Hunt Allen E. Paulson
Dahlia was an American-bred Hall of Fame Thoroughbred racehorse who won major races in France, England, Ireland, Canada, and the United States. She was extremely popular with racing fans because she frequently competed with male horses. Dahlia raced on turf in Europe, and during her career, there were few who could successfully compete with her over the grass.
Owned and bred by Texas oilman Nelson Bunker Hunt, Dahlia was trained in France by Maurice Zilber. At age three, in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot Racecourse she was last entering the short straightaway but then blew past the entire field to beat male horses her own age and older by six lengths including John W. Galbreath's Epsom Derby winner, Roberto. From there, Dahlia went on to become one of international racing's biggest stars during the 1970s and a multi award-winner in Europe and the United States.
Sent to race permanently in California in 1976, her training was then handled by Charlie Whittingham. Based at Hollywood Park Racetrack, she won the 1976 Hollywood Invitational Handicap, again defeating her male counterparts. At the end of the racing season Dahlia was retired and went on to an impressive record as a broodmare, something uncommon among great female racers. In 1988, her owner sold his racing operations and Dahlia was purchased by American owner/breeder Allen E. Paulson who sent her to Diamond A Farm in Kentucky. She remained there until her death in 2001 and was buried at the farm's horse cemetery.