Animal: Ruffian

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Animal: Ruffian Gender: F
born on 17 April 1972 at 21:50 (= 9:50 PM )
Place Paris, Kentucky, 38n13, 84w15
Timezone EST h5w (is standard time)
Data source
Rodden Rating B
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_aricol.18.gif 28°11' s_mo.18.gif s_gemcol.18.gif 27°41 Asc.s_scocol.18.gif 29°58'

File:Ruffian with her jockey Jacinto Vazquez.jpg
Animal: Ruffian (ridden by Jacinto Vasquez)


American champion thoroughbred racehorse, whose breakdown and death led to a public outcry for more humane treatment of racehorses.

She earned the nickname "Queen of the Fillies" after being voted the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Two-Year-Old Filly in 1974 and winning the Filly Triple Crown (now called the Triple Tiara) in 1975.

Ruffian's eleventh and final race was run at Belmont Park on 6 July 1975, with Jacinto Vasquez as her jockey. The race was attended by more than 50,000 spectators, with an estimated television audience of 20 million. As Ruffian left the starting gate, she hit her shoulder hard before straightening herself. Both sesamoid bones in her right foreleg soon snapped. Vasquez tried to pull her up, but the filly would not stop. She went on running, pulverizing her sesamoids, ripping the skin of her fetlock and tearing her ligaments until her hoof was flopping uselessly. Vasquez said it was impossible for him to stop her. She still tried to run and finish the race.

Ruffian was immediately attended to by a team of four veterinarians and an orthopedic surgeon, and underwent an emergency operation lasting three hours. When the anesthesia wore off after the surgery, she thrashed about wildly on the floor of a padded recovery stall as if still running in the race. As she flailed about with her legs, she repeatedly knocked the heavy plaster cast against her own elbow until the elbow, too, was smashed to bits. The cast slipped, and as it became dislodged it ripped open her foreleg all over again, undoing the surgery. The medical team euthanized her shortly afterward (on 7 July). The only race she ever lost was the one that killed her.

Ruffian was ranked among the top U.S. racehorses of the 20th century by The Blood-Horse magazine. Her story was told in the 2007 film "Ruffian."

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Work : Prize 1975 (Filly Triple Crown)
  • Health : Violent trauma 6 July 1975 (Racing injuries)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Sy Scholfield quotes from "Ruffian: Burning from the Start" by Jane Schwartz (New York: Random House/Ballantine), p. 21: "Shenanigans dropped her foal at ten minutes to ten last night . . . It's a filly . . . A big one. A big black filly with a little star."


  • Traits : Body : Hair (Dark bay or brown)
  • Personal : Death : Unusual (Euthanized after violent trauma)
  • Personal : Misc. : Unusual categories (Thoroughbred racehorse)
  • Notable : Awards : Sports Championship (Filly Triple Crown)
  • Mundane : Misc. Mundane : Animals