By this time I had upgraded from Grand Champion horse toys to the Breyer Models and was quickly expanding my barn. On a trip to a horse sale (a 'Toys R Us' in this case) I ran toward the box housing this strong, beautiful, race horse stallion. His name is Cigar, and he is my favorite model.
Consequently, he also became my favorite racehorse. As I got more and more immersed into the sport, I started doing some minor research. Unfortunately by the time I got the model, Cigar had been retired from racing for some time. This didn't stop me from getting excited about his amazing skill.
He didn't get a lot of glory when he was young, because he didn't hit his peak until he was about 5 years old. That is when he started his amazing career. In 1995 he went undefeated, winning all ten of his starts and was deemed Horse of the Year. As a six year-old he was just as impressive, winning his first five starts of the season. These five wins combined with his ten from the previous season, and his final race in 1994, gave him an amazing winning streak of 16. There is
only one other horse in North America to have run such a streak, and that was racing legend Citation. In 1996 he also left America to travel across the world and ran in the Dubai World Cup. There he won against some of the world's best horses again earning the title of Horse of the Year.
In his lifetime he ran thirty-three times, with nineteen wins, and eleven of those nineteen being Grade I races. With all these wins he accumulated the most money in North America, and help that title until just recently when Curlin earned just a smidgen more.
He had a magnificent career and like most horses he retired to the breeding shed.
However, not everything went as planned. After several attempts and failures at impregnating a mare, Cigar was deemed sterile and removed from a sheds. He would never have a chance to pass down his amazing abilities.
Unfortunately in the world of racing, a horse that doesn't bring in money is almost deemed useless, but luckily for Cigar not all was lost. Today he stands in Kentucky Horse Park's Hall of Champions, where he is taken out a few times a day and is shared with the public.
I was lucky enough to go there myself and pay my beloved model a visit. He is just as gorgeous in real life. Although he hasn't raced in years he still provides a strong powerful pose for all those who come to see him.
To this day he is happily munching the grass in the Champion paddocks, and I cannot wait until the day I get to go visit him and the other Champions again.
When I was little he was merely my favorite toy, today, he is my all time favorite racehorse.