Saturday, July 17, 2010
Seabiscuit and jockey George Woolf lead War Admiral and jockey Charles Kurtsinger in the first turn at Pimlico in Baltimore, Md., in this Nov. 1, 1938, photo. (Associated Press)
A life-size bronze statue depicting legendary racehorse Seabiscuit and jockey George Woolf heading to victory in a famous 1938 match-up was unveiled in Cardston, Alta., on Saturday.
The Cardston-born jockey rode Seabiscuit to an unexpected victory at Pimlico Race Course in what was dubbed the "match of the century."
The statue captures the moment when Woolf called out to his opponent, "So long, Charley!" as Seabiscuit surged to the lead.
'I always felt George needed recognition for what he did … and that's what we hope to accomplish with this statue'
— Jack Lowe
Seabiscuit defeated the heavily favoured War Admiral by four lengths and set a record for the Baltimore, Md., track.
"This statue captures an incredible moment of unexpected triumph in a story that many people do not realize has a strong Alberta connection," said Lindsay Blackett, minister of culture and community spirit.
The $150,000 statue was commissioned by Cardston ranchers Jack and Ida Lowe and created by Artist Don Toney. It is being donated to the province of Alberta.
"When I was a kid growing up in the 1930s, George and Seabiscuit were household names," said Jack Lowe, the statue's co-donor.
"I always felt George needed recognition for what he did — to come from nothing and achieve so much — and that's what we hope to accomplish with this statue. The bronze is a beautiful piece of work and I think people are going to be in awe when they see it."
The statue will stand outside the provincially owned Remington Carriage Museum in Cardston, which houses the largest collection of horse-drawn vehicles in North America.
It was unveiled July 17, on what would have been George Woolf's 100th birthday.
My father is visiting for a few days so we decided to attend the unveiling. It was a little lengthy with the dignitaries speaking, but we were glad we did. The weather was really nice, which always, always helps here.
The man on the right is the first cousin of George Woolf. BTW, my sister in law (Grants wife) is related as her maiden name was Woolf. The fellow in the middle is Jack Lowe, the man who had a vision.
I like the way the jockeys have their hats raised towards the statue.
They played a live audio of the last two laps of this famous race, which was pretty neat. It was a nice day, something different, and now we need to rent the video and watch the story again.
Posted by Marilee at 1:58 PM