Bill proposed to make Dan Patch the Minnesota state horse

The pacer was a legendary harness racer.
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The pacer was a legendary harness racer.

Who says politicians don't earn their money?

One minute politicians are proposing bills to ban "The Bachelor" from Minnesota, the next they're looking to designate Minnesota's first ever state horse.

That's right, five Republicans have proposed a bill in the Minnesota Senate that would make the legendary Dan Patch the official state horse.

It would join a list of state symbols including the walleye as the state fish, the loon as the state bird, and hockey as the state sport.

But in this case it would slightly differ as Minnesota's state horse wouldn't be a species of equine, but rather one, specific horse.


– Lawmaker wants to ban The Bachelor from Minnesota.

Who was Dan Patch?

Minnesotans will know the name from Dan Patch Avenue in the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, which was the scene of the horse's greatest moment.

The Dan Patch Historical Society has more history here, but basically he was THE harness racing horse of his day.

Born and raised in Indiana in 1896, he was bought for a then massive $60,000 by Marion W. Savage of Minneapolis.

Under Savage's ownership, he became known as the "King of Pacers," with Patch's pinnacle reached on the Minnesota State Fair race track in September 1906.

Before a crowd of 93,000 people, Patch set a world record of 1:55 minutes for the mile before a jubilant crowd. The fastest mile ever recorded on a dirt track at Churchill Downs is 1:33.31. 

He spent his retirement in the Savage Racing Stables near Hamilton, which is now known as Savage after it was renamed to honor Patch's famous trainer.

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