Man O' War (body)
Few horse names evoke so much admiration as does the name Man O' War. Foaled in 1917 and named for submarine that debuted for the Great War, this 16.2-hand, copper chestnut with a little round star and faint stripe became the great racehorse the world has known, according to many sources. His owner, Samuel Riddle, who was new to racing, took great care of his star colt, not allowing him to race in the Kentucky Derby because he believed it was too early in a horse's life for him to run that distance. He handily won the Preakness and Belmont, though, and then beat the one-year-older Triple Crown Winner Sir Barton in a match race by 7 lengths, leading the whole way.
Riddle retired Man O' War after that race, refusing to put him through carrying the huge weights handicappers insisted he'd have to carry to make the race fair to bettors. Instead, he brought the four-year-old to stud, where he became the most prolific sire of Thoroughbred champions in history. With the care of Mr. Riddle and the superb grooms he hired, Man O' War lived to be 30 years old. Riddle commissioned a life-sized statue of him to stand over his grave, and after Riddle's death, the property that included Man O' War's (and his son War Admiral's) graves was donated to the city of Lexington to become a park. In the early 1970s, the horses were re-interred at the newly developed Kentucky Horse Park, where you can visit them today.
One of the first Thoroughbreds to be honored by Breyer with a portrait model, Man O' War's model was run from 1967-1995, with lots of color and finish variations through the years.
We're rating this guy as body condition with a repaired hind leg. He also has a number of pinpoint rubs and dull spots in his finish, and his star appears moderately yellowed. He's actually a really neat old guy, though, with shading, highlights and a semi-gloss finish. Under his chin didn't get solidly painted, and he has a somewhat speckly paint job, indicative of the era in which he was made. Under his hind foot there's a number stamped in tiny numbers, but I can't make it out, as it's a bit smudged... Possibly 116 or 911... Or 9M or W6?
He will display decently in a conga with his semi-gloss finish and highlights, or he'd love to be customized.
Breyer Model #47
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