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Man O' War grave at Kentucky Horse Park.

Man O' War's Grave

Field review by the editors.

Lexington, Kentucky

Died 1947

Pet Cemetery.

Perhaps the most famous racehorse in history (and certainly the one with the best name) was Man o' War, undisputed king of the turf during the gambling-happy roaring twenties. He was a large and imposing horse, and even when he was alive he was a tourist attraction, drawing visitors from across the country to pay homage at his farm. Racing historians say that the only reason Man o' War never won the Triple Crown is because his owner refused to race him in Kentucky.

Man o' War died in 1947, and a year later a larger-than-life bronze statue of him, sculpted by Herbert Haseltine, was erected over his farmyard grave, which was later surrounded by the graves of several of his 379 children (he was a prolific stud, unlike today's limp champions). As a unique honor, Man o' War's entire body was embalmed and placed in a giant casket lined with his racing colors. Over 2,000 mourners attended the elaborate funeral.

In 1977 the big casket was dug up, and Man o' War was moved, along with his statue, to Kentucky Horse Park.

Not only did Man o' War live nobly, he died nobly as well. His groom and pal, Will Harbut, died suddenly in October, 1947. Man o' War was so crestfallen that he pined away, and less than a month later died of a broken heart.

Also see: Faithful Steeds | Roadside Pet Cemetery

Man O' War's Grave

Kentucky Horse Park

4089 Iron Works Pike, Lexington, KY
I-75 exit 120. Drive east, then make first left into Kentucky Horse Park. After the gated entrance, the statue will be straight ahead.
$5 Parking fee.
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In the region:
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