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Top stallion put down aged 32: ‘He was part of the family’

Top stallion Puissance was put down on Saturday 10 October, aged 32.

The son of Imperius was the sire of many good event horses including Horseware Ardagh Highlight, a world team silver medallist in 2018 under Sam Watson, two more of Sam’s championship horses in Horseware Lukeswell and Horseware Bushman, and Francis Whittington’s successful five-star campaigner Sir Percival III.

“We’ve been keeping a close eye on him and keeping him as healthy as we could. But when the vets came they said things were starting to shut down on him and he was starting to suffer, so to be fair to the horse, his time was up,” said Michael Hutchinson, who stood the stallion at Ballyquirke Stud, Co Kilkenny, and knew him for 28 years.

“He was part of the family and you grow fond of a horse – you wouldn’t have them around that long unless you were fond of them. Your heart stops for a second every time you go to the stables – he’d been there so long you expect him to be there. But that’s the way life is and it was remarkable to be the age he was, without any health problems for as long as we’d had him, 28 years. He was very sound.

“He was a good old servant to me all his life, both as a jumper and through the horses he bred.”


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Puissance competed as a showjumper at national grand prix level with Michael, retiring to stud at the age of 12.

His frozen semen is still available to breeders and Michael also stands Puissance’s son, Imperial Tiger, who is a full brother to Horseware Ardagh Highlight and Horseware Lukeswell, as well as several other successful event horses and showjumpers.

This remarkable family are out of the Kings Servant mare Gentle Servant, who Michael bred and sold to Tom and Teresa Walsh, with first refusal on her offspring. Imperial Tiger was her final foal.

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