LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 03: Jockey Victor Espinoza celebrates atop of California Chrome #5 after crossing the finish line to win the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 3, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

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Our nation was built in part by horses. They plowed the earth for the early settlers. They pulled wagon trains thousands of miles across the prairies to build this great country.

Here are a couple of fun facts about horses that you might not know.

Fun Facts About Horses

  • “Winning Brew” holds the fastest horse speed record over two furlongs of 43.97 mph in a race at the Penn National Race Course in Grantville, Pennsylvania on May 14, 2008.
  • The world’s smallest horse is just 17 inches tall and weighs in at 57 pounds.
  • Everyone who ever grew up with horses on a farm or ranch knows that they can sleep standing up.
  • I’ve heard many congressmen referred to as a certain part of a horse. But one person made his whole horse a senator — Roman Emperor Gaius Caligula.
  • We still measure automobile engines by horsepower. But did you know the peak output of a horse is 14.9 horsepower?
  • Don’t try to take your horse, pony or donkey out of the UK. All must have a horse passport in or out of the country.
  • Humans have 4 blood types. Dogs have 13 blood types, cows 9, and horses 8.
  • If you thought the horse’s head in “The Godfather” movie looked real that’s because it was. The screams of the actor are real.
  • Horses and Koalas use their appendix to digest leaves. Darwin and others think we used to use ours for the same reason.
  • Feel free to take your horse to your next kegger. Horses can’t throw up.
  • “Mr. Ed did it.” For centuries, in many parts of Europe, pigs, horses, even insects could be tried and convicted of crimes.
  • No Big Mac or fries for you if you come through a McDonald’s drive-thru on horseback. Maybe $15 an hour will help.
  • Today’s British army still has more horses than tanks. It’s a small country.
  • The race must go on even if the jockey dies. In 1923 a jockey had a fatal heart attack but not to worry. The horse won the race without him.
  • Horse poop caused so much pollution in the early 20th century that cars were actually seen as the “green alternative.” Be careful what you wish for.

Some Final Thoughts

It would probably be child abuse today but when I was about 4-5 years old my father plowed our farm with a team of horses with me riding on the back of one.

It’s amazing to see how far we’ve advanced since then but it all started with the horse.

So the next time you see one. Stop and think about where we would be today without the horses of yesteryear.

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