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What was the name of Napoleon's horse?

By J.F. Lozier

Since so many of the paintings of Napoleon show him riding a horse, it has become a common trivia question to ask "What was the name of Napoleon's horse?". However, it is not an easy one to answer, for Napoleon owned and used over 150 horses during the course of his life. The most famous ones were:

  • Wagram, a gray Arab Napoleon rode from 1809 onwards, it was brought along during the Elba exile.
  • Roitelet, an English-Limousin chestnut given to Napoleon by Prince Eugene de Beauharnais, it carried Napoleon back from Russia and was ridden at Lutzen and Arcis-sur-Aube.
  • Intendant, a pure white Norman nicknamed "Coco" by the Imperial Guard. He was mainly used for parades and reviews because of his calm, steady, and graceful nature during such ceremonies.
  • Vizir, one of the Emperor's favorites, this gray Arab was a gift from the Sultan of Turkey in 1805 and 10 years later Napoleon brought it with him to Saint-Helena. It now resides — stuffed — in the Musée de l'Armée in Paris.
  • Marengo, a gray Arab captured after Waterloo. His skeleton is kept at the National Army Museum in London.
  • Tauris, this gray was a gift from Alexander (Tsar of Russia) was ridden by Napoleon at Vitepsk, Smolensk, Borodino, during his entrance in Moscow, and during the retreat from Russia. After being brought to Elba, it was ridden from Golf-Juan to Paris during the Hundred Days.
  • Cyrus, one of the horses Napoleon rode at Austerlitz.
  • Styrie, ridden by Bonaparte across the Great Saint-Bernard, and at Marengo.
  • Désirée, ridden at Waterloo.

The names of some of his other horses include: Aboukir, Familier, Cheikh, Triomphant, Austerlitz, Calvados, Cid, Cordoue, Sagonte, Sélim, Bouffon, Conquérant, Extrême, Folâtre, Gracieux, Timide, Sahara, Major, Belle, Distingué, Gisors, Lowska, Favori, Harbet, Néron, Tamerlan, Hippogriffe, Kurde, Labrador, Sara, Épicurien, Embelli, Gessner, Bréant, Wuzbourg, Montevideo, Artaxercés, Aly, Coceyre, Sultan, Russe, Estime, Arabella, Babylonien, Euphrate, Hahim, Harbet, Helavert, Héricle, Lydienne, Lyre, Naïade, Nankin, Naturaliste, Naufragé, Nausicaa, Navigateur, Navire, Ninon, Emin, Gonsalvo.

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