Mar 21, 2013 - Sale 2308

Sale 2308 - Lot 546

Price Realized: $ 1,140
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
A LEGENDARY THOROUGH & HIS GROOM (SPORTS--THOROUGHBRED RACING.) HARBUT, WILL. Man o War with his groom, Will Harbut. Silver print photograph 11 x 13 inches, matted and framed. Kentucky, circa 1935

Additional Details

Man o War (1917-1947) was one the greatest thoroughbred race horses of all time. During his career just following World War I, he won 20 of 21 races and $249,465 in purses. Will Harbut, born in 1885, was part of an old tradition in the South of African American trainers, grooms and jockeys. Harbut was well known among Kentucky owners and breeders as one of the best grooms and horse trainers in the area---some even said he was a "horse whisperer." So, in 1930 when the great horse was bought by Faraway Farms to be put out to stud; Harry B. Scott, the farm's manager hired Will Harbut to be Man 'o War's groom. This was to be the start of a 15 year relationship that itself would become legendary. Harbut and the horse immediately bonded, and were inseparable for the remainder of both their lives. Though thoroughbreds are notable for their skittish and sometimes nasty behavior, Harbut was able to make Man 'o War or "Big Red" as he called the huge chestnut, docile enough for little children who frequently came to visit him. Harbut called him "The mostest horse that ever was" and the legendary sportswriter Joe Palmer dubbed the magnificent chestnut "The Living Flame." Both Man 'o War and Harbut are in the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame.