Word comes of the death of breeding-stallion Half Ours in Louisiana Saturday: “paddock accident,” euthanized. He was 18.
The breeding shed is, sadly, an underreported part of the horseracing story. While it may sound innocuous enough, make no mistake these animals are still very much in servitude to the racing industry – a servitude, as you can see by the age above, that typically endures much longer than the racing part. The lives of these “studs” are wholly defined by the success of their “progeny” – the money their children earn. Follows is BloodHorse’s obit for the deceased:
“The 18-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song led his freshman sire class in Louisiana in 2011 with nearly $500,000 in progeny earnings and was the state’s only freshman sire with a black-type runner that year. He kept the momentum going in 2012 when he was Louisiana’s leading second-crop sire and remained among the top 10 sires going forward. Half Ours topped the Louisiana sire list twice in 2015-16, siring six black-type winners for each of those years and amassing nearly $5.8 million in progeny earnings over the two years.”
On and on the numbers went, detailing Half Ours’ worth as a being:
“a highly regarded yearling at the 2004 Keeneland September Yearling Sale where agent Buzz Chace bought him for $625,000”
“won the Three Chimneys Juvenile Stakes at 2 and the Richter Scale Sprint Championship Handicap (G2) at 4”
“retired with five wins and a second from seven starts and earned $319,680”
“sired 24 stakes winners, led by multiple grade 1-placed stakes winner Gentlemen’s Bet [who] earned $744,155”
“progeny won or placed 51 times during Louisiana Champions, LA Bred Premier Night, Louisiana Legends, and Louisiana Cup day races”
“11 of his stakes winners earn[ed] black-type at 2”
“his progeny were especially potent in the Louisiana Futurity divisions, for which he sired six winners between 2014-20”
And finally, summing it all so very nicely, the article closed thus: “To date, Half Ours’ progeny have earned more than $21.7 million and averaged $50,990 per starter.”
End of numbers. End of value. End of life.
Also reported by BloodHorse was the death of another stallion, Danza (below), who “died suddenly from an apparent heart attack June 23.” An “apparent heart attack” – at the tender age of 10 – an equine’s prime of life. Danza, the paper notes, was wildly successful on the track, finishing third in the ’14 Kentucky Derby and earning a cool $866,000 in only five total races. But, alas, he too is now gone, with so much money left on the table. Those poor, poor investors.