Northern Dancer wins the Kentucky Derby

May 1, 2017

Northern Dancer

Northern Dancer, Tony Leonard. Canadian Museum of History, IMG2013-0159-0002-Dm


In May 1964, Northern Dancer became the first Canadian-bred horse to win the famous Kentucky Derby horse race. He returned to Canada a national hero. Born and bred in Oshawa, Ontario, by E. P. Taylor, the colt was shorter and stockier than most thoroughbred horses but, despite this, almost won the American Triple Crown in 1964. In the same year, Northern Dancer went on to win his last race, the Queen’s Plate, and was named Canada’s Athlete of the Year. Retired to stud, Northern Dancer became the greatest sire of the 20th century, with three-quarters of modern-day thoroughbreds boasting Northern Dancer in their bloodline.

Each day for 150 days leading up to the opening of the Canadian History Hall, we’re presenting one moment among the many that have shaped our country. Discover more of Canada’s significant historical events in the new Canadian History Hall, opening July 1, 2017.

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