Monsignor — the popular equine ambassador for ex-racehorse charity HEROS — has died aged 19.
The chestnut gelding was put down on Friday (27 December) after injuring his left fore in the field at home at North Farm Stud in Oxfordshire.
Earlier in the year he’d damaged the tendon in the same leg. HEROS (Homing Ex-Racehorses Organisation Scheme) decided the injury was too serious to put him through any more treatment and box rest.
Monsignor won 8 times from 10 starts — including the Champion Bumper at the 1999 Cheltenham Festival and the Royal and SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle in 2000, which he took in record time.
He retired due to a tendon injury and was gifted to HEROS by owner Malcolm Denmark in 2006.
In his retirement he was an equine ambassador for the charity — going out to racecourses in “Meet the Racehorse” sessions and parading at Lambourn and Epsom open days.
Last year he was asked to carry the Olympic Torch and Frankie Dettori around the parade ring at Ascot.
“I have known him for what seems like forever and he will leave a huge gap in our lives,” said Grace Muir of HEROS.
“He was a great character, a kind and gentle giant who nevertheless had a great zest for life. A huge thank you to Monsignor for all he has done for HEROS and we will always treasure the times we had with him”.