Farewell to the Horse Who May Have Been America’s Oldest Thoroughbred?
It’s been nearly 40 years since the horse who may have been America’s oldest thoroughbred, named for a man, passed away.
The animal was trained as a light trotter for trainer Paul Flesch, who ran him in a series of trials at Boston, NY, in 1967 and 1968. During this time there are hints he was older than he appeared. In 1968, when Flesch and his daughter, Ann Flesch, ran their own trainer’s show called “Old Toms,” he was a 9-year-old pony. He was then sold to a racing syndicate run by one of Flesch’s racing acquaintances, and was given the name “Old Fuzz.”
In 1968, Flesch bred Old Fuzz to another animal, and the resulting foal was registered as a Thoroughbred in 1969. That was also the year the horse’s dam was sold to the syndicate. In 1972, Old Fuzz was sold to the syndicate and brought to Europe by the family.
In 1992, Old Fuzz was entered in the Irish Sweepstakes, and he placed in the top three. That same year, Flesch was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and died. He left two daughters, Ann and Ann, and five sons, Bill, Fred, Jerry, Tom, and Bill. The daughters had a big influence on their mother’s life. Ann, when she was just 17, was the first person to ever ride Old Fuzz.
Bill Flesch kept the horse, and eventually he and Ann started a boarding stable that allowed Flesch to live at home for the last nine years of his life. Old Fuzz was retired soon after the deaths of Bill and Ann, after which he became an auction block property.
The New York Department of Finance and the New York State Department of Health entered Old Fuzz into the Guinness World Record for being the world’s oldest thoroughbred in a race in 2005. That year, he was auctioned off. His bid was $22,000.
In 2013, with