The bloodstock world is in shock following the sudden death of Danehill, one of its most successful stallions. The multiple champion sire suffered a fatal injury yesterday morning (Tuesday 13 May) at Coolmore Stud in Ireland.

The 17-year-old had a reputation on the worldwide thoroughbred breeding stage second only to Coolmore’s other colossus, Sadler’s Wells.

A statement issued by Coolmore said: “The son of Danzig was being hand-grazed in his paddock when the accident occurred.”

Danehill was responsible for the winners of 51 Group 1 races worldwide and no less than 207 stakes winners — more than any other stallion.

As recently as Sunday his progeny Clodovil and Catcher In The Rye were first and second in the French 2000 Guineas at Longchamp.

Rock Of Gibraltar (pictured), world champion miler last year, is arguably the best son of Danehill to have raced. He took his sire’s status to new heights and now has the huge task of trying to emulate him at stud. “The Rock” covered his first book of mares at Coolmore thisyear.

Until 2002 Danehill had been shuttled between the Northern and Southern hemisphere breeding seasons.

Among the best of his offspring to race in the Northern hemisphere were Irish Derby hero Desert King, Breeders’ Cup winner Banks Hill and champion sprinter Mozart.

During his racing career Danehill was trained by Jeremy Tree to finish third to Nashwan in the 1989 2000 Guineas before becoming champion three-year-old sprinter with victories in the Haydock Park Sprint and the Cork and Orrery Stakes.