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Ferdinand (horse)

Sire Nijinsky
Dam Banja Luka
Grandsire Northern Dancer
Damsire Double Jay
Gender Stallion
Foaled 1983
Country United States
Color Chestnut
Breeder Howard B. Keck
Owner Elizabeth A. Keck
Trainer Charlie Whittingham
Record 29:8-9-6
Earnings $3,777,978
Ferdinand is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Banja Luka by Nijinsky. He was born around 1983 in the United States, and was bred by Howard B. Keck.
Major wins

Santa Catalina Stakes (1986)
Malibu Stakes (1986)
Goodwood Handicap (1987)
Cabrillo Handicap (1987)
Hollywood Gold Cup (1987)

American Classics / Breeders' Cup wins:
Kentucky Derby (1986)
Breeders' Cup Classic (1987)
U.S. Champion Older Male Horse (1987)
United States Horse of the Year (1987)
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)
Last updated on May 6, 2010

Ferdinand (1983–2002) was a Thoroughbred racehorse racehorse who won the 1986 Kentucky Derby and 1987 Breeders' Cup Classic. He was voted the 1987 Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year.

He entered stud in 1989 and was later sold to a breeding farm in Japan in 1994.

Much to the outrage of many horse racing enthusiasts, reports indicate that in 2002 Ferdinand was sent to slaughter in Japan with no fanfare or notice to previous owners. He likely became either pet food or steaks for human consumption.[1] Ferdinand's death was the catalyst for the Ferdinand Fee, an optional donation program to fund keeping old racehorses alive.

In September 2006, the United States House of Representatives approved H.R. 503, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, which would ban the slaughter of horses in the United States. The bill did not make it out of committee in the Senate, however. In January 2007 the bill was re-introduced.


The Ferdinand Fee

In the summer of 2006, the New York Owners and Breeders' Association, based in Saratoga Springs, New York, initiated the small voluntary per-race charge (collected from owners of NY Breds) called the "Ferdinand Fee" that will funnel the revenue to Bluegrass Charities and the Thoroughbred Charities of America, two organizations that help fund race horse rescue and retirement groups. Another small step in maintaining the safety of Thoroughbreds sent to breeding sheds around the world: Some owners are now including buy-back clauses within their stallion contracts. Reportedly, such clauses were included for Derby winner Silver Charm and Dubai World Cup winner Roses in May, both of whom were sent to Japan.

See also

  • California Equine Retirement Foundation
  • LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society
  • [1] Friends of Ferdinand, Inc.


Pedigree of Ferdinand
Nijinsky II b. 1967
Northern Dancer b. 1961 Nearctic Nearco
Lady Angela
Natalma Native Dancer
Flaming Page b. 1959 Bull Page Bull Lea
Our Page
Flaring Top Menow
Flaming Top
Banja Luka b. 1968
Double Jay b. 1944 Balladier Black Toney
Blue Warbler
Broomshot Whisk Broom
Center Shot
Legato b. 1956 Dark Star Royal Gem
Vulcania Some Chance



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