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Ormonde (horse)

Sire Bend Or
Dam Lily Agnes
Grandsire Doncaster (1870)
Damsire Macaroni
Gender Stallion
Foaled 1883
Country Great Britain
Color Bay
Breeder 1st Duke of Westminster
Owner 1st Duke of Westminster
Trainer John Porter
Record 16: Undefeated
Earnings ₤28,465[1] $142,325
Ormonde is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Lily Agnes by Bend Or. He was born around 1883 in Great Britain, and was bred by 1st Duke of Westminster.
Major wins
Dewhurst Stakes (1885)
2,000 Guineas (1886)
Epsom Derby (1886)
St. Leger Stakes (1886)
St. James's Palace Stakes (1886)
Champion Stakes (1886)
Hardwicke Stakes (1886 & 1887)
Imperial Gold Cup (1887)
4th U.K. Triple Crown Champion
Ormonde Stakes at Chester Racecourse
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)
Last updated on 19 May 2009

Ormonde (1883-1904) was an English Thoroughbred racehorse, an unbeaten Triple Crown winner, generally considered to be one of the greatest racehorses ever.



He was a bay colt, born in 1883 at Eaton Stud in Cheshire. Ormonde's sire was the Epsom Derby winner Bend Or, while his dam, Lily Agnes, was sired by another Derby winner, Macaroni. Ormonde was a brother to Ornament who produced the outstanding Sceptre, the only racehorse to win four British Classic Races outright.[2]

Racing record

Ormonde was trained at Kingsclere by John Porter for the 1st Duke of Westminster. As a two-year-old, Ormonde did not race until the end of the season when he won the Post Stakes, the Criterion Stakes and the Dewhurst Stakes in quick succession.

At three he won firstly the 2,000 Guineas, defeating the strongly fancied and previously unbeaten Minting. He went on to beat The Bard (also previously undefeated) in the Epsom Derby and followed up by winning the St. James's Palace Stakes and the Hardwicke Stakes, both at Ascot Racecourse, and then completed the Triple Crown by winning the Doncaster St. Leger Stakes in a canter. He ended a triumphant season with wins in the Great Foal Stakes, the Champion Stakes, the Free Handicap and a walkover in a Private Sweepstakes. Throughout the season his breathing had become progressively louder until he was labelled a roarer.[1]

Despite fears that his career might be over he came out at four with an easy win in the Rous Memorial Stakes at Ascot. The very next day in the Hardwicke Stakes he was made to struggle for the first time and only beat Minting by a neck - his breathing now so loud that it was heard all over the racecourse. His final race was the Imperial Gold Cup at Newmarket.

Stud record

Ormonde went to the Duke of Westminter's stud in 1888. He was then moved to Newmarket, became sick and had reduced fertility, but he produced Orme, sire of another Triple Crown winner, Flying Fox. When he was six Ormonde was sold for ₤12,000 and exported to Argentina.[3] Sold again in 1893, by his Argentinian owner, for ₤31,250 he was sent to California where he sired 16 offspring[1] including Ormondale who sired Purchase. He died in 1904 at age 21 at Rancho Wikiup in Santa Rosa, California. His disarticulated skeleton/skull were later returned to the Natural History Museum in South Kensington, London. [1]

His male line survives through Ajax, Flying Fox, Orby, Orme and Teddy.[4]

Ormonde may have been the model for the fictional horse Silver Blaze in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's short story of the same name.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ahnert, Rainer L. (editor in chief), “Thoroughbred Breeding of the World”, Pozdun Publishing, Germany, 1970
  2. Leicester, Sir Charles, Bloodstock Breeding, J.A. Allen & Co, London, 1969
  3. Pryor, Peter, The Classic Connection, Cortney Publications, Luton, 1979
  4. Craig, Dennis, Breeding Racehorses from Cluster Mares, J A Allen, London, 1964

External links


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