So Minnesota: Whiskey the horse

So Minnesota: Whiskey the horse

So Minnesota: Whiskey the horse

As we celebrate our independence on this Fourth of July holiday, we’re grateful for all those who served and fought for our freedom.

A century ago, an Army horse named Whiskey made his mark in the military. A small grave and white picket fence at Fort Snelling mark the burial site of one of the smartest horses in history.

“There was only one Secretariat, in a way there was only one Whiskey as well,” Bill Convery with the Minnesota Historical Society said.

When Whiskey arrived at Fort Snelling in 1921, he was rebellious and wild.

“No one wanted anything to do with him,” Convery said. “He was 10 years old and kind of ornery. They said he could kick a hole in a battleship.”

Everything changed when Whiskey met Lt. William Hazelrigg, who spotted a diamond in the rough.

“Lt. Hazelrigg took the time to work with Whiskey and talk with him and get to know him, and they formed an incredible, tight bond over time,” Convery said.

Lt. Hazelrigg started training Whiskey and soon, the horse proved he wasn’t a one-trick pony. The two took their show on the road and Whiskey became a celebrity. After five years together, the two were separated by Uncle Sam.

“The honeymoon ended for Whiskey and Lt. Hazelrigg in 1926 when Hazelrigg was transferred to the Philippines. He offered to buy Whiskey and bring Whiskey along with him but there were Army regulations that prevented that,” Convery said.

Whiskey died in 1943. Even decades after his death, some leave flowers at Whiskey’s grave.