Source: Kentucky Horse Park
The life and legacy of one of America’s original sporting heroes, the legendary Man o’ War, will be the highlight of a year-long celebration at the Kentucky Horse Park beginning on March 29, his birthday.
Titled “Man o’ War: The Mostest Horse That Ever Was,” the exhibit will open at the Kentucky Horse Park on March 29, 2017, Man o’ War’s 100th birthday, and will contain never before seen artifacts of his illustrious career as a racehorse, a sire, and from his life in the Bluegrass as one of the state’s most well-known and visited residents.
“We took the name of the exhibit from Will Harbut, the man who took care of him most of his life here in Kentucky,” said International Museum of the Horse Director, Bill Cooke. “There are so many pieces of history with the Man o’ War exhibit that racing fans will be thrilled to see.”
The entire list of Man o’ War events will be announced on March 29, but Prewitt previewed some of what can be expected. “There will be a number of events beginning with his birthday, a legacy mural of Man o’ War that will be painted in downtown Lexington, special Man o’ War-themed horse farm tours will be offered and much more that will involve fans of all ages.”
Man o’ War as a three-year-old in 1920, standing 16.2 hands and weighing approximately 1150 pounds (520 kg). The chestnut stallion by Fair Play was retired to stud in 1920 after two years of racing and became a top sire, producing more than 64 stakes winners and many champions. Among his famous offspring were 1937 Triple Crown winner War Admiral, and Hard Tack, sire of Seabiscuit. Man o’ War appears at least 17 times in the bloodline of American Pharoah, the 2015 Triple Crown winner. Man o’ War died on November 1, 1947, at age 30, of an apparent heart attack. Photo: Wikimedia/Public Domain
The statue of Man o’ War at the Kentucky Horse Park. Photo: Wikimedia/Jlvsclrk
Thriving in the golden age of American sport, Man o’ War dominated sports headlines, often overshadowing legends such as Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, and Bobby Jones. His dominance of the sport was followed by a successful career at stud in Kentucky, siring Triple Crown winners and numerous other champions. His power as a sire can be traced down today to the most recent Triple Crown winner, the great American Pharoah.
“The story of Man o’ War is truly a remarkable one,” said Prewitt. “Our goal is to celebrate his life and equally encourage visitors to experience all that the Kentucky Horse Park has to offer.”
Main Photo: Man o’ War in his stretch run of the Stuyvesant Handicap at the Old Jamaica racetrack in Queens, New York on June 22, 1920, with jockey Clarence Kummer. He carried 135 pounds in this one-mile race and won by an estimated eight to ten lengths. As a two-year-old Man o’ War carried 130 pounds in six races; as a three-year-old he carried as much as 138 pounds, often handicapped more than 32 pounds more than other horses. Photo credit: Wikimedia/CC Cook