"She will literally headbang to the music. She's on beat almost every time": There is a horse in Canada who really loves heavy metal

Pretty the headbanging horse
(Image credit: CBC)

A horse who loves heavy metal has gone viral after her headbanging exploits made the TV news in Canada. Pretty Runaway, a seven-year-old racehorse based at Bogar Farms, a stable in Lindsay, Ontario, developed an online following after featuring on The National, the flagship show of Canadian broadcaster CBC. 

"We've had a super great reaction to bands like Slipknot, Pantera and even some Ozzy Osbourne, like super-heavy bass, lots of guitar, lots of rhythm," groom Autumn Purdy told CBC in February. "She will literally headbang to the music. She's on beat almost every time.

"We picked a common modern country song versus a pretty well-known Pantera song and we did a test to see which one she'd like better. We played the country song and she physically turned her butt to me and didn't have a care in the world, ate her hay. We carried on and played some Pantera, she turned right around, instant headbang. We stop the music, she stops. We turn the metal back on, headbang."

According to Purdy, Slipknot are the metal mare's favourite band, although she appears to be less keen on Rage Against The Machine. 

It's unclear whether Pretty Runaway's love of metal has impacted her performance on the track. In her last race, in September, she finished third in the 19:43 at Ajax Downs in Ontario.

Perhaps surprisingly, this isn't the first time a horse has made the news after headbanging to Pantera. In 2016, another horse went viral after footage of it enjoying their 1994 international hit I’m Broken emerged. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.