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Seabiscuit’s Saddle to Be Auctioned Off

August 18, 2003

RED LODGE, Mont. (AP) _ If you’re ready to pony up some cash, you might be able to nab one of Seabiscuit’s old saddles. Bob McTaggart and Jaqui Their-McTaggart have decided to sweeten their retirement by auctioning off the saddle that jockey Red Pollard rode to a win on the Thoroughbred race horse in the 1930s.

Bidding on a similar saddle sold at a recent auction of Seabiscuit memorabilia in Beverly Hills, Calif., went as high as $125,000. The price paid by the anonymous buyer, however, was never disclosed by the auction house. The McTaggarts hope their saddle can fetch $250,000.

Seabiscuit’s enormous fame has been revived by Laura Hildenbrand’s best-selling book in 2001 and a current hit movie starring Tobey Maguire.

The McTaggarts became heirs to the lightweight saddle through Bob’s father, Archie McTaggart, one-time Butte mayor and a racing fan who died in 1975.

``He took Red under his wing before he was a well-known jockey,″ Bob said. ``After Red and Seabiscuit won the big Santa Anita Handicap race, Red reached his goal and retired.″

As a thank-you to his friend, mentor and spiritual father, Pollard sent Archie McTaggart the saddle and victory picture. On the picture, Red wrote, ``Arch, I done it and I’m glad. Red Pollard.″ He also signed the saddle and dated it 1934.

Jaqui began researching the saddle, authenticating it and corresponding with people via the Internet to see what the saddle might be worth. The McTaggarts have contacted Sotheby’s auction house.

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