Home / General / Erik Visits an American Grave, Part 238/Dead Horses in American History, Part 18

Erik Visits an American Grave, Part 238/Dead Horses in American History, Part 18


This is the grave of Whiskey the Horse.

Whiskey was born in 1911 and came to Fort Snelling, Minnesota in 1921. It became a trick horse there, despite having a reputation as a difficult animal when it arrived. But Lieutenant William Hazelrigg took on the horse, recognized its intelligence, and trained it. It became the fort’s top horse for its polo team and Hazelrigg had Whiskey perform all over the state, including at the Minnesota State Fair. Called the “Smartest Horse in the U.S. Army,” Whiskey developed such tricks as removing Hazelrigg’s hat and replacing it, pulling out handkerchiefs from Hazelrigg’s pockets with his teeth, playing dead, and bowing. He was also an excellent jumper and won all sorts of awards. Hazelrigg was eventually transferred and not allowed to take the horse, but he got a new owner and trainer, the wife of a captain (of course I can’t find her name except for Mrs. Walter O’Brien, because what identity do women have outside of their husbands…) and began performing again. He was part of a horse team that performed for several years, before he was retired in 1936, at the age of 25. He spent the last 5 years of his life in retirement at the fort, living the horse dream of eating a lot of grass and I don’t really know what else.

Whiskey died at the end of 1943. His original gravesite was interrupted by the path of a light rail line so in 2002, he was reburied at Fort Snelling, Minnesota.

If you would like this series to visit the graves of more dead American animals, you can donate to cover the necessary expenses for such a noble goal here. Nixon’s dog of corruption, Checkers, is buried on Long Island and really, what would more sum up my contributions to this blog than a visit to see that? Previous posts in this series are archived here.

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