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Hanover (thoroughbred horse)

Hanover from the 1906 Types and Breeds of Farm Animals
Sire Hindoo
Dam Bourbon Belle
Grandsire Virgil
Damsire Bonnie Scotland
Gender Stallion
Foaled 1884
Country United States
Color Chestnut
Breeder Runnymede Farm
Owner Dwyer Brothers Stable
Trainer Frank McCabe
Record 50: 32-14-2
Earnings $118,887
Hanover is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Bourbon Belle by Hindoo. He was born around 1884 in the United States, and was bred by Runnymede Farm.
Major wins
Sapling Stakes (1886)
Brookdale Handicap (1887)
Champion Stakes (1887)
Hopeful Stakes (1886)
Withers Mile (1887)
Brooklyn Derby (1887)
United States Hotel Stakes (1887)
Swift Stakes (1887)
Spindrift Stakes (1887)
Lorillard Stakes (1887)
American Classic Race wins:
Belmont Stakes (1887)
American Horse of the Year (1887)
Leading sire in North America
(1895, 1896, 1897, 1898)
United States Racing Hall of Fame (1955)
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)
Last updated on February 4, 2007

Hanover (1884–1899) was a champion American thoroughbred racehorse.



Bred at Colonel E. Clay's Runnymede Farm, the thoroughbred chestnut colt was sired by Hindoo from the mare Bourbon Belle. At the farm's yearling sale in May 1885, Hanover was sold to the Dwyer Brothers Stable for $1,250, where he joined Tremont, also born in 1884, and who was a very precocious 2 year old. Hanover was considered lazy, and needed much urging to race. In a yearling trial, Tremont ran a quarter mile in :22½ seconds. Yet in a workout, Hanover beat Tremont.

Trained by Frank McCabe, at age two, Hanover won all three races he entered: the Hopeful, the July, and the Sapling Stakes. Meanwhile, the two-year-old Tremont started 13 times in the space of 10 weeks and won every race, he was also used up by the end of that year and never raced again.

Hanover's turn

With Tremont retired, the Dwyers turned to Hanover as the mainstay for the Dwyer Stable. They ran Hanover in twenty-seven races at the age of three, racing at distances ranging from 4 furlongs to two miles, he won 20 times (including the Belmont Stakes which he won by fifteen lengths) and finishing out of the money only once. For most of his career Hanover raced while conceding large weights, against top class horses, and with little rest or regard to his condition. Yet he still managed to compile an impressive final record. From 50 life-time starts he won 32, placed 14 times, and showed 2 times, only unplaced twice (50-32-14-2)

After several losses at age four, and an obvious lameness to the right forefoot, Hanover was nerved and given the remainder of the year to recover. He returned at age five and again was raced hard, even taking a momentary drop in class in order to keep him earning, he did finish on the board in 16 of his 17 races that year with 9 wins. Hanover stopped racing as the USA's greatest earner with a career total of $118,887.

As A Breeding Stallion

After his racing career Hanover was sold to Colonel Milton Young and sent to his McGrathiana Farm near Lexington Kentucky where he enjoyed a very successful breeding career becoming the leading sire in the United States for four consecutive years (1885–1889). His offspring include the Hall of Fame colt Hamburg, as well as David Garrick, Halma, Compute, The Commoner, Handspring, Half Time, and Yankee. He was also the dam sire of American Triple Crown Champion Sir Barton.

Late in 1898 Hanover suffered a bout of colic and was placed on a reduced diet to aid in his recovery. He became frustrated with his limited diet and hammered his previously damaged foot in his stall, unable to feel the pain due to being nerved he eventually fractured his coffin bone, which led to septicimea. His condition continued to worsen, and he was humanely euthanized in March 1899.

Following creation of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, Hanover was part of the first group of horses inducted in 1955.


  • "The Spell of the Turf" by Samuel C. Hildreth and James R. Crowell, J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1926


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