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8 Oldest Horses in History that Lived to be Very Old

How old can horses get? The average life expectancy of a horse is around 25-30 years, but several horses throughout history have far surpassed 50 years old.

Some of the oldest horses have been recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records, and even memorialized in museums.

Here are 8 of the oldest horses ever:

Prospect Point (38 Years)

Prospect Point an old racehorse

This Thoroughbred lived to be 38 years old (1978-2016). He was once raced successfully on the track and later bought to be used as a show hunter. He was owned by the same owner, Gail Earle, for 28 years.

While the age of 50 doesn’t sound that impressive, if you consider the fact that 30 horse years are equivalent to 85.5 human years, it makes it that much more impressive.

In fact, comparatively, these horses have far outlived the oldest humans. Their heart, work ethic, and perseverance is an inspiration to us all.

Orchid (49 Years)

The old horse named Orchid cantering in his field

Orchid is a Thoroughbred/Arabian cross who, depending on which report you get, reached 49-50 years old. Reports vary on the year of Orchid’s birth, either 1964 or 1965, but passed away in 2015.

Unfortunately, reports say Orchid was neglected and abused before being moved to the Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary to live out her final days peacefully. She was the oldest mare to ever live.

Magic (51 Years)

Magic old horse in his stable

Bob Manns’ horse Magic was the oldest registered Arabian in the US for a long time and died (3/25/20) at the age of 51, in San Diego. Magic was born June 15, 1969, in Oregon, but has lived most of her life in Southern California. She had 7 foals over the years.

Magic being ridden by her owner, Bill Manns.

Arabians are known for longevity, her mother lived to be 44, but 51 is exceptional by any standard. Magic was in good shape up until just 3 days before she died and was out on a 1 1/2 hour trail ride just a month earlier.

She passed away in her stall on a fresh bed of straw and shavings; her end was peaceful.

Scribbles (51 Years)

Scribbles old horse

Scribbles is a pony of unknown breed, but at last report lived to be at least 51 years of age. He was born in 1958 in Cornwall, England. His long lasting health has been attributed to his healthy diet consisting of a specialist food mix and cod liver oil.

He was last owned by Alison Eathorne. Scribbles was retired in 2002 after working as a riding pony for 24 years at Strawberry Gardens Riding School in Camborne, England. Reports say he was already 20 years old when Jill Power purchased him for the riding school.

The last public news of Scribbles was in 2009, when his current owner had initiated contact with the Guinness Book of World Records in hopes that he would outlive the last record holder, and it is unknown if he is still living.

Shayne (51 Years)

Shayne old horse
Credit to Casey Gutteridge from SWNS.com

An Irish Draught with some Thoroughbred in his ancestry, Shayne lived to the ripe old age of 51. (1962-2013) The liver chestnut horse suffered from arthritis for an unknown length of time, but still enjoyed pasture time to the fullest.

He has roots in Brentwood Essex, England, and died at Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary. He was put to rest after severe arthritis rendered him unable to stand in 2013.

It is reported that he enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine up until his last day, living on a steady diet of sugar beet and chaff with some alfalfa nuts mixed in with cabbage for treats. 

Badger (51 Years)

Badger horse
Photo credit: horsejournals.com

Another 51-year-old horse, this one of Arab-Welsh ancestry. (1953-2004) Badger still holds the official record in the Guinness Book of Records for the oldest horse. He died in 2004 after being rescued from a livery yard, where he was found near starvation from neglect.

He was then brought back to health by Julianne Aston, the founder of the Veteran Horse Society in Wales.

He was first owned by a Welsh riding instructor and entered a horse show under the name Little Boy Blue. He had two more owners before being left at the livery yard in 1997 where he nearly starved to death before being rescued and taken to the Veteran Horse Society.

He was fortunate to be able to recover from the state he was in when Aston and her team found him, but he persisted in enjoying the remainder of his days. He lived out his last days happily retired at the Veteran Horse Society.

Sugar Puff (56 Years)

Sugar Puff the world's oldest pony

This pony is a Shetland-Exmoor cross who lived for 56 years (1951-2007) before collapsing and having to be put down.

Sugar Puff is the oldest pony on record, coming from West Sussex, United Kingdom. He was used to teach many children how to ride and knew gymkhana and Pony Club well.

Sugar Puff’s last owner, Sally Botting, acquired him when he was already 29 years old. He taught Botting’s daughter Clair to ride. He was reportedly such a member of the family in his last days that his owner, Sally Botting, brought the pony into the house every year at Christmas.

Old Billy (62 Years)

Old Billy the oldest horse in history

Born in 1760, Old Billy is considered the oldest horse that ever lived. He died on November 27, 1822, at the age of 62 and spent most of his life as a working barge horse.

Old Billy was from Woolston, Lancastershire, England. His age and stamina made him a celebrity. 

After his death, the remains of Old Billy were split up. The skin of his head was sent for taxidermy and is now on display at the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery & Bedford Museum, and his skull is on display at the Manchester Museum.

Old Billy’s breed is unknown, but many think he was either a shire or a cob, or a mixture of both. 

Share your thoughts, or ask a question:
Comments 22

Comments

Ron Mccoy

Monday 16th of August 2021

Chewelah made it to 43 years old

Dawn Crisp

Thursday 1st of July 2021

My Arab/Thoroughbred mare Java lived until she was 34.I bought her as a 3yr old when in fact she was 2! Born March 24th 1977, died 7th September 2011.A beautiful girl producing 2 colts for me, one of which will be 28 this July.

emily rose mckinney

Tuesday 13th of April 2021

bad

Victoria Domijan

Saturday 19th of December 2020

My first pony’s name was Buttercup and we graciously put her to sleep at 52 years old! My sister was 6 years old with a full piggy bank and her heart set on a 35 year old pony! We had never imagined that we would end up owning her for another 17 years! All of my cousins and friends learned how to ride on her, my sister won every gymkana show with her red and ladybug patterned show gear, and after my sister grew out of her she was mine! (6 year age difference) now my sister was training horses and I’m playing behind her with Buttercup. I even remember Buttercups previous owners coming to visit not knowing if she was still alive and they broke down crying seeing their baby alive, healthy, and loved! She was used as a back yard buddy and trail companion to our show horses and we stopped riding her when she was about 48 but we still took her out on walks when the other was trail riding. We had joked around plenty of times saying she’s gotta be a Guinness winner but we didn’t have her birth information, but if we had she would have been on this list!

Mary Puppo

Friday 4th of December 2020

I got my boy Justè when he was 8 years old but I first met him at 4, he is 22 now and has been the love of my life, still going strong and still looks 8 for the most part though he is starting to get some grey hair under his forelocks! It's ok buddy, I'm getting them too! May we have another 20 years together! ♥?

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