peyton (1916). Making the American thoroughbred: especially in Tennessee, 1800-1845. The Plimpton Press. p. 63. 
  6. ^ Leach, Dr. M. M. (March 29, 1915). "Imported stars in stud". Daily Racing Form. Retrieved 12 May 2011.