What is the most expensive racehorse in the world? This may surprise you, but it’s not Black Caviar or American Pharoah. These horses are impressive, don’t get me wrong, but they don’t get on this list. The number one most expensive horse is ‘FUSAICHI PEGASUS’ who was sold for $70 million in 2000. We have gathered the details on some of the more impressive horses and ranked them from most to least expensive.
FUSAICHI PEGASUS – £70m
The colt was purchased by his owner, Fusao Sekiguchi, as a yearling for $4 million. The name combines the owner’s first and last names to mean #1 or best – “Fusaichi” in Japanese. His second half is the winged horse from Greek mythology: Pegasos
In 2000, he was sold to Irish breeder Coolmore Stud for a reported price of more than US$60 million (£35m). The previous record for a stallion prospect was US$40m (£24m), paid in 1983 for Shareef Dancer.
Fusaichi Pegasus is considered a major failure as a stallion, especially considering the steep price for which Sekiguchi sold him. His son Roman Ruler produced Ruler on Ice, winner of the 2011 Belmont Stakes. He was retired after the 2020 breeding season.
SHAREEF DANCER – $40m
Shareef Dancer was the most expensive horse when sold at auction in 1983. He was sold to an Irish breeder for $40 million (£24m). The previous record price had been set in 1980 when the same owner paid US$5million ($10 million adjusted for inflation) for Northern Dancer. Shareef Dancer won the Irish Derby Stakes in 1983 along with the King Edward VII Stakes.
ANNIHILATOR – $19m
Annihilator was sold at auction for $19m in March 1990; the second-highest price ever paid for a yearling at that point. The stallion completed its racing career with six wins. However, the Thoroughbred racehorse only earned around $3,000 in prize money. Little is known about his offspring, but it can be assumed they met with only moderate success, too.
THE GREASE MONKEY – $16m
This horse was an American Thoroughbred racehorse descended from Northern Dancer and Secretariat, and at one point, served as the world’s most expensive purchase for a three-year-old. Despite this, it never lived up to its hype, only earning around $10,000.
SEATTLE DANCER – $13m
Seattle Dancer, a son of Nijinsky and Northern Dancer, became the most expensive yearling sold at a public auction in 1985. He sold for $13.1 million and then passed before he reached the age of 23 from a heart attack.
The world’s most expensive horses is a fascinating list, and it will be interesting to see how the prices change in the years ahead. If you want to learn more about these amazing animals, we can help you find them on our blog pages.