Roaring Lion, the 2018 Cartier Horse of The Year, has undergone emergency colic surgery while preparing to stand at stud in New Zealand.
The Qatar Racing-owned stallion, a four-time Group One winner during his racing career, was shuttled to Cambridge Stud in Cambridge, New Zealand for the 2019 breeding season.
The American-bred four-year-old had previously covered a star-studded book of mares at the Gloucestershire-based stud Tweenhills, where his stud fee was £40,000.
Having been released from quarantine at 6am on Saturday morning (27 July), Roaring Lion had spent just 15 minutes in his paddock at Cambridge Stud before symptoms of colic were noticed.
He was transferred immediately to Cambridge Equine Veterinary Hospital and underwent emergency colic surgery. Following the swift actions of the expert veterinary team, the surgery was successful and by mid-afternoon Roaring Lion was in recovery.
“Our best-case scenario is that Roaring Lion makes a full recovery and can be returned safely to the UK,” said Cambridge Stud CEO Henry Plumptre.
“While everyone at the stud is shattered, we feel the obligation to his owner Sheikh Fahad, [Tweenhills owner/manager] David Redvers and our shareholders is important. It is a massive blow to lose Roaring Lion like this, but his ongoing welfare is now our prime concern.
“We also want to act in the best interests of Sheikh Fahad and our shareholders. Following major surgery, we feel it is appropriate to withdraw the horse from [breeding] service, with all shareholders being fully refunded.”
Veterinary advice as of midday on Sunday (28 July) was that Roaring Lion had made a positive recovery in the first 24 hours following surgery, but he won’t be considered to be out of danger until he has fully healed from the operation.
The son of Kitten’s Joy was Qatar Racing’s most successful racehorse to date and won his owner earnings of over £2,720,000, racing in the distinctive maroon silks.
Before beginning his stallion duties, Roaring Lion had a total of 13 career starts under his belt, producing eight victories. His swansong came on the dirt in the Breeders’ Cup Classic in America in November 2018, where he finished 14th from 14 runners.
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