Hanover : Race Horse
One of America’s great thoroughbred racehorses, Hanover was born at Runnymede Farm in 1884. The chestnut colt had great pedigree and it showed right from the start. He was sired by Hindoo and his dam was Bourbon Belle out of Bonnie Scotland. When he was taken to the yearling sales a year later, he was sold for the handsome sum of $1,250 and taken to his new home at the Dwyer Brothers Stable. Here he lived under the same roof as Tremont who was about the same age but showed much more potential. While Hanover was easy going and lazy, Tremont was bursting with energy and speed. Despite this, Hanover beat Tremont in a yearling trial that left everyone speechless.
When Hanover turned two, he started his race training under horse trainer Frank McCabe and by the end of the year he’d won all three of the races that he was entered in. Meanwhile his contemporary Tremont was pushed hard. He was entered into thirteen races in the space of ten weeks and while he won every one of his races, he was ruined by the hard work. With Tremont resting in the sidelines, it was Hanover’s turn to shine. As a three-year-old he was entered in twenty-seven different races of varying distances and he excelled. He won the Belmont Stakes by fifteen lengths that year and often won races against older horses. By the time he was five he had a record of 32-14-2 in 50 starts. Unfortunately his feet did not stand for the harsh treatment of frequent racing. During his fifth year of racing, he had the nerve removed from one of his bad feet to deaden the pain so that he could continue racing. However, by the end of his fifth year he was tired and lame and it was clear that his racing career was over. The Dwyer Brothers retired him and sent him to stud. At this point in his career, he was the USA’s greatest earner and had a made a career total of $118,887.
In his time spent at stud, Hanover sired colts such as Hamburg, David Garrick, Handspring, Halma, Half Time and Yankee. He was rated as the US leading sire for four years in a row and was near the top of the list from 1885 to 1898. Unfortunately his successful time in the breeding barn was cut short when Hanover broke his coffin bone whilst stamping his ‘unnerved’ foot in an attempt to demand food. By the time anyone had noticed, blood poisoning had become systemic. As a result he was put down in 1899. During his career, Hanover won the Hopeful Stakes, the Withers Mile, the Belmont Stakes, the Brooklyn Derby, the Swift Stakes and the Lorillard Stakes, amongst countless other races. He was a noteworthy breeding sire and an excellent horse overall. In 1955 he was inducted into the United States Racing Hall of Fame for his excellent performance and contribution to the sport overall.