TNB Night Owl – Kincsem

Kincsem, painted by Emil Adam in 1887, from a print. Public domain. {{PD-US}}

Perfection is rarely achieved in sports, much less for years on end. Horse racing is no different.

There have been multiple horses in the last decade who have achieved perfect records in their careers that you may have heard of: Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, Justify* (being doped by his trainer puts a black mark on his record for sure), and for the oldsters who cared about racing a little farther back in history, Personal Ensign and Ruffian* (she would have beaten Foolish Pleasure with ease so she makes the list).

And then there is Kincsem (translates to My Treasure). From all photographic evidence, Kincsem was a very feminine red filly unlike some of the aforementioned fillies. She was a showman in every sense of the word and had her diva quirks to boot. Kincsem’s pet cat was lost at a train depot and the filly refused to move until the cat returned, she refused to drink water not from her farm, and trotted herself to the winner’s circle.

Arrogant? Possibly. Spoiled? Most definitely. However, if you had run 54 times and won 54 times (the longest unbeaten streak in all of thoroughbred racing history), you might be a little snooty too. She sprinted, she won the classics, and did it all in multiple countries.

Like the true queen of the turf that she was, Kincsem also had a pretty good broodmare career. Her female line is responsible for over a dozen classic winners all over Europe, with her influence so felt in her home country of Hungary, the Hungarian Agricultural Museum displays her skeleton to this day.

You can learn more about Kincsem at Thoroughbred Heritage.

QOTN: What are your favorite pet quirks?

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About GretchensR 16 Articles
I am a supposed bitter TDS sufferer. An equal opportunity mocker of both the Red and Blue teams, I join fellow TNBers of being politically homeless.