LEGENDARY jockey Eddie Arcaro won his first race on January 14, 1932.

The American, who died aged 81 in 1997, was the horse racing equivalent of what David Beckham was to football and Michael Schumacher was to Formula 1 – a champion through and through.

Known as ‘The Master’ for his riding ability, he won more American classic races than any other jockey and is the only man to have won the Triple Crown twice. He shares the record for most Kentucky Derby wins with five.

In his 31-season career, the 5ft 2in jockey had 24,092 mounts and rode 4,779 winners.

In relation to the anniversary of his first win, here are 10 equine facts and quotes:

  • Estimates for the number of horses in the world vary between about 60 million and 75 million.
  • In 2001, there was a one-week ban on all horse racing after an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease among livestock.
  • The elastic V-shaped pad of soft horn in the middle of the sole of a horse’s hoof, which helps absorb the impact when walking, is called a ‘frog’.
  • A young horse’s hoof grows at a rate of about half an inch a month. As it ages, this drops to a quarter of an inch a month.
  • The Grand National has been won more times by horses whose names begin with R than any other letter.
  • The Norse god Odin had an eight-legged horse called Sleipnir, which he rode to the Underworld.
  • A healthy adult horse has a pulse of between 36 and 40 beats a minute when at rest.
  • “Never deal with a horse when you are in a fit of passion,” Xenophon, Art Of Horsemanship, 400BC.
  • The horse first evolved around 50 million years ago in North America.
  • “England is a paradise for women, and hell for horses; Italy a paradise for horses, hell for women,” Robert Burton (1577-1640).