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11 famous horses from history

By: Jaymi Heimbuch on Aug. 26, 2016, 2:10 p.m.
Marengo was the famous war mount of Napoleon I of France.

Photo: Kunsthistorisches Museum/Wikipedia

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On the opposite side of the battle line from Copenhagen was a horse named Marengo, a small gray Arabian who carried none other than Napoleon Bonaparte on his back.

While Copenhagen returned home after the battle, Marengo was captured and taken to Britain where he was put on exhibition. After his death in 1831 at the age of 38, his skeleton was preserved and stands at the Imperial War Museum in London to this day.

The odd thing about Marengo is that while we know about him, there's no mention of him anywhere in Napoleon’s stable records. According to Tom Holmberg, "It is possible that Marengo was a nickname of another horse. Napoleon had a penchant for giving nicknames (Josephine's, his wife, real given name was Rose). A number of his horses had nicknames… [author Jill] Hamilton concludes the horse may actually be Ali (or Aly), a horse Napoleon did ride throughout his career and which could be considered a 'favorite.'"

Marengo is one of two horses used as models for the steed featured in this famous painting of the French emperor.