"Hats Off to the Horses" of Old Friends - Wallenda, the horse



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Pedigree: Foaled in 1990; Dark Bay; Sire – Gulch; Dam – So Glad (ARG) by Liloy
Trained by: Frank Alexander and
Owners: Dogwood Stable
Breeders: Peter Brant and Haras Santa Maria
Jockey: Herb McCauley
Record: 33 Starts: 7-5-5
Earnings: $1,205,929
Major winsGrade I Super Derby and Grade II Pennsylvania Derby in 1993
To read about this magnificent stallion, please click on the photos of Wallenda below.

Wallenda photo by Matt Woolley - www.equisportphotos.com

Wallenda photo by Ralph Quillin


photo by Ralph Quillin

Wallenda Arrives at Old Friends
June 14, 2007 press release from Old Friends

Multiple stakes winner Wallenda has arrived at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement facility based in Georgetown, KY. The 17-year-old horse is the 5th stallion bred in North America that has been returned to the United States from stud duty in Japan by the non-profit organization.

Named after the famous aerialist Karl Wallenda of The Flying Wallendas, the horse was by Peter M. Brant and Haras Santa Maria de Araras, and was purchased later by Dogwood Stables. Wallenda is by Gulch, had seven wins from his 33 lifetime starts, and ran in the money an additional 10 times.

A Kentucky Derby contender in 1993, Wallenda went on to win the Pennsylvania Derby and was then sent to the Florida Derby, but was bested there by Bull in the Heather, who as fate would have it, is now his paddock neighbor at Old Friends.

Wallenda’s greatest claim to racing fame, however, is his exciting win in the 1993 Super Derby by barely a nose to capture a purse of more that $400,000. His last race was the 1994 Donn Handicap, won that year by the invincible Cigar. In his racing career Wallenda earned just over $1.2 million.

The dark bay stallion had been sent overseas to stand stud in New Zealand and most recently stood at Toyosato Stallion Center in Hokkaido, Japan. He was purchased by Old Friends for $10,000 and has been in required quarantine at Alfred Nuckols Jr.’s Hurstland Farm in Midway, KY., since his arrival in the U.S. in early April.

The return of Wallenda is a great example of how everyone working together can accomplish something; it really brings out the best side of racing,” said Michael Blowen, founder of Old Friends.

Cot Campbell, former trainer Frank Alexander, and former members of the stallion’s syndicate all made significant donations to help raise the near $60,000 to complete Wallenda’s journey. An online campaign, “Fly Wallenda Home” also raised significant funds from fans and well wishers.

Blowen also went on to thank Narvick International and Ms. Megumi Igarashi for their continued help and guidance in securing stallions from overseas.


Wallenda photo by Matt Wooley - www.equisportphotos.com

Wallenda photo by Rick Capone


Sunday November 20, 2011 – Old Friends Blog
by Valerie Mulgrave

This particular blog entry is one that I have put off for far too long. I put it off in large part because most of this blog’s regular readers will be aware that I am writing about my favorite horse in the world, and thus, I am perhaps not the most unbiased of persons. But then, where horses are concerned, aren’t we all biased?

So this is about Wallenda. He was a good racehorse, certainly. But he is also flat-out, no contest the toughest horse I have ever known. In a world where Thoroughbreds are considered to be ever more fragile, he has shown himself to be smarter, stronger and more determined than anyone could have predicted.

Wallenda, named after the patriarch of the famous circus family, amassed $1.2 million in earnings over a 33 race career. As a three year old in 1993 for Dogwood Stables, he won the Super Derby, the Pennsylvania Derby and ran second in the Blue Grass Stakes. He was Kentucky Derby worthy and in fact ran in the Derby that same year. Whenever I find myself in the Derby Museum at Churchill Downs, I stop to look for his name on the Derby wall. Even though he didn’t win, seeing his name listed there never fails to thrill me. After his racing career, Wallenda stood at stud in Kentucky, New Zealand, and ultimately ended up in Japan. In the summer of 2007, he joined the Old Friends roster.

I was new to Old Friends as a volunteer at the same time Wallenda arrived at the farm. Among my first memories of the deep-chested, nearly black stallion is watching the Flying Wallenda family feed carrots to Wallenda the horse, and then performing their high-wire act at a farm fundraiser. Wallenda the horse is a carrot hound, and a show-off. He is also a stallion, and not the kind you kiss and fuss over. He is an active horse by nature, not above taking a nip at anyone who annoys him, and not a particularly gentle or simple horse to be around. Had I thought about it, I probably would have said he was a not a horse that would be calm and content as an indoor horse. I had no idea the path Wallenda was about to walk.

To continue reading Val's wonderful Old Friends Blog honoring the great Wallenda, click


To place a bid on the Wallenda” auction hat or to learn more about Old Friends at Dream Chase Farm, please visit the Old Friends website to access the eBay link or call them at 502-863-1775.
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