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You nearly have to be over 50 to remember the great man of early wrestling Haystacks Calhoun.

Everyone loved him and he was a physical freak.

Calhoun tipped the scales at over 290kg in his prime fighting days.

Discovered one day while working on his farm in Texas, of the United States where he was born, he owned an astonishing degree of physical strength in that he was able to perform the manual labor of several men while working.

In fact, legend says that Calhoun was eventually discovered by a group of traveling wrestling promoters while physically moving his cows by literally picking them up off the ground and carrying them across the field.

He was 6 ft, 4 in tall and died as a 55 year old in 1989.

In the first race at Pakenham tonight, to honour the man and legacy of a champion wrestling pioneer, the unarmed horse HAYSTACKS CALHOUN (Rubick-Miss Haystacks) debuts and has been met with good support.

Currently he is $6 with Palmerbet.

As a yearling he cost $140,000 for the Inglis Premier sale and Danielle Chapman trains him from her Kyneton base.

The wrestler, whose sheer physical size endeared him to fans, also had a long beard, wore a white t-shirt in every fight and a genuine horseshoe around his neck.

And he, despite his imposing frame, was a mild-mannered, good guy of the sport, who showed great love for everyone.

He was a major box office star who wrestled often to packed auditoriums at Madison Square Gardens in New York.

He brought his superstar status to Australia and had some fights here in the 1960s.

Combining with Tony Garea his biggest career success came when they won the World WWF Tag Team Title beating the famed Japanese pair of Mr Fuji and Dr Tanaka.

Sadly, his weight ballooned upon retirement and he lost his leg to diabetes in 1986.

Posthumously, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2017.

Let’s hope his namesake can bring joy to a new generation of sports fans starting this afternoon.

*Existing customers only. 2nd Racing bet. Excl SA & WA. T’s & C’s apply. Gamble responsibly.
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