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Willie was bred by Raymond L. Gibson of Monroeville, In. Willie is the only horse of any note sired by Rambling Fury. His dam, Meadow Belle, has had nine other foals. Only four of them got to the races and none of those ever earned a cent. As a two-year-old, Willie finished second in three of four starts at Indiana county fairs. At three, he raced at the fairs and in conditioned races around Chicago.

In 1973, Bob and Vivian Farrington of Richwood, Oh., and the late Paul Siebert of Cincinnati purchased Willie privately for $15,000. Mrs. Farrington tithed 10% of Willie's earnings to her father's church in Mansfield, Oh., amounting to more than $200,000. As a result of this publicity, Willie appeared on CBS-TV's top rated "60 Minutes" program and the syndicated "PM Magazine." He was also the subject of a book entitled, "The Horse That God Loved," co-authored by Don Evans and Phil Pikelny.

Affectionately known around the country as "The Horse that God Loved," Rambling Willie was a bay Standardbred pacer who won a record 128 races and record earnings of $2,038,219. Among his 128 victories were a record 79 races which he completed in an astonishing two minutes or faster. Rambling Willie had 69 second –place and 43 third-place finishes. Willie's fastest effort was 1:54 3/5, made as a seven-year-old in 1977 at Brandywine Raceway in Wilmington, De. Bob Farrington, one of harness racing's greatest drivers and a member of the Living Hall of Fame drove Willie in most of his 305 races.

Willie retired from racing and was moved to the Kentucky Horse Park in 1983. He brought with him his pet goat, Billy. On August 24, 1995, Willie was humanely euthanized due to laminitis and is now buried (along with Billy) near his paddock at the Hall of Champions.