Horse Phar Lap on display in the Melbourne Story gallery Horse Phar Lap on display in the Melbourne Story gallery

Phar Lap

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EXHIBITION
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He was Tommy Woodcock's 'Bobby', Harry Telford's 'Red Terror', and the champion that Australians needed during the Depression. More than 80 years after he first went on display, Phar Lap remains our most popular exhibit.

The gangly and awkward two-year-old from New Zealand became Australia's greatest racehorse. Between September 1929 and November 1931, Phar Lap ran 41 races and won 36 of them. His death in California in 1932 sent the nation into mourning. Letters sent to Harry Telford by the grieving public are now displayed with Phar Lap alongside other tributes in art and souvenir. Objects from his life—his training saddle, his shoes, his tonic book—help tell the story of Australia's wonder horse.

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