The bay thoroughbred known as Ribot, born in Great Britain in 1952, was one of the most dominant racehorses of his era, winning all 16 races he participated in.
During his first three years, Ribot rules the racecourses of Italy, where he was a champion as a two-year-old, three-year-old and four-year-old. When Ribot turned four, he would extend his reign overseas as well, becoming the Older Horse champion in both his native England and France.
Ribot won the prestigious Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe two years in a row, 1955 and 1956, as well as the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 1956.Among his other impressive victories are wins at the Gran Criterium (1954), the Gran Premio del Jockey Club (1955), and the Gran Premio di Milano (1956).
Ribot also received a host of honors, including a number three ranking in the Top 100 Horses in the World list complied by Timeform. Ribot was also named as the fourth greatest athlete -- not just horse, but athlete -- in Italy in the 20th century, according to a poll conducted by La Gazzetta dello Sport among sports fans. In addition, the annual Premio Ribot race at the Capannelle Racecourse in Italy was named in his honor.
Later in life, Ribot also distinguished himself at stud. He was voted as the leading sire in both England and Ireland for three years -- 1963, 1967, 1968.
Ribot was bred by the acclaimed breeder Tesio from the Italian sire El Greco 1934 and Barbara Burrini. Tesio was the same man who bred the great Nearco, the undefeated thoroughbred. Unfortunately, Tesio would not live to see that day that his other undefeated horse, Ribot, would dominate the racing scene.
Ribot's name came from the French artist and realist Théodule-Augustin Ribot.
After his racing career, Ribot would be shipped to the United States to stand at stud and he compiled a remarkable record of producing champions. Three of Ribot's descendants went on to win the Kentucky Derby: Funny Cide, Pleasant Colony and Barbaro. Ribot had another descendant who, like him, was also a back-to-back winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe: Alleged. Yet another descendant won the prestigious Grand National at Aintree in 2005: Hedgehunter.
Aside from dominating the racecourse and his excellence at stud, Ribot was also known for his fiery temperament, particularly after his racing career ended and he was transferred to the USA. Relocated to the Darby Dan Farm, Ribot proved to be hard to handle. He was not exactly the biggest horse there but only the strongest and biggest stallion groom would dare handle him.
Ribot also had problems being confined to his stall, and he was often restless and fidgety. He had this habit of raising his front feet atop the front wooden panel of his stall so that he could gnaw at the high wooden beam. Ribot would also be temperamental when he was running around in his paddock and would get agitated if there were other stallions around.
Although Ribot was only leased by Darby Dan for five years, he would never leave the USA again because no insurance company would cover his shipping back to Europe. He would remain in the USA until his death.