Hermosilla, a 15 year old race horse to run his 73rd career start!

This thoroughbred race horse is believed to be the oldest one racing in North America and he is a crowd pleaser. He is the son of Afleet and has won 14 races so far; 7 after the age of 13.

I not much of a race horse fan. I do love watching horses run, any horse run, but don’t like the fact that most race horses have a short, sad life, and many end up going slaughter. So it nice to read about one that has beat the odds and is still running and winning at age 15. I do hope they give him a wonderful retirement as they are quoted as planning to.

News article…Hermosilla, a fan favorite at age 15

Too many people start horses too young and push them too hard, and these horses in many cases are washed up when still young. Lets go for the long haul and do what is best for the horse, not just what is best for winning.

“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.”
– Oprah Winfrey

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”
– William Shakespeare

“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.”
– Henry Ford

Please leave a comment if you have heard of other race horses or horses doing other activities that have had long careers. Also do you always put your horse’s well being first? – be honest with yourself.


  1. I am the proud keeper of a 31 year old thoroughbred named “Spanish Devil”. I would like to know if he is the oldest living retired thoroughbred race horse. Thanks!!!

  2. Dear Chris,

    Thanks for visiting my horse blog again and leaving another nice comment about your racehorse, O’MALLEY.

    >104th start (at age 9)

    That is amazing – thanks for updating us on his racing career and you must be doing a lot right with him to keep him in such good racing condition for so many races.

    Give O’Malley a slice of apple for me.

  3. O’MALLEY – has just made his 104th start (at age 9) and it was the “$50,000 OLD IRONSIDES STAKE” @ Suffolk Downs 8/2/08.
    Beaten a mere 7 legnths and finishing a game 4th place in this rainy turf race @ 1m 1/16th.
    in his last race only 8 days prior he finished 2nd beaten 1 legnth in a $20,000 opt claimer. he did win july 2nd for $8000.
    funny thing he was racing in Philly this year & couldn’t win for bottom claiming $5,000 n1y
    guess he is feeling his oats these days.
    anyone out there ever had a racehorse that they can say they have raced 100 + times?????

    1. i have a small share in a racehorse called Siena Star. he is 12 this year, and has raced i think nearly 120 times! last year he won a race and placed 3 times, but had a mminor hoof injury. he has come back this year, running in a race and came 7th, beaten by only 3lengths!

  4. Dear Annette,

    Thank you for this wonderful update on Hermosilla. It is so uplifting to hear good news about a retired racehorse when so many horror stories abound about them being sent to slaughter.

    I wish all horses could be loved and cared for by their owners until the end of their days on this earth. Thank you for caring and sharing. Wishing you and Hermosilla many great times together.

  5. Hi- Just to let all you Hermosilla followers out there know. He has retired and is living a wonderful retirement life at our home. He is happy and healthy life. Him and our 2 year old are best friends. Our 2 year old rides him everyday. Thanks for caring.

  6. Hi- Just to let all you Hermosilla followers out there know. He has retired and is living a wonderful retirement life at our home. He is happy and healthy life. Him and our 2 year old are best friends. Our 2 year old rides him everyday. Thanks for caring.

  7. I just found a couple of interesting stories about older horses still working and showing:

    22 year old Friesian Horse Team Joins North Carolina Police Caisson Unit
    22-year-olds, Detlef, Fetse, Kenny, and Fonger


    Hackney Pony ~ The Old Mare At The Fair
    At 37, Flirt Still Struts Her Stuff At County Fair

    At 37, Flirt may be the oldest animal exhibited, fair officials said.

    A champion from the start — the Hackney pony won First Place in the fine division for ponies at the Ohio State Fair 36 years ago.

    Wow what a horse!

  8. O’MALLEY – is my race horse he is only 8 and soon to be 9 this jan 1st. last sat he made his 89th career start for me and he only once ran as low as $12,500.00 claiming tag. he has black type on both turf and dirt, he also broke a track record at Tampa Bay Downs and he has been to 11 different race tracks. i must say he loves competition and i can see him racing for many years to come, when he appears out of it i send him to the farm, i would never race him knowing that he may injure himself

    1. Update: Last summer O’Malley retired sound after 125 career races and $240K+ lifetime earnings. Having owned him since he was 2 and for all his races, I kept him. Next week O’Malley is going to begin learning dressage and jumping. Not too many geldings are as lucky as O’Malley and not to many people have been lucky to own such a great horse as O’Malley.

  9. Sandy Downs – September 22nd, 2007 – Race 3
    Estimated Local Post Time: 1:50 PM
    Race Type: Allowance
    Breed: Thoroughbred
    Age Restriction: Three Year Old and Upward
    Purse: $1,350
    Distance: Six Furlongs
    Surface: Dirt
    Post Horse Name Age Sex Weight Jockey Name
    1 Sherroyal (ID) 9 Gelding 126 Mark Allen Boag
    2 Opening Act (ARG) 9 Gelding 126 Robert Webb
    3 Snowbound Express (WA) 7 Gelding 126 Ron W. Keckler
    4 Hermosilla (CA) 15 Gelding 126 Justin Vanderwoude
    5 Tahoe Magic (CA) 5 Gelding 126 Shad Holdaway
    6 Immigrant Road (ID) 6 Gelding 126 Paul Green

    godspeed, old guy

  10. Hermosilla was supposed to retire following his last race according to this:

    I just recieved a notice from DRF

    Horse name Hermosilla
    Activity type Entry
    Activity date 09-08-2007
    Track Black Foot
    Surface Dirt
    Distance 5 Furlongs
    Race number 8
    Purse $1,325
    Claim price $1,600
    Individual claim price $1,600
    Race type Claiming
    Post position 2
    Jockey Vanderwoude J
    Race entry http://www.drf.com/entries/08/eBKF08.html#8

  11. Long and wonderful show horse career…

    The Fabulous Fadjur
    The story of a legend
    (Fadheilan x Bint Sahara)
    Lived 1952 – 1983

    Fadjur’s spectacular show career spanned an incredible 19 years! Fadjur was Reserve National Champion Stallion twice; eight years apart – the last one won when he was 16 years of age! Fadjur died right before his 31st birthday in 1983, having bred mares well into his 30th year.

    Gorgeous photo of Fadjur on exhibition in the Redwoods at the Eureka Fair at the age of 26 years – what a horse! http://www.fadjur.com/album1.htm

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