$104,260 for Famed Seabiscuit Saddle

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January 21, 2015
By James Massey

BOHEMIA, NEW YORK, USA - A saddle worn by the famed racehorse Seabiscuit (May 23, 1933 – May 17, 1947), during his legendary final race, has sold for $104,260 at a Lelands auction.

See the auction
Final Race at Santa AnitaSee the auction
Seabiscuit Saddle (Lelands)

Seabiscuit, became an epic underdog story in horse racing. Despite being a smaller horse, he was thought of as a tenacious champion and became a symbol of heart, hope, and courage to many Americans during the difficult years of the Great Depression.

Seabiscuit's story was so inspiring, it was eventually told in books and films. In 2003 the film, Seabiscuit, (based on the 2001 book named; Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand) was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

The film starred; Tobey Maguire as Red Pollard (Seabiscuit's Jockey), Jeff Bridges as Charles S. Howard (Seabiscuit's owner), and Chris Cooper as Tom Smith (Seabiscuit's trainer)

The saddle sold at auction was worn by Seabiscuit during his final race at the Santa Anita Handicap. Prior to that race, many were predicting he would never race again, due to a leg injury that happened the previous year.

Reportedly, 78,000 paying spectators (mostly Seabiscuit fans) attended the Santa Anita race, to watch him compete for the $121,000 prize.

Despite the odds, Jockey Red Pollard (overcoming devastating injuries of his own), guided Seabiscuit to a stunning come from behind victory (video of race, from film, below). The heroic effort sealed both their spots in the history books, as horse racing legends.

Shortly thereafter, Seabiscuit's official retirement from racing was announced. When he retired, he was the all-time leading money winner for horse racing.

After his retirement at Ridgewood Ranch near Willits, California. Over 50,000 people visited Seabiscuit in the seven years before his death. His burial site is at Willits Ranch in Mendocino County, California.

VIDEO (4-MINUTES): The Final Race at Santa Anita (Source: Seabiscuit, The 2003 Film)

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