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Dan Patch
Birth: Apr. 29, 1896
Benton County
Indiana, USA
Death: Jul. 11, 1916
Scott County
Minnesota, USA

Race Horse. Foaled in Kelley's Livery Stables Oxford, Indiana to owner Daniel Messner, Jr, Dan Patch was a long-legged, wobbly, awkward colt with knobby knees - the colt even required assistance to stand to nurse. Many of Messner's friends encouraged him to have the colt put out of his misery. Instead the colt was nurtured and trained to be a pacer, and entered his first race in Boswell, Indiana in 1900 winning with a 2:16 time for the mile. From that time on, Dan Patch set records and never lost a race. In 1902 Messner sold Dan Patch to M.E. Sturgis of New York, a decision that Messner regretted the remainder of this life. Sturgis owned Dan Patch for a short time, selling him to Marion W. Savage of Minnesota in 1903. He had become so renowned, that other horse owners began not entering races against him, so he was retired from competitive racing late in 1902, and raced at exhibitions and became a commercialized figure. His career eventually peaked when he set the record 1:55 minute mile pace in a race against the clock at the Minnesota State Fair in 1906. His official time recorded by the National and American Trotting Association was a 1:55.25 mile. The 1:55 record stood or 54 years. Dan Patch officially retired for stud duty in 1909 and was stabled in Minnesota at Savage's stables. Savage continued to show Dan at promotional appearances. Dan Patch was the subject of a fictionalized-biographical movie in 1949,"The Great Dan Patch" starring Dennis O'Keefe and Gail Russell. The year-end divisional award given by the United States Harness Writers Association to top harness horses is named the Dan Patch Award and the trophy bears his image. Annual "Dan Patch Days" festivals are held in Oxford, Indiana and Savage, Minnesota. At the height of his post-racing days several products were given a Dan Patch brand name, and there was a dance called the Dan Patch Two-Step. Dan Patch's career as a stud was unremarkable; none of his offspring posted notable times and his sons were not successful sires. Dan Patch's death was attributed to heart problems. Ironically, his owner, M. E. Savage was in the hospital himself recovering from surgery. News of his beloved horse's death reportedly caused him to react adversely and Savage died the next day. In a story attributed to John Henry McQuistion, one of the Dan Patch grooms, six of Dan's attending grooms buried Dan patch in a secret location (allegedly in an unmarked grave at the Taj Mahal Stables. Oxford, Indiana has this memorial site at the barn where Dan Patch was foaled. (bio by: Rick France) 
Dan Patch Gravesite *
Benton County
Indiana, USA
*Memorial Site [?]
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Rick France
Record added: Jun 10, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 11141427
Dan Patch
Added by: Ron Moody
Dan Patch
Added by: Rick France
Dan Patch
Added by: Rick France
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- Daisy✿
 Added: Jan. 17, 2017

- Joseph Barnett
 Added: Dec. 11, 2016
- vintagegirl
 Added: Oct. 3, 2016
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