Jump to: navigation, search

Shannon (horse)

Sire Midstream
Dam Idle Words
Grandsire Blandford
Damsire Magpie
Gender Stallion
Foaled 1941
Country Australia
Color Bay
Breeder St. Albans Stud
Owner Peter Riddle (Australia)
Neil S. McCarthy (United States)
Trainer Peter Riddle (Australia)
William Molter (United States)
Record 44: 20-8-7
Earnings ₤19,567½ (AUS)[1] + $211,610 (USA)
Shannon is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Idle Words by Midstream. He was born around 1941 in Australia, and was bred by St. Albans Stud.
Major wins
AJC Sires Produce Stakes (1943)
Hobartville Stakes (1944)
Epsom Handicap (1945)
Hill Stakes (1945)
George Main Stakes (1946 & 1947)
Theo Marks Stakes (1947)
Forty Niner Stakes (1948)
Argonaut Handicap (1948)
Hollywood Gold Cup (1948)
Golden Gate Handicap (1948)
San Francisco Handicap (1948)
American Co-Champion Older Male Horse (1948)
Australian Racing Hall of Fame (2006)
Shannon Stakes at Rosehill Racecourse
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)
Last updated on September 8, 2009

Shannon (1941-1955) was an outstanding Australian Hall of Fame Thoroughbred racehorse. He created new track records in Australia and the US.[1] Sired by Midstream from the mare Idle Words by Magpie*, he was owned and trained by Peter Riddle who paid £367 for him as a yearling.

Already a winner of the 1945 AJC Epsom Handicap Shannon is probably best remembered for not winning the same race the next year. A short-priced favourite for the 1946 running Shannon missed the start and did not move from his starting position until the rest of the field had travelled approximately 100 metres. Despite the setback his jockey took off after the field and failed only by half a head to catch the winner Blue Legend.

When his owner-trainer died he was sold to W.J. Smith for £27,300 and only raced four more times in Australia before being sold again in early 1948, this time to American Neil McCarthy for a reported £52,000. [1]

His last start in Australia ended in defeat finishing second to Russia in the 1947 AJC Craven Plate.

In total he raced 25 times in Australia for 14 wins with other prominent wins including the AJC George Main Stakes and the AJC Sires Produce Stakes.

Racing in the United States

Racing in California in 1948, new owner Neil McCarthy entrusted Shannon's race conditioning to trainer, William Molter. At Hollywood Park Racetrack in June he won the Argonaut Handicap then on 17 July, won the most prestigious race of his American career, the Hollywood Gold Cup. At Golden Gate Fields on 17 October 1948 Shannon equaled the world record of 1:47 3/5 for the mile and one eighth in winning the Forty Niner Stakes then just one week later at the same track equaled the world record of 1:59 4/5 for a mile and a quarter while capturing the Golden Gate Handicap.[2] In November he won his last race, the San Francisco Handicap at Tanforan Racetrack.

Sold for US$300,000 to a breeding syndicate led by Leslie Combs II, Shannon was retired to stud duty and stood alongside another Australian champion Bernborough at Combs' Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, Kentucky where he had a successful career as a sire. Eleven of his first crop yearlings averaged $11,755 each.[1]The best of his progeny being Clem ($535,681) who defeated Round Table in track record time in the Washington Park Handicap and Sea O Erin ($407,259) who won the Citation Handicap and 18 other races.[2]

In 1955, Shannon broke a leg and was humanely euthanized. He is buried at Spendthrift Farm.[citation needed]

Shannon was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame on 4 July 2006.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Barrie, Douglas M., The Australian Bloodhorse, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1956
  2. 2.0 2.1 Pring, Peter; "Analysis of Champion Racehorses", The Thoroughbred Press, Sydney, 1977, ISBN 0-908133-00-6

External links


Premier Equine Classifieds


Subscribe to our newsletter and keep abreast of the latest news, articles and information delivered directly to your inbox.

Did You Know?

Modern horse breeds developed in response to a need for "form to function", the necessity to develop certain physical characteristics in order to perform a certain type of work... More...

The Gypsy Cob was originally bred to be a wagon horse and pulled wagons or caravans known as Vardos; a type of covered wagon that people lived in... More...

Archaeological evidence indicates that the Arabian horse bloodline dates back 4,500 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses spread around the world by both war and trade.... More...

That the term "Sporthorse" is a term used to describe a type of horse rather than any particular breed... More...