Thursday, June 19, 2008

Horse Mystery Solved

When I was younger I was horse mad and one of the movies I loved, though it was sad, was Phar Lap, starring Tom Burlinson. I always wondered (as did everyone), what had happened to this champion race horse. The film speculated that he was poisoned with arsenic.

Now the truth has been discovered.

AP: Phar Lap died of arsenic poisoning---

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP)—Forensic scientists say champion Australian gelding Phar Lap died of arsenic poisoning, solving a mystery that has intrigued the horse racing world for more than 75 years.

Phar Lap won 37 of his 51 starts before his death in mysterious circumstances at Menlo Park in California in April 1932. Days before his death, he won Mexico’s Agua Caliente Handicap, which was then the richest horse race in North America.

Arsenic poisoning has long been suspected as the cause of Phar Lap’s death, but confirmation had been lacking until Thursday when researchers Dr. Ivan Kempson of the University of South Australia and Dermot Henry, manager of Natural Science Collections at Museum Victoria, released the findings of their forensic investigation.
But they have long thought it was probably an accidental overdose, as tonics and ointments contained things like arsenic.

1 comment:

Dapoppins said...

oH, I remember that movie. What a sad death...okay, yup, I am a little horse mad too.