Horse Racing

NFL Players Who Love Horse Racing

Horse racing is one of the few sports in the world that can take fans around the globe. The sport is competed in all four corners of the globe, and it has often been labelled as the ‘sport of kings’, with many famous sporting figures often trying their luck at horse ownership in the hope of winning some of the biggest races on the planet. 


Stars from the world of sport have fared well within horse racing throughout history, with legendary soccer names such as Sir Alex Ferguson, Harry Redknapp, and Michael Owen all achieving success on the track. 


However, has there been cross-over between the worlds of racing and American Football throughout history? Who is often waging on horses on from NFL legends?



There have been few American Football stars to have achieved as much success in the sport of horse racing as Wes Welker. The wide receiver achieved major success throughout his playing career in the NFL, despite having gone undrafted in 2004. Welker would be a first team all-pro in 2009 and 2011 and was named in the Pro Bowl on five occasions between 2008 and 2012. 


His most successful horse in training was the Wesley Ward-trained Undrafted. The sprinter was a proven performer in stakes company, taking third in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, before winning the G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2015. 



Vince Wilfork is widely regarded as one of the greatest defensive tackles in American Football history, and that was mirrored in terms of personal accolades during his career after being named in both the Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams in each of the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 season. Wilfork spent the majority of his career at the New England Patriots, winning the Super Bowl on two occasions. 


The nose tackle later spent one final season in the NFL with the Houston Texans, before retiring from the sport in 2016. Away from the field, Wilfork has a keen passion for horse racing, and he is regularly spotted at Lone Star. His biggest success as an owner came in 2016, as his runner Great Minds won the G3 Texas Mile. He also holds a connection to history after being seated next to the Zayat family when their runner American Pharoah won the Kentucky Derby in 2015.


Bill Belichick


If any American Football star knows what it takes to build a champion than it is Bill Belichick. The 72-year-old is widely regarded as one of the greatest head coaches in sporting history, and he holds the esteemed record for most wins in the Super Bowl, after landing eight victories across stays with the Patriots and New York Giants. However, it was his stay in New England that made headlines around the world, and saw his reputation as one of the world’s greatest coaches take shape. Belichick would help create the dynasty at the Patriots between 2001 and 2019, leading the team to unrivalled success in the NFL. But, his sporting passion far outweighs just American Football, as the coach has also achieved success on the race track. 


The American’s most famous winner was Eight Rings, which was named in honor of the number of victories that he had recorded in the Super Bowl. The horse was sixth in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, before landing victory at the highest level in the G1 American Pharoah. He also took inspiration from the sport of horse racing, which was shown in 2001 when he showed his team Tiznow’s success in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic to show the tenacity that he wanted his team to play with. 

Jacob Tamme is another American Football star that achieved success in both sports. The tight end was drafted fourth in the 2008 draft by the Indianapolis Colts, and he stayed with the franchise for three years before joining the Denver Broncos in 2012. However, his stay in the NFL would eventually draw to an end in 2016 after a short stay with the Atlanta Falcons. The American would be a two-time first-team inclusion in the All-Sec in 2006 and 2007, and he ended his career in the NFL after making 259 receptions and completing 2,570 receiving yards. 

Tamme’s passion for horse racing can be found due to his involvement with the Hat Creek Racing team. Con Te Partiro was the NFL’s star favorite horse, and she gave them a day to remember at Royal Ascot back in 2017. Connections would achieve further success with the mare later during her career after she failed to get in foal. That success would also be achieved overseas after landing the G1 Coolmore Classic in Australia in March 2020. Other horses connected to the yard that have achieved victories in stakes company include Chelsea Cloisters, Regal Smile, and Averly Jane. 

Story originally appeared on Mountain West Wire

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