Mesh Tenney

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Meshach A. “Mesh” Tenney was best known as an American Thoroughbred horse trainer. He was the trainer of Swaps, who won the 1955 Kentucky Derby and the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year in 1956. Swaps was ranked #20 on The Blood-Horse’s list of the Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th century. Tenney was also the trainer of Candy Spots, who won the 1963 Preakness Stakes and finished second at the Derby and the Belmont Stakes. He also trained Prove It, Terrang, Olden Times, and The Scoundrel. During his 40-year career, he trained 36 stakes winners. He was the leading trainer in the United States in 1962–1963. In 1962, the horses in his care earned $1,099,474.

Mesh Tenney slept in Swaps’s stall for ten days because he didn’t trust the Churchill Downs security

In 1991, he was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

Tenney was born on November 16, 1907, in Colonia Dublan, Chihuahua, Mexico. He had a cowboy heritage that influenced his training techniques. He was a skilled blacksmith and shod his own horses. He started training horses in the 1930s. He partnered with his childhood friend Rex Ellsworth to establish a Thoroughbred ranch in California. He retired prior to 1974.

He married Silvia Christensen and they were the parents of one daughter who died as an infant. He also had one son. He died on November 6, 1993, in Safford, Arizona.