Roaring Lion, the 2018 Cartier Horse of the Year and four-time Group One winner, has been euthanised on welfare grounds following a battle with colic in New Zealand.
The four-year-old son of Kittens Joy retired to stud in 2018 and had been standing at Cambridge Stud in the southern hemisphere.
He had undergone two emergency colic operations, with a quarter of his small intestine removed during the second surgery at Cambridge Equine Veterinary Hospital.
The news was announced on Tweenhills website — the British-based stud where Roaring Lion previously stood.
“We are absolutely devastated to have to announce the death of Roaring Lion, who has been put to sleep after suffering another bout of colic in New Zealand,” read the statement. “Sheikh Fahad [owner] and all the team at Qatar Racing, Tweenhills, Cambridge Stud and Clarehaven Stables have lost a true champion who fought and fought and fought.”
Tweenhills owner David Redvers added: “At approximately midday today [11pm in New Zealand] Roaring Lion was observed to be uncomfortable in his stable at Cambridge Stud. On examination by stud vet Rob Hitchcock, Roaring Lion was admitted to Cambridge Equine Hospital.
“There, operating surgeons, Dr Alanna Zantingh and Dr Greg Quinn, performed ultrasound examination and at 2.45pm British time the decision was made on welfare grounds to put Roaring Lion to sleep.”
Tributes have been made on social media to the remarkable horse and former H&H cover star.
“Absolutely gutted to hear of the death of Roaring Lion after a brave fight against colic. Sending thoughts to all at Tweenhills and all those touched by his magnificence,” said Sky Sports Racing presenter Alex Hammond.
“Sleep tight my hero. Thank you for the good days and for making me fall back in love with racing at a time I was questioning if it was really the career path I wanted to take. There’ll never be another quite like you,” said racing photographer Francesca Altoft.
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