Haseltine’s Statue of Man o’ War

This photograph of Herbert Haseltine's statue at Man o' War's gravesite was taken on October 16, 1948, at Faraway Farm, nearly a year after Man o' War's death.

For years after his death, visitors would visit his grave marked with the massive bronze atop a base of green marble. The statue was surrounded by a 10-foot wide moat situated in Man o’ War’s paddock, and the walkway to the site was lined with 30 hornbeam trees representing his age at death in 1947.

The accompanying tribute, crafted by Turf writer Joe Palmer, consists of excerpts from Palmer’s often-cited estimation of Man o’ War. 

 

Man o' War Statue

“But Man o’ War, loose in his paddock at Faraway, dug in as if the prince of all the fallen angels were at his throat-latch, and great chunks of sod sailed up behind the lash of his power. Watching, you felt that there had never been, nor could ever be again, a horse like this.

"He was as near to a living flame as horses ever get, and horses get closer to this than anything else. It was not merely that he smashed his opposition, sometimes by a hundred lengths, or that he set world records, or that he cared not a tinker’s curse for weight or distance or track or horses. It was that even when he was standing motionless in his stall, with his ears pricked forward and his eyes focused on something slightly above the horizon which mere people never see, energy still poured from him. He could get in no position which suggested actual repose, and his very stillness was that of a coiled spring, of the crouched tiger.”

- Joe Palmer1

 

1. Joe Palmer (1953). This Was Racing. Lexington, Kentucky: Henry Clay Press, p. 77.