Northern Dancer a Very Unlikely Hero

In the dictionary a hero is defined as “a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability; b: an illustrious warrior; c: admired for his achievements and noble qualities; d: one who shows great courage; 2 a: the principal male character in a literary or dramatic work; b: the central figure in an event, period, or movement. 3: an object of extreme admiration and devotion : idol “ –  Merriam Webster.

There is no greater hero than Canadian sports icon Northern Dancer. He transcended horse racing, and truly captured the hearts of all of Canadians as they followed his relatively short race career – 18 races in 15 months. He overcame early rejection and physical immaturity to make history while gallantly capturing the Kentucky Derby, (the world’s most famous race) and then the Queen’s Plate before becoming one of the most successful stallions of all time whose monumental influence still dominates.

A Legend that continues even now, 50 years after his racing career as his bloodlines are prominent around the world through many of the greatest race horses today.

As we approach the 50th anniversary of Northern Dancer’s racing career, this page will celebrate his racing, and breeding achievements. We will mark and reflect on significant dates during The Dancer’s race career, and looking at how he continues to influence racing today. We will also be placing Northern Dancer’s accomplishments in context with what was happening at this same time in the world’s history and popular culture.

Note: Thank you to author Muriel Lennox for agreeing to let us reference her book “Northern Dancer: The Legend and His Legacy” for Northern Dancer’s timeline.

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Have a Look at Northern Dancer's Timeline

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