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


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).

Gain a Better Understanding of Today

MPR News is not just a listener supported source of information, it's a resource where listeners are supported. We take you beyond the headlines to the world we share in Minnesota. Become a sustainer today to fuel MPR News all year long.