Guest Column: The Cat Goes Home: Storm Cat Dies At 30

Guest Column: The Cat Goes Home: Storm Cat Dies At 30

2 May, 2013
– Lisa Barrett

Storm Cat. Image: Google Images

The passing of one of the equine legends of the modern era, Storm Cat who was put down due to the infirmities of old age at 30. Famous for standing for a record $500 000 fee until declining fertility saw him being pensioned off in 2008, Storm Cat continues to dominate the racing scene around the world, thanks to his brilliant sons and their progeny.

A Grade One winner (Young America Stakes 1985) and a 2nd in the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile to his credit, it was at stud that Storm Cat was to achieve his greatest success, becoming one of the leading sires of the past two decades, as well as leading juvenile sire an unprecedented seven times. Over the years, Storm Cat’s runners collectively earned more than $128 million and included 180 graded stakes winners.

One of Storm Cats best sons is Giant’s Causeway, who has emulated his illustrious sire by becoming a champion sire on both sides of the Atlantic, and is one of the few stallions who has managed to successfully sire champions on both dirt and turf. For many, Giant’s Causeway’s best son was from his first crop, the brilliant sprinter, Shamardal, who went onto become a multiple Group One winner, both in England and France with the Poule d’Essai des Poulains and St James & Dewhurst Stakes to his credit. To date Shamardal has produced the exciting colt Lope De Vega, who emulated his sire by winning the Prix Du Jockey Club as well as the Poule d’Essai des Poulains in 2010.

KZN breeding is fortunate to have several of Storm Cats sons standing here in the province, the first of which is Brave Tin Soldier who stands at Summerhill Stud. A $3 million foal, Brave Tin Soldier was a Group Three and Listed Stakes winner, who has his first two yearlings going under the hammer at this year’s Emperor’s Palace National Yearling Sale; Carpocrates, a world-breaking weanling at the time who sold for $2,4 million as a foal, is a 3-time winner who is based at Middlefield Stud and is also bred on the potent Mr.Prospector/Storm Cat cross which has produced so many Group One and Stakes winners (think Big Brown, the brilliant Kentucky Derby & Preakness winner); Mogok, KZN stallion of the Year 2010-2011 who stands at Scott Brothers, and who has produced the likes of Orbison, a Group winner, Gypsy’s Warning sold for $1.05 million at the 2011 Keeneland November Sale, and The Apache, a multiple Group One and Group winner, who recently won the Al Rashidiya (Gr.2) in Dubai, and who came within a few whiskers of capturing the $5 million Dubai Duty Free (Gr.1) on Dubai World Cup night.

Even in his sunset years, Storm Cat was renowned for his feisty disposition and up until the end he continued to display his grandsire’s legendary temper. A group of current and former employees of Overbrook Farm gathered as the decision was made to put the stallion down, coincidentally once he was gone, it began to storm – a fitting tribute indeed.

Lisa Barrett
– Guest Writer

“Lisa Barrett”, her psuedonym, currently works at a stud farm in the KZN Midlands. She is absolutely and totally crazy about horses and every aspect of them. She is fascinated by every aspect of the racehorse business, especially pedigrees and would like to one day write a book on her favourite sire!

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