If you’ve ever wondered how famous you have to be before “guy wildly trying to stab you” becomes an “assassin”, the answer is as famous as a horse that ran really fast.
Phar Lap was a New Zealand born, Australian racehorse that performed amazingly well in a number of races between 1928 and 1932, in fact, in just over 50 races, Phar Lap only placed worse than second in around 10 of them. Before you strain yourself trying to do that math this means that Phar Lap had around an 80% win ratio which means if you would have bet on Phar Lap to place third or better in every single one of this 50 races, you’d have only lost 8 times. We don’t think Mike Tyson with a shotgun would be given odds that favourable and he usually only had one opponent to worry about, Phar Lap had dozens of other lesser horses on the field with him at any one time.
Phar Lap’s performance was so dominant that in 1930, criminals actually tried to shoot him to death, presumably after a fat Australian gangster somewhere lost a heap of cash by not betting on Phar Lap the wonder-horse. In keeping with every film you’ve ever seen where someone is assassinated, the criminals tried to put a cap in Phar Lap’s ass from a car as he was trying to leave stadium grounds. Now we aren’t criminals, but it seems to us that killing the horse would have been way easier if they’d just shot him in the face when he was stood in a field. Shooting him from a moving vehicle when he’s surrounded by innocent people and potential witnesses just seems like showing off to us. Luckily for everyone involved (except the criminals obviously) the shots didn’t hit anyone, horse or otherwise and Phar Lap was free to continue racing and kicking horse-shaped ass for years to come.
However, that’s not where this story ends, because a few years later in 1932, Phar Lap “mysteriously” died for no apparent reason and even to this day there is an argument about how exactly a champion horse with better medical care than half of the country died so suddenly. We’d like to point out at this point that Phar Lap was fed a special “horse tonic” just before he died that contained a lot of arsenic.
Yes, people still aren’t sure and still argue about how the horse THAT WAS FED POISON THE DAY IT DIED, died suddenly and without warning. We don’t think we have jokes prepared for something so obviously stupid so just enjoy the image of people trying to shoot a giant horse from a moving vehicle and missing every shot.