Phar Lap – A True Legend


Phar Lap - a True LegendThe legend of the great racehorse Phar Lap never gets old to his legions of fans, even some 80 years after his death.

Phar Lap – A True Legend, by Michael Reason; Museum Victoria Publishing. 22 x 22cm softcover; 62pp. RRP $A19.95. ISBN: 0980619017; EAN: 9780980619010.

There have been many books published about the  New Zealand-bred thoroughbred, and the first edition of this book was first published in 2000. Another edition came out in 2005, and this latest edition has been updated to include further information surrounding Phar Lap’s death in 1932.

These include the use of a synchrotron in the US to analyse Phar Lap’s hair, to ascertain whether a difference could be found between arsenic the horse ingested, and that used for taxidermy purposes. Another finding was that of part of a notebook once used by Harry Telford containing a recipe for a tonic — containing arsenic — given to racehorses back in the day.

Written by museum curator Michael Reason, this easy-reading book aims to give an overview of the legend.

Included are many pictures of rare pieces including pictures, newspaper clippings, correspondence, memorabilia, and artwork in the Museum Victoria collection.

There are several pictures of Phar Lap as he stands now at Melbourne Museum, and images from the time when the impressive work of taxidermy was completed by the Jonas brothers.

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