Roman mosaic showing a wounded horse | Photo: Phoenix Ancient Art
Roman horses racing in the quadrigas were known for excellent training. The case of Emperor Claudius proves this. whose coachman fell out of the quadriga at the start. Despite the lack of a driver, they ran 7 laps and won. After the race, they obediently positioned themselves at the finish line.
It was customary for racehorses to decorate the funeral processions of the emperors. Bronze monuments and pyramid-shaped posthumous mausoleums were erected for famous racehorses. Portraits of the most beautiful or famous horses were placed on coins and precious stones. It was also fashionable to deliver poems of praise in honour of horses, listing in detail their origins and achievements. Many emperors personally competed in quadriga races. One of the most controversial fans of the sport Emperor Commodus (from the movie “Gladiator”) appeared 735 times before the audience as the driver.