Eclipse (horse)

Eclipse (horse)

Thoroughbred racehorse infobox
horsename = Eclipse

caption = Eclipse (by George Stubbs)
sire = Marske
grandsire = Squirt
dam = Spilletta
damsire = Regulus
sex = Stallion
foaled = 1764
country = Great Britain flagicon|UK
colour = Dark Chestnut
breeder = Duke of Cumberland
owner = William Wildman
Dennis O'Kelly
trainer = Sullivan
record = 18:18-0-0
earnings= 2,149 guineas
race =
awards =
honours = Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park (GB)
Prix Eclipse at Maisons-Laffitte (France)
The Eclipse Awards (USA)
updated = June 20, 2007

Eclipse (April 1 1764 - February 26, 1789) was an 18th century British Thoroughbred racehorse, descendant of the Darley Arabian, and grandson of Regulus, by the Godolphin Arabian. Eclipse was undefeated during its entire career. Eclipse was born during and named after the solar eclipse of April 1 1764. The exact place of birth is unknown, but probably at the Cranborne Lodge Stud of his breeder, Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland in Windsor Park, Berkshire. His sire was Marske (bred 1750) and his dam was Spiletta (bred 1749). After the death of Prince William in 1765, Eclipse was sold for 75 guineas to a sheep dealer from Smithfield, William Wildman.

Eclipse started racing at the age of 5 on May 3 1769 in Epsom. Supposedly, at this time Captain Denis O'Kelly used the famous phrase "Eclipse first and the rest nowhere," before making his bets for this race. At that time, a horse that was more than 240 yards behind the lead was said to be "nowhere". Eclipse won the race, with all other horses being far behind ("nowhere"), and Captain Denis O'Kelly won half of Eclipse (other sources said he bought half for 650 guineas.) His jockey was John Oakley, supposedly the only jockey who could handle Eclipse's temperamentful style. Eclipse also had a running style with his nose very close to the ground.

Eclipse won all of his 18 races, was supposedly without ever being whipped or spurred, and was far superior to all competition. In 1771, Eclipse retired due to lack of competition as nobody was betting on competing horses, and became a stud. Overall, Eclipse sired 344 foals (although the number varies with different reports, ranging from 325 to 400), including famous horses like Young Eclipse, Saltram, Volunteer, Sergeant, Pot-8-os, King Fergus, Mercury, Joe Andrews, Dungannon, Alexander, Don Quixote, and Pegasus. The Royal Veterinary College has determined that nearly 80% of modern thoroughbred racehorses have Eclipse in their pedigree (Other sources state 95%).

Eclipse died due to a colic in February 26, 1789, at the age of 24. His skeleton is now housed at the Royal Veterinary College, Hertfordshire, in the Learning Resource Centre named after him; although it cannot be said for certain if all of the bones displayed are really from Eclipse. His hooves have been made into inkstands, although the fact that there are at least five Eclipse-hoof-inkstands of the quadruped casts some doubt about the authenticity of some. Hairs from his tail have also been used for decorations.

Eclipse is still remembered in the phrase "Eclipse first and the rest nowhere", referring to any dominating victory. This phrase is occasionally seen in American print media (most often in newspaper sport sections), but is more common in Great Britain.


name = Eclipse
f = Marske br. 1750
ff = Squirt
ch. 1732
fff = Bartlet's Childers
ffff = Darley Arabian| fffm = Berry Leedes| ffm = Snake Mare
ffmf = Snake| ffmm = Grey Wilkes| fm = Blacklegs Mare
fmf = Blacklegs
fmff = Hutton's Bay Turk| fmfm = Coneyskins Mare| fmm = Bay Bolton Mare
fmmf = Bay Bolton| fmmm = Fox Cub Mare| m = Spilletta b. 1749
mf = Regulus
b. 1739
mff = Godolphin Arabian
mfff = (UNKNOWN)| mffm = (UNKNOWN)| mfm = Grey Robinson
mfmf = Bald Galloway| mfmm = Snake Mare| mm = Mother Western
mmf = Easby Snake
mmff = Snake| mmfm = Akaster Turk Mare| mmm = Old Montagu Mare
mmmf = Old Montagu| mmmm = Hautboy Mare (F-No.12)|


The Eclipse Awards are American thoroughbred horse racing awards named after Eclipse. They honor the champions of the sport, and are sponsored by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers Association, who select all finalists at the end of the year. The most prestigious of these Awards is the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year title.

Eclipse Press is the book-publishing division of Blood-Horse Publications, an international publishing house for top Thoroughbred and general equine magazines, books, videos, CD-ROMS and annual references.

The Eclipse Stakes is a Group 1 flat horse race in the United Kingdom for three-year-old and above thoroughbreds run over a distance of 1 mile 2 furlongs and 7 yards (2,018 metres) at Sandown Park.

The Mitsubishi Eclipse is a compact sport coupe manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors.

External links

* [ Eclipse's pedigree]
* [ BBC: DNA study of 'greatest racehorse']
* [ BBC: 'Averageness' key to great racehorses]

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