Phar Lap – A True Legend

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Phar Lap
Phar Lap
Source: Museum Victoria
Photo: Benjamin Healley

Phar Lap is Melbourne Museum's most popular object.

From his amazing run of racetrack wins during the 1930s Depression to his sudden death in the USA, the Phar Lap story gripped the Australian imagination.



Event Type: Permanent Exhibition

Daily, Now Showing
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Melbourne Gallery

Included with museum entry.
Museum Members receive FREE museum entry.

Comments (90)

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Millie 13 September, 2010 09:44
I like Phar Lap. He is a cool horse
jezza-888 5 December, 2013 08:48
phar lap was a sick horse i saw his heart in canberra a real good experience!!
Kevin Chen. 8 February, 2015 11:09
Phar Lap a true national hero who gave hope to Australians during the Great Deppression. Horses have created history all over the World and Phar Lap did that here in Australia.
Hannah 13 September, 2010 20:34
I love Phar Lap but i dont like that his life was cut short :(
Darren 14 September, 2010 20:09
The thing about Phar Lap is, he is such a smooth ride, you could nod off on him.
Chelsea 29 September, 2010 21:03
"He wasn't just a horse!....He was the best." -Harry Telford, Trainer of Phar Lap
Baillie Charles Age 5 years 11 October, 2010 11:30
I really like Pha Lap.
natho 13 October, 2010 09:04
cant wait to see phar lap im going to the cup and this will cap it right off for me
luke 21 October, 2010 15:07
phar lap is so cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Gemma Creighton 1 November, 2010 09:38
Phar lap is leg
raza 1 November, 2010 09:40
yo phar lap is a horse
mikaela 2 November, 2010 21:40
i LOVE Phar Lap <3 i'v seen him many times! it makes me so mad to think that somone would won't to kill a part of australian history!
pharlap<3 4 November, 2010 09:23
Phar Lap was an amzing horse and its death was a shame. Also I think everyone else who has commented on this should learn to use grammar and spell.
GIDDIUP 4 November, 2010 15:36
Phar Lap was an amazing race horse who died far too soon. I've seen Phar Lap each time I've visited the museum and always leave happier for the time that I've spent with him. In my opinion, Phar Lap's successes brought a nation together during a time of financial struggle for many Australians during the Great Depression. Phar Lap's legacy will live on for many years and he will continue to be appreciated by children and adults, alike.
Neiz 14 November, 2010 11:45
Pharlap is an icon to Australian history it also shows me that tall poppie syndrome is apparent. Just when you are a champion there will always be something or someone that has foul play in mind. They could not stop him no matter how much extra weight they put on him. Pharlap you will always be my champion!
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Peter 21 November, 2010 23:00
Such a beautiful horse, both physically & in spirit. I was honored to to stand next to him & gaze upon the champion that neither death or time could take away from those that loved him. May he live on forever in the hearts of those who came to know him, both now & in the past.
PHARLAP FAN 1# 14 February, 2011 11:06
awsome awsome awsome !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! how old is pharlap ?
Discovery Centre 20 February, 2011 16:12

Melbourne Museum's Phar Lap website has a considerable amount of information on Phar Lap.  The Facts page tells us that Phar Lap was foaled (born) at Timaru, New Zealand, on 4 October 1926.  This would make him 85 years old today.  He died in 1932, 70 years ago and his hide was mounted and is on display at Melbourne Museum, his skeleton is at the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, and his heart is at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra. 

cheryl cunningham 27 July, 2014 16:10
Pharlap should be soley in Australia...he may have been born there but obviously o one wanted him until he was a huge winner....As far as I am concerned he is 100% Australian and all his body and skeleton should be here.
phar lap fan 1# 21 February, 2011 19:07
WOW!!! Which musseum in melbourne is his body in? cause we might see him
beaniebrahh!! 9 May, 2013 15:00
i thought phar laps body was in new zealand?? since he was born in newzealand...
Taylah 3 November, 2013 11:34
Pharlaps body is in the Melbourne Museum.
Discovery Centre 22 February, 2011 13:11
Hi Phar Lap fan #1, if you have a look at the information above it notes that Phar Lap can be found in the Australia Gallery at Melbourne Museum. Hope you enjoy visiting him.
phar lap fan 1# 22 February, 2011 17:48
of course i will i love love love love phar lap . he is a legand !!!!!!!!!!! MY HERO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AD WHERE ABOUTS IS THE MELBOURNE MUSSEUM ? FOR EVER IN OUR HEARTS PHAR LAP
PHAR LAP FAN 1# 22 February, 2011 20:12
by the way i am the same person .Pharlap is a TRUE LEGAND .i could go on forever about him. He is in my heart for ever ................ Sad that he died at the age of 5 phar lap rules this world
Adele 24 February, 2011 10:12
I have waited since i was 9 and im 13 now too see pharlap he was the most amazing thing i have ever seen!! i love him so much i am doing a school project with my friend on him. Me being a horse rider and having my own horses i'd hate to see the horse i love die! but i think everyone in australia and world-wide will remember the great hero on the 1900's. R.I.P Phar Lap the true Legend!
Adele 24 February, 2011 10:16
to PHAR LAP FAN 1# he's in Street address: Melbourne Museum 11 Nicholson St Carlton, Victoria, 3053
Crazy Horse Rider Chick 24 February, 2011 10:20
I love love love him he is an all round legend. He is one of my heros of all time and i will love him for ever and ever. R.I.P Matey
PHAR LAP FAN 1# 25 February, 2011 21:13
thanks so much i love phar lap so much we done a goup project on famous australians i of course love phar lap so i chose him .some other groups done history of murray bridge and alsorts of stuff .i cant wait to see him bye the way i wanted to see him last year when i was eight now i am nine turnig ten
Adele 28 February, 2011 14:26
TO PHAR LAP FAN #1, Im glad you are doing Phar Lap for your project, he really is a great hero and legend. Crazy Horse Rider Chick is doing the project on him with me we are seeing if it was accidental or if it was murder. Good Luck on your project. Regards, Adele
horse rider 9 March, 2011 14:28
i would love to ride phar lap because he looks like a very spirited horse and i am horse crazy and a very good rider my favourite gait is gallop
suzen 1# fan 24 March, 2011 10:03
phar lap is the best horse that ever lived and he shuld have been alive for everyone to see he is a ledgend and that i really miss him.
chloe pharlap fan 1# 4 April, 2011 14:01
LOVE Phar Lap ..................... 1# legand.i would pay 99 billion dollars for him ... TOTALL LEGAND people belive me
Laura 20 April, 2011 12:54
Phar Lap is an amazing horse!!
bigron 12 May, 2011 06:49
we fans here in the us honor your great champion phar lap.huge and fast we were in awe at this magnificent horse.his passing was truly a blow to all of us horse fans.he is among the greats in history.
aRON GAL 15 May, 2011 14:21
Greet Stuff!!!!!!!!!!
Ellie 2 June, 2011 10:23
Why did they ever geld him he wouldve been the best stallion he will always be the best stayer in australia
Erika 7 July, 2011 21:11
how did phar lap die?
chloe pharlap fan 1# 10 July, 2011 12:34
coming to melbourne monday can't wait !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!hope we will see him first !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
chloe pharlap fan #1 11 July, 2011 20:56
yyyyyaaayyyyy here in melbourne !!!!!!!!!!!!! seee pharlap soon !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
chloe pharlap fan #1 13 July, 2011 21:04
thoroughbreds 17 July, 2011 16:07
Guys your all right Phar Lap is the best horse in the world i looooooooooooooooooooooooooove him and will never forget him i wish i got to ride him in track work and be his strapper like Tommy Woodcock did. such a champion. iv been to vist him plenty of times at melbourne i ride big thoroughbreds like him and their beautiful animals to ride
Indi 4 August, 2011 11:01
Just recently went to Melbourne Museum to see Tutankahmum. I'm 14, you'd think that 14 year olds would hate history. I love it. I seen Pharlap, and I was in oar. <3 He is amazing. He's such an amazing horse, now I just want to go to Camberra to see his heart.
chloe pharlap fan 1# 7 August, 2011 10:51
next stop............. canberra proberbly next year
HORSE FAN #1 12 August, 2011 12:05
HORSE FAN #2 14 August, 2011 10:44
Catherine Motuliki 23 August, 2011 14:28
He is such an inspiration and i think he would have been an exellent warrior. love him always and ledgand forever and ever. lots of love Phar Lap.
Maka And Chloe 30 August, 2011 15:02
We love Phar Lap sooo much we know everything about him . We even went and saw him. He is sooo cute and pretty we could go on about him for ever we love him sooo much !!!!!!!!!
Carlos Doochbag 31 August, 2011 10:30
Pharlap was a very quick hourse. He is fast. I like Pharlap.
Superbug64(huge Phar Lap fan) 5 September, 2011 10:01
Phar Lap is the greatest thing that ever hapend to the racing world. Why did he half to die. He will always be missed.:(
guts 15 September, 2011 12:16
go phar lap
Phar lap #1 10 October, 2011 13:59
Phar lap is a great horse and he lives in all of our memories. R.I.P. Phar Lap
josh quinn 7 November, 2011 12:25
phar lap the fastest horse in the world to date
Nathan 22 November, 2011 21:31
I LUV PHAR LAP :) and how big is his heart? a lot of people say its big but i dont know exactly how big it is.
Discovery Centre 23 November, 2011 16:37
Hi Nathan, to answer your question, have a look at the information on Phar Lap's heart from the National Museum of Australia in Canberra (that's where his heart is!).
chappo 5 December, 2011 16:30
sweet as horse
brad 8 December, 2011 12:44
he is cool
HORSE CHICK 9 February, 2012 20:52
I <3 Phar lap and going to see him tomorrow. By the way what kind of horse is Phar lap and how popular is he today?
Discovery Centre 11 February, 2012 12:32

Dear Horse Chick,

Thank you for your enquiry about what type of horse Phar Lap was, Phar Lap was a thoroughbred horse. Thoroughbred is a horse breed best known for its use in horse racing although the word thoroughbred is sometimes used to refer to any breed of purebred horse, it technically refers to the Thoroughbred breed.  

His Sydney trainer Harry Telford was a keen student of thoroughbred bloodlines and spent countless hours poring over pedigree charts. He believed he had found a future champion in a colt that was shortly due to sell in New Zealand. Sired by Night Raid and foaled out of Entreaty.

Please see this link to find out more information about Phar Lap.

Phar Lap is still one of the most popular exhibits at the Museum, and many visitors make him their first stop.

justin 26 February, 2012 16:01
you rule phar lap.
Debbie 24 March, 2012 12:04
A beautiful big horse that captured the hearts of so many, and continues to do so today. I love the display at the Melbourne Museum, a fitting display for such a champion racehorse.
Joe P. U.S.A 10 May, 2012 14:06
Wish I could have seen him race in person. Phar Lap had speed, power, and heart. If he had the chance to meet the top horses of the day in the U.S., he would have beaten them all. I would love to come to Melbourne Museum and see him in person but having horses and cost to fly and stay right now is a little out of my league. Hopefully someday.
zach gowty awps 14 May, 2012 14:43
he is so call
Auuie Rules - yeah right 20 May, 2012 20:16
A Kiwi legend - just like pavalova
Abigail Rickards 30 May, 2012 15:20
I love you Phar Lap " Go Bobby Boy " say stapper Tommy Woodcock
Brown Jack 14 June, 2012 08:35
"Songs have been sung about heroes, Who flew across the sea... But here's a song about someone, Who sailed across the foam, And he made fame for Australia's name, But he'll never come back home. Just a wonder horse known on every course, From Australia to USA..." --Phar Lap, Farewell To You (song,1932) Last post at Agua Caliente: "Come on, Phar Lap..Phar Lap, you beauty!"
naomi 15 June, 2012 10:38
I wish Phar lap still existed i love him so muchhe is like 1D to me :)
Millie 11 July, 2012 15:05
Phar lap is an amazing horse I dont understand why would they poisin him???
jane 31 July, 2012 10:49
We all must remember 2 things. 1-he was a amazing horse and died a terrible death 2-he was born in NZ.
Sonora Lazar 23 June, 2013 12:17
Hi my breeders told me my horse is a great grandson of Phar Lap but someone told me he was gelded. Was he a stallion or did he Sire any foals?
Discovery Centre 23 June, 2013 12:33
Hi Sonora, Phar Lap was gelded as you can read about at the Te Papa Museum website. Melbourne Museum holds his hide, the National Museum in Canberra holds his heart and Te Papa in New Zealand holds his skeleton.  
Jenny Fullerton 24 June, 2013 11:19
I won a Trivia Night comp by knowing were all of Phar Lap's parts are. Some "man " was adamant that Phar Lap 's skeleton was inside the skin , holding it up.
Laddie 7 August, 2013 12:42
phar lap is cooler than me.
Keiasha 13 August, 2013 09:00
I was born on Phar Laps birthday. I have a horse that is called lady lilly and she is a tb.
MONICA BARBER 26 August, 2013 00:20
i love phar lap to bites his life was so sad i even sow the movie i keep crying when phar lap dies phar lap we all love you ramber that
Pharlap 27 August, 2013 14:18
OMG! I tots luv Pharlap! he ist eine gut horsey.
Gabrielle Vana 28 August, 2013 10:30
I have always loved Phar Lap. I even did a ten page report on his life in high school thanks to the Melbourne Museum's site and other resources. He is my sporting hero and i know that even though he is gone from this world he is still in this world in spirit still running down the track at the Melbourne Cup :)
Salad Fingers 14 October, 2013 15:02
I love phar lap more than i love rusty spoons!!!
hayley 21 October, 2013 13:51
i love phar lap he is the cool horse in the world
Awesome taylah 22 October, 2013 21:55
I think that Phar Lap was the greatest racehorse ever! I love leaning about him:)
lee 6 November, 2013 08:18
truly a hero, go lightning go,the meaning of his name "phar lap" is of our own, like tommy.
Rachel 20 March, 2014 00:48
Phar Lap was a Wonder Horse! The first thing I must see when I go to the museum is Phar Lap!!!
Pete 23 March, 2014 10:39
I find this bizarre that you would stuff a horse and display him is a glass cage! With the respect of a legend he should have been put back into earth. imo.
Bruce Thomas Burns 19 April, 2014 18:00
It is said that, after Phar Lap's death in 1932, it rained for whole week in Melbourne. People said that God was crying.
Chris 15 June, 2014 12:45
I have no feelings either way about phar lap.
Love Melbourne 2 July, 2014 22:11
I'm going to the melbourne museum tomorrow with 2 of my besties. I've been there lots and lots of times and I never get bored😄but I would have to say phar-lap is the best part. The first time I saw phar-lap at the museum and could understand what happend to him my eyes filled with tears I always love to vist the museum Thanks 😄
Ted Jones U.K 14 October, 2014 03:13
Watched his film over and over always brings tears to my eyes, true true legend RIP
Kawaiiperson 14 October, 2014 20:38
This is just sad how he died.😧
... 30 November, 2014 11:24
Phar Lap!
Justen 2 December, 2015 09:47
I love phar lap I am doing a project on him