Friday, November 16, 2007

FRIDAYS HISTORY POST: Phar Lap: Australia's wonder horse

He triumphed during the Great Depression of the early 1930s, when a hero was most needed by the people of Australia.
He conquered the local racing scene—36 wins from his last 41 starts—and then won North America's richest race, the Agua Caliente Handicap, in 1932.
A fortnight later he went to the great equine heaven in the skies, struck down by a mystery illness that many suspected was the work of gangsters. The horse traveled with security guards to protect his safety. Gunshots were allegedly fired at the champion after one morning gallop.
For the history of Pharlap, click THIS LINK, complete with 1930's music, you will see the amazing horse that once stopped a nation.
His heart has been on display for many years in a museum. Why, I hear you ask? Because a normal horses' heart weights approximately 4 kilograms and Pharlap's was 6.2 kilograms. So amazing!
For a look at the film starring Pharlap, you can watch this clip also, accompanied again by wonderful music.

14 comments:

Andrew said...

I heard the other day that Phar Lap's skeleton is in a New Zealand museum. The kiddies who see it say 'look at the dinosaur Mummy'.

captain corky said...

Very Neat! I live in Kentucky and people are very proud of the horse racing heritage here.

A Slice of Life said...

What an amazing horse! Although I can't imagine who first thought to put his heart on display!

Queenie said...

Very interesting, have you heard about the one that went mising here Shegar? Red Rum was a racehorse hero to my Grandad, he said that he had hidden wings!!!!

poody said...

I am crying after reading this Cazzie. I grew up on a horse ranch so I have a special affinity for them. They truly are wonderous creatures. Waht a tragedy! I never realized that y'all had a depression the same as us. I have so much to learn!

Trundling Grunt said...

No wonder he dies if they took his heart out.

phishez_rule said...

Such a stunning horse.

phishez_rule said...

You can see him in action here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bROtR5ivyZw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkppKT4-yI8

eric1313 said...

The American race horse Secretariat, one that lived at about the same time, was the same way. Except that it's heart was almost twice the size as normal. And the lungs, too were much larger than normal.

That's the secret: have a big heart and you will go far and fast. I like that.

Thanks for the post, Cazzie!!
Take care.

Steph said...

I grew up hearing the legend of Phar Lap. My dad is a mad keen punter and he speaks of this horse in the same breath as Don Bradman and Lionel Rose.

Cazzie!!! said...

Andrew, how cool, my kids would say the same thing I reckon. LOL

Captain, I love the gee gees too, and so do my girls.

Slice, Yeah, I know, some things are strange, I was scared to see it when I was younger, now it amazes me.

Queenie, I will have to google that one, I love horse stories!

Poody, I know, I cried when I saw the movie also..about Pharlap. Just suc a lovely beast too.
The depression, yes, I am afraid the whole world suffered it.


TG, haha, u got it mate :)

Phishez, agreed!! Thanks for links, I will show my girls these when they wake up.

Eric, I lvoe your words :)

Steph, I know that way of speaking, and I agree with him too.

Jules said...

Okay, don't mean to piss any Aussie's off here, but you all do realise Phar Lap was born and bred in NEW ZEALAND??

Drunken Chud said...

didn't he die of sand colic? i thought i heard something about that years ago. i only wish there actually was an oz racehorse named "old regret", cuz that would have made snowy river that much better of a movie. heh.

SeXyMaRaZ said...

Hi Cazzie,
I think that's a nice little story on Phar Lap =)
And just my opinion on the comment 2 above. It doesn't matter where he was born, he was trained and raised as a racing horse in Australia by Australians, which makes him AUSTRALIAN! =)

Hehe.
Have a good one Cazzie!