Equine farewells of 2005

  • Best Mate, 10

    The racing world was stunned by the death of Best Mate, who died of a heart attack after the William Hill Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter. The triple Gold Cup winner was one of the finest steeplechasers of all time, and the best-loved horse in the country.

    Earth Summit, 17

    The only horse to win the Aintree, Scottish and Welsh Grand Nationals, Earth Summit was trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies and Peter Scudamore. After retiring he hunted with his racing groom Marcella Bayliss.

    More Pokey, 15

    More Pokey died during an operation to correct a problem stemming from breaking his neck as an eight-year-old. Prior to the initial injury, the Thoroughbred stallion, by Uncle Pokey out of a Tudor Diver mare, reached advanced level as an eventer.

    Fleetwater Opposition, 28

    An elite graded Trakehner stallion, Fleetwater Opposition sired many top sport horses. Owned by the late Debbie Johnston of Landford Common Stud, his best-known son, Yarlande Summersong, competed at the 1996 Olympics with France’s Marie-Christine Duroy and was placed at Badminton.

    Viceroy II, 13

    Viceroy, who died of colic, was the first stallion to win a three-star three-day event, Blenheim in 2004 for Pippa Funnell. He was also second at Saumur. Viceroy was the result of an accidental mating at Hickstead between the show jumper VIP and owner Sue Bunn’s mare.

    Word For Word, 15

    The New Zealand-bred Thoroughbred died from a cross-country fall at Burnham Market. He was imported for Marie-Rose Cooney by Mark Todd, who won Gatcombe and was second at Badminton 1999 on him. With Polly Stockton, he was second at Burghley in 2002.

    Ferro, 18

    Dutch studbook foundation stallion, Ferro, died of a ruptured stomach after suffering from colic. He and Coby van Baalen won team silver for Holland at the 2000 Olympics. He sired more than 10 licensed stallions including Lorenzo CH.

    Woodsides Ashby, 13

    Woodsides Ashby died at Kreuth. He overcome a rough start — nearly dying as a foal — to win Blarney, Burgie and Bonn-Rodderburg for Bettina Hoy. He was eighth at Burghley in 2003 and completed a magical dressage test at WEG 2002 to gain a record score of 20.8.

    Fair Dinkum, 24

    The Taylor family’s great junior eventing horse, Fair Dinkum, died following a colic attack. Although he stood at only 15hh, he went to three junior Europeans with Emma Taylor, winning team and individual gold in 1996 at Blair Castle. He was also placed at Windsor.

    Accondy, 13

    The Thoroughbred stallion, who was put down after breaking his pelvis, was a son of the great Sadler’s Wells. He hit the headlines as a sport horse sire, becoming a Super Premium stallion in 1998 and twice being awarded the Henry Tudor Cup for fertility.

    Poetin, 8

    The 2003 World Young Horse Dressage Champion and Bundeschampion, who sold for a record price of €2.5million at the 2003 PSI auction, Poetin, was put down on 12 December. The mare was sold to new French owners for €900,000 earlier this year, following a dispute between her Dutch owners Peter and Patty van der Zwan and the ING bank.

    Rooster Booster, 11

    Champion Hurdle winner in 2003 and runner-up in 2004, the 11-year-old grey gelding was a favourite with the crowds. Rooster Booster died while training on the gallops on 20 December. He had eight wins from 40 starts and collected £642,490 in prize money during his career.

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