5 Famous Horses Through History

March 26, 2024 2 min read

Horses have accompanied people throughout mankind’s history. In battles, in racing and even in movies. People and horses have stood together to achieve incredible feats and continue to do so today. We’re looking back in time to check out five horses who have impacted history from the battlefield to the racetrack. Learn about these impressive horses and their amazing accomplishments.

1. Bucephalus

To start our list, we’re going way back in history to the age of Alexander the Great and his favorite steed. Bucephalus was a large black stallion who was, according to the story, untamable, until he met a young Alexander. When Alexander approached the horse, he turned Bucephalus toward the sun and away from his shadow, which was the source of his fear. Alexander chose Bucephalus to be his companion and from then on the two were inseparable. Bucephalus went on to become Alexander’s favorite horse and the two rode into battles together. Bucephalus died after the Battle of Hydaspes. Alexander founded the ancient city of Bucephalato honor his horse.


2. Trigger

Originally named “Golden Cloud,” Trigger was tested for a film with Roy Rogers. After a very successful audition, Roy immediately picked Trigger, who he renamed because of a comment by a costar remarking on how fast the horse would react. Roy Roger’s bought Trigger so he could continue filming movies with him. Trigger went on to star with Roy Roger’s in over 80 movies and 100 episodes of television. Trigger knew over 100 tricks that made him a great costar in his film appearances.


3. Secretariat

One of the most famous racehorses in America is Secretariat. To this day, Secretariat still holds the records for all three of the Triple Crown races: the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes race by an astonishing 31 lengths. The racehorse became an international sensation and appeared on magazine covers, was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, and was the only nonhuman included in ESPN’s list of 50 greatest athletes of the century in 1999.


4. Marengo

Marengo was a favorite companion of Napoleon Bonaparte, who had a passion for horses. Napoleon rode Marengo into his most important battles. Marengo was named after the Battle of Marengo. The small gray Arabian horse was the perfect size for Napoleon to ride and incredibly fast. They rode together until Marengo was captured and taken to Britain. Marengo is one of the two horses used as models for the famous painting of Napoleon atop his steed.


5. Copenhagen

On the other side of the battlefield from Napoleon and Marengo, the Duke of Wellington rode his horse Copenhagen, named after the Second Battle of Copenhagen. The Duke rode Copenhagen into the Battle of Waterloo, where the horse carried him for over 15 hours before the Duke was able to dismount. Upon dismounting, the Duke gave Copenhagen a pat on the flank, and in response his horse kicked at and narrowly missed the Duke’s head. Copenhagen is celebrated for his endurance and became famous alongside the Duke as a hero.


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