Storm Cat, one of the world’s most influential thoroughbred sires, has died aged 30.

The stallion once commanded one of the highest stud fees in US history, at $500,000 a covering. He was leading sire in North America in 1999 and 2000.

Storm Cat was by Storm Bird [Northern Dancer] and out of the Secretariat mare Terlingua. He had remained at Overbrook Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, since his retirement from stallion duties in 2008.

He was put down due to complications with old age.

Storm Cat was a Grade One winner in America before he was retired to stud in 1987. He sired many top racehorses, including Tabasco [1994 Preakness and Belmont Stakes] and Sardula [1994 Kentucky Oaks].

His best offspring to run in Europe was Giants Causeway, who won the St James’s Palace Stakes, Eclipse, Sussex Stakes, Juddmonte International and Irish Champion Stakes in 2000 and was leading sire in North America in 2009 and 2010.

Picture by Jim Raftery/Turfoto