Te Papa Conservator Robert Clendon removes Phar Lap’s skull from the rest of the skeleton, before extracting one of the incisor teeth. Photo Jean-Claude Stahl. © Te Papa.

Earlier this year, Te Papa received a request from scientists in Australia for a tooth sample from legendary race horse Phar Lap. The scientists are hoping to extract DNA from the tooth.  Then they will be able to compare Phar Lap’s DNA with other horses. Press release from the scientistsRead more

There was a palpable air of excitement around Melbourne Museum< Australia, as people queued and tv crews jostled at the starting gate of the revamped Phar Lap display. The exhibit was officially opened by Victoria’s Minister for Racing, Hon. Rob Hulls, with speeches by Museum Victoria’s Director, Dr. Patrick Greene, andRead more

There has been some debate about the pose of the mounted skeleton of Phar Lap on display at Te Papa. Using digital photographs, an image of the skeleton has been superimposed over photos of Phar Lap and used to “prove” that the skeleton  has been mounted incorrectly. http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/features/pharlap-168.shtml Unfortunately, the image of the skeleton thatRead more

Phar Lap was a legendary racehorse and an adored animal hero for a generation of New Zealanders (where he was born and brought up) and Australians (where he mostly raced). After Phar Lap’s death on 6 April 1932, his owners, Mr D J Davis and Mr H R Telford, presentedRead more