|Breeder||D. J. Wilson Dunn|
|Owner||Robert W. Hall & Ernie Hammond|
|George Royal is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Polly Bashaw by Dark Hawk. He was born around 1961 in Canada, and was bred by D. J. Wilson Dunn.|
British Columbia Derby (1964)|
San Juan Capistrano Handicap (1965 & 1966)
Canadian International Stakes (1965 & 1966)
|Canadian Horse Of The Year (1965)|
Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame (1976)|
British Columbia Horse Racing Hall of Fame (1988)
George Royal Stakes at Hastings Racecourse
Life-sized statue at Hastings Racecourse
|Horse (Equus ferus caballus)|
|Last updated on February 15, 2007|
George Royal (1961–1981) was a Canadian Hall of Fame Thoroughbred racehorse. Foaled in Cloverdale, British Columbia, George Royal was sired by Dark Hawk out of the mare Polly Bashaw. His great-grandsire was Hyperion, son of the English Triple Crown Champion Gainsborough.
The colt began racing at two at Vancouver's Exhibition Park, winning four of his eight starts. Although a winner of nine consecutive stakes races at age three, he received little notice in Canada in 1964 as a result of Northern Dancer becoming the first Canadian-bred to win the Kentucky Derby. Ridden and eventually trained by Texan Donald Richardson, George Royal was sent to California to compete, where Johnny Longden took over as jockey. In 1966, George Dunn handled his conditioning. In 1965, George Royal won the 1 3/4-mile San Juan Capistrano Handicap on the turf at Santa Anita Park, then later the Canadian International Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. His performances in 1965 made him the first British Columbia-bred horse to win Canadian Horse of the Year honors. In 1966, in Johnny Longden's last race as a jockey, George Royal repeated as winner of the San Juan Capistrano Handicap. In the Clubhouse at Santa Anita Park there is an oil painting of the finish of the 1966 San Juan Capistrano, which was also used for the cover of the Santa Anita official program during the 1967 racing season. That fall, jockey Ismael Valenzuela made it back-to-back wins in the Canadian International Stakes.
Retired to stud duty as number two in earnings by a Canadian-bred horse, George Royal stood at co-owner Robert W. Hall's Emerald Acres farm in Aldergrove, British Columbia, where he sired several stakes winners before suffering a stroke in 1981 that led to his having to be humanely euthanized.
On its creation in 1976, George Royal was inducted in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Honored by the British Columbia Horse Racing Hall of Fame, his statue stands in the paddock at Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver and a stakes race there bears his name.