Winston Churchill didn’t just have a knack for statesmanship: He also had quite an eye for horses.
The British politician was seventy-five when he bought his first racehorse, Colonist II, who proved to be one of the most popular and remarkable horses of his era – winning thirteen of twenty-four races and placing in five others.
After Churchill’s defeat as prime minister, these were much needed victories, and they helped the elder statesman deal with his political failures. Just as importantly, the success led him to buy more horses and sparked a greater interest in the sport among the general public.
The rekindling of interest mirrored Churchill’s own love affair with horses: One of his earliest known writings is a letter he sent to his mother in May 1882 in which he mentioned his horse, RobRoy, named after the Scottish hero.
Whether or not it was one mile or more than two, the French-bred, grey colt proved that he could be just as steadfast and courageous as Churchill himself. Together, Churchill and Colonist II captured the heart of a nation.