Copenhagen was a chestnut colt, foaled in 1808, bred by and the property of General Grosvenor, who presented him to the Duke of Wellington in 1812, by whom he was used as a charger, in the Peninsula, and also at Waterloo. He was got by Meteor (a chestnut, son of Eclipse, bred by Lord Grosvenor in 1783), out of Lady Catherine (bred by General Grosvenor in 1796), by John Bull, out of a mare by the Duke of Rutland's Arabian, out of a hunting mare, three parts thoroughbred.
At Newmarket, Craven, 7st 5lbs, ran third in a sweep of 100 gs. each, h. ft., won by the Duke of Rutland's b. f. Sorcery, beating General Leveson Gower's br. f. by Dick Andrews, 8st 2lbs, second, and two others. S. mg., 7st, match for 100 gs., beat Mr. Fisher's ch. c. Brother to Spaniard, by Young Drone, rising four years, 8st 13lbs; 6 to 4 on Copenhagen. S. mg., 8st 7lbs (D. M.), match for 50 gs., was beaten by the Hon. Berkeley Craven's ch. f. Tippitywichet, by Waxy, 8st 4lbs, both rising three years old; even betting. At Newmarket (First Spring), 7st 13lbs (A. F., one mile, two furlongs, and seventy-three yards), match for 100 gs., was beaten by the Duke of Rutland's ch. c. Momus, by Quiz, 8st 5lbs, both rising three years old; 7 to 4 on Momus. At Huntingdon (August 6th), for all ages, 6st 9lbs, won 100 gs., beating Lord Suffield's b. h. Huntingdon, by Ambrosio, five years, 8st 10lbs, Sir C. Bunbury's br. f. Cressida (the dam of Prince Paul, Walton's best son, of Antar, by Haphazard, and of Priam, by Emilius), by Whiskey, four years, 8st 1lb, and one other. S. mg., 7st, ran third for the Cup, won by Lord Suffield's b. h. Huntingdon, 8st 12lbs, beating Lord Hinchingbrook's ch. c. Juvenal, by Waxy, four years, 8st 4lbs, and Mr. Fletcher's ch. h. Aesculapius, by Stamford, five years, 8st 9lbs, last. At Northampton, for the County Purse of 70 gs., heats two miles, was beaten by Aesculapius. At Tarporley Hunt (Cheshire), colts 8st 2lbs, fillies 8st, ran third and last in a sweep of 120 gs., won by Lord Grey's b. f. Stella, by Sir Oliver (son of Sir Peter), beating Mr. Brooke's b. c. Oliver Cromwell, by Sir Oliver, second, all three years old. S. mg., 7st 3lbs, ran second in the Oatlands Stakes (handicap), of 200 gs., won by Mr. Price's b. c. Flodoardo, by Waxy, three years, 7st, beating three others.
Copenhagen ran twice this year, and was then taken out of training, and became the property of his Grace the Duke of Wellington. After the peace, in 1815, Copenhagen was turned into the rich pastures at Strathsfieldsaye, where he roamed at will till his death.
[Taunton, Thomas Henry: “Portraits Of Celebrated Racehorses Of The Past And Present Centuries”, 1887]
The Duke had a great affection for the memory of his father's war-horse, which had, for sixteen hours, carried the victor of Waterloo during the fateful battle, after which little Copenhagen gaily kicked up his heels. This grandson of Eclipse was remarkable for both his gentleness and his spirit, and passed his old age in honoured retirement at Strathsfieldsaye, where visitors were accustomed to feed him over the rails with bread. When Copenhagen died in 1836, the great Duke ordered a salute to be fired over his grave, and so the good horse was buried as he had lived, with military honours. In after years the second Duke moved the grave, and erected a stone with an epitaph written by himself – the story of this I gave in my former reminiscences. The Duke was fond of writing scraps of verse, and on the occasion of the reburial of the old horse sent me the following –
A crowd of victories attest his toil,
And traced his footsteps on the glory soil.
But Waterloo, where set the Tyrant's star,
To horse and rider gave release from war.
The stuffed skin of Copenhagen was kept for some time in the Tower of London, from which I believe it was afterwards transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley, in the museum of which institution it may still be.
[Nevill, Lady Dorothy: “Under Five Reigns”, 1910]