Yea or neigh vote? MN lawmakers seek to honor famous horse

danpatch

Hold your horses, everybody. A Minnesota lawmaker says there’s just one equine that deserves a high honor.

State Sen. Dan Hall, R-Burnsville, introduced a bill Thursday to recognize racehorse Dan Patch as the official state horse. 

Dan Patch was an American Standardbred. He was owned by Marion Willis Savage and stabled in Minnesota. He raced on the national circuit in the early 1900s and set many speed records for the times. The horse died in 1916.

Hall, a Republican whose district includes the city of Savage, said the horse has an inspirational story and making it an official symbol would help keep that alive.

“I think it’s a big enough deal for the whole state to take a look at Dan Patch being one of the greatest horses, the greatest pacer probably that’s ever been out there,” Hall said.

Last year, Hall pushed through a bill to provide $75,000 from the state sales-tax fueled legacy fund to erect a statue of Dan Patch in Savage. The noble beast already has his own street, Dan Patch Avenue, on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

Minnesota already has 18 state symbols in law, ranging from a drink (milk) to a muffin (blueberry) to a fish (walleye) to a sport (hockey).

Before you go...

MPR News is dedicated to bringing you clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives when we need it most. We rely on your help to do this. Your donation has the power to keep MPR News strong and accessible to all during this crisis and beyond.