Seabiscuit was a famous racehorse, as you may know, who is still talked about today regarding his impressive speed and strength. There is so much to know about this horse including his famous victory in an important match race, his overall appearance, how old this horse lived to be, and so much more. These are 10 things you never knew about Seabiscuit.
1. Seabiscuit’s Nickname Was Pappy
Seabiscuit was a horse that was fondly nicknamed Pappy or Pops by those who were close to him and his owners. Just like many horses, Seabiscuit had a ‘registered name’ that he professionally went by, and a ‘barn name’ that his owners, caretakers, and handlers called him by.
This means that if Seabiscuit recognized his name, it probably wasn’t Seabiscuit that he responded to. He most likely responded more so to Pappy or Pops.
2. He Won Over $430K In His Racing Career
At his time, the remarkable $437,730 (US dollars) that this horse earned in his racing career was a new record for the Thoroughbred racing industry. Seabiscuit set this record officially in the year 1940. But just two years later, in 1942, another horse stole the title of the highest-earning Thoroughbred racehorse in the world.
3. Seabiscuit Beat A Triple Crown Winner In A Match Race
The fourth winner of the Triple Crown, a horse names War Admiral, was a Thoroughbred Stallion known for his speed, endurance, and great success on the racetrack. This remarkable horse lost a race to Seabiscuit known as the ‘race of the century.’ The race that these horses ran was a match race held at Pimlico Race Course. This race was known as the Pimlico special. This highly anticipated match race attracted over 40,000 people to the stands.
This race ended with a bang. Seabiscuit beat War Admiral, a highly admired racehorse carrying the title of Triple Crown winner, by an impressive 4 lengths. This exciting race is part of what made Seabiscuit such a legendary race horse. It is this race alone that is one of the key parts of the movie made for him in 2003.
4. He Died From A Heart Attack
Seabiscuit, everyone’s favorite bay, passed away just 6 days short of the age of 14 on May 17, 1947. He died around midnight on this day and was buried on Ridgewood Ranch in Mendocino County, California.
5. During His Life He Sired Just 108 Foals
In Thoroughbred horse racing, you are not allowed to artificially inseminate or breed horses without doing a live cover. For this reason, most Thoroughbred stallions have a limited number of offspring.
Not only was his breeding limited, but with his young death, Seabiscuit was not as able to pass on as many of his genetics to a future racing generation.
6. In His Retirement, He Was Used As A Ranch horse
Seabiscuit was retired to a ranch known as Ridgewood Ranch. This ranch is also the ranch where this horse happens to be buried. Seabiscuit was used on this ranch as a cattle horse. His job was to carry his rider through the ranch checking on the cows and herds.
This horse was only retired for a year or so before returning to the track with his jockey for one last hurrah. Together, Seabiscuit and his jockey healed from leg injuries during his time spent on the ranch.
7. Seabiscuit Was A Small Horse For His Career & Breed
Seabiscuit, a little bay Thoroughbred, was actually quite small compared to other Thoroughbreds and Racehorses.
The average Thoroughbred stands at around 16 to 16.2 hands high. Sometimes, these horses can stand even over 17 hands high too! Seabiscuit stood at just around 15.2 hands high (or 5 feet 2 inches).
8. In 2003 A Movie Was Made In Honor Of This Horse
Even today, Seabiscuit is a fondly remembered horse who was known not only for being really fast but also for providing the Americans of that time with a sort of entertainment and relief from the great depression and World War 2.
To remember Seabiscuit, a film was created in 2003 all about this remarkable horse. This film is nearly completely accurate to Seabiscuit’s life and tells not only of his time growing up, but it also shows his match race with the horse War Admiral.
9. He Was A Mellow Horse
Do you know how some horses are just naturally super calm and chill? Well, this happened to be exactly how Secretariat was. Not much fazed this little guy and he was really a relaxed and calm horse.
Some fans and racetrack staff said that Secretariat looked sleepy and appeared to just want to lie down and sleep than run the race that they were about to do.
Because Seabiscuit was so mellow naturally, it made it a lot easier for people to handle, ride, and care for this stallion than others. His temperament was unlike that of any other racehorse many of these people dealt with, so having a horse that was so mellow like Seabiscuit was really a nice change as he wasn’t as hot and fiery as some of the other stallions.
10. Seabiscuit’s Grandpa Was Man o’ War
Man o’ War, nicknamed Big Red for some time, was actually Seabiscuit’s Grandpa. Having those good fast genes from that part of the family really added in an extra speed boost to make it easier to win a race. With the calm sweet side of Seabiscuit being his main personality, just by meeting him, you might never guess that such a remarkable famous racehorse like Man o’ War could be related to him.