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Bret Hanover

Bret Hanover
Breed Standardbred [1]
Sire Adios
Grandsire Hal Dale
Dam Brenna Hanover
Damsire Tar Heel
Gender Stallion
Foaled 19 May 1962
Country USA
Color Bay
Breeder Hanover Shoe Farms
Owner Richard Downing
Trainer Frank Ervin
Record 68 starts: 62 wins, 5 seconds and 1 third
Earnings $922,616
Major Wins, Awards and Honors
Major Wins
Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Pacers
Harness Horse of the Year
Infobox last updated on: 5 May 2010.

Bret Hanover (foaled USA in 1962) was an outstanding American Standardbred racehorse. He was also one of only nine pacers to win harness racing's Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Pacers and achieved a fine career total of 62 wins from 68 starts.[2] He was the only horse to have even been made Harness Horse of the Year three times.



He was foaled at Hanover Shoe Farms in Hanover, Pennsylvania on May 19, 1962. Bret Hanover was by the leading sire Adios and out of Brenna Hanover by Tar Heel, a Little Brown Jug winner and a leading sire.

Racing career

Trained and driven by Frank Ervin in his 1964 debut season in racing, two-year-old Bret Hanover was undefeated, winning all 24 races he entered and would continue undefeated for 35 races. Bret Hanover then became the first two-year-old ever to be awarded the honour of USTA Horse of the Year.[3]

In his second season of racing, he had 24 starts for 21 wins, a 1:55 world record and Horse of the Year honours again.

In his last year of racing as four-year-old, he had 20 starts for 17 wins for a career total of 62 wins from 68 starts. He never placed worse than third. He was voted Harness Horse of the Year in 1964, 1965 and 1966 by the US Trotting Association and the US Harness Writers Association. Bret Hanover was only ever beaten by three horses, Cardigan Bay, Adios Vic and True Duane. He had great duels with Cardigan Bay, harness racing's first millionaire including the Pace of the Century won by Cardigan Bay. Bret Hanover easily beat Cardigan Bay in the Revenge Pace, also set up by Yonkers Raceway. Bret Hanover was one of only nine horses in history to win the Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Pacers. Bret Hanover was retired as the fastest Standardbred pacer.[citation needed]

Stud record

Bret Hanover sold to Castleton Farm in Lexington, Kentucky for a record $1 million. He sired the winners of $64,380,702, including Little Brown Jug winners Melvin's Woe and Strike Out. He is remembered as one of the better broodmare sires.

After his death on November 21, 1992 Bret Hanover was originally buried at Castleton, before his grave was moved to Lexington's Kentucky Horse Park, and the statue that had been erected for him at Castleton Farm today stands at his gravesite.

Numerous stories have been written about the horse including the book "Big Bum, The Story of Bret Hanover".[4] Bret Hanover would bow to the crowd after every win, Frank Ervin (driver) would get off of him and Bret would then cross his front legs and bend over and the crowd would go nuts

Reference list

See also

For links to other harness horse information and biographies, see also:


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