The legend that is Gordon Lord Byron has sadly died suddenly following exercise on the gallops this morning.
The now twelve-year-old had an extremely busy career that saw him win 16 races from 108 starts, including victories in Group 1 races around the globe.
A winner of the Minstrel Stakes and Greenlands Stakes in Ireland, he also won the Sprint Cup at Haydock, the Prix de la Foret in France and the George Ryder Stakes in Australia.
Trained by Tom Hogan and owned by the Cahalan family, he was a globe-trotting sensation and will be dearly missed.
An owners dream
He was one of the best bargains anyone could dream of, costing a mere €2,000 and and he certainly rewarded his owners, returning a massive £1,926,913 in career prize-money.
He suffered a life-threatening injury to his pelvis on his racecourse debut at Roscommon, so what he went on to do was unbelievable.
Last seen running in Dundalk last year, it is still unknown what exactly happened to him but he died during his usual routine exercise today.
He will be sorely missed
“We’re gutted but he was pampered every day of his life and was never as happy as he was at the moment,” said Hogan.
“He hates wet weather and had a great spring. We were delighted with him last Thursday when he did a great piece of work up the Old Vic gallop under Leigh Roche, he was really well and healthy in himself.”
He added: “These things happen, though. He was just doing a routine bit of work ahead of his intended run this weekend at the Curragh. He’d actually been working better than he was last year. He looked superb and was in great form.”
“Anyone in racing would dream of having a horse like him,” said the trainer.
“He took us places that we’d never have been. He did things that no other Irish horse had done for a long time.
Setting global records
“He was the first Irish-trained horse to win a Group 1 in Australia. He won the Haydock Sprint Cup and finished second in it twice. No other Irish horse has won the race since Vincent O’Brien’s Abergwaun in 1972.”
Hogan added: “He also won the Prix de la Foret and was second in it twice. No Irish-trained horse has won that race since Pas De Seul in 1982. He created history and it was wonderful to have a part in it.
“He took us to Hong Kong five times, Australia, Dubai, Qatar and France, introducing us to places and people we’d never have met.
“We were so privileged to have anything to do with him and he lived a very privileged life.”
“He got five-star treatment every day of his life and he’s had a great team behind him all the way,” he said.
“He had physio at least once a week, got trips to the beach – you name it, he got it.”
The Tipperary handler added: “He never went on a walker because he didn’t like them. He was walked by hand every day and had to be exercised seven days a week – he hated time off.
“A lot of people got enjoyment from him. He enjoyed himself too. When he came in from the paddock yesterday he rolled twice, gave a buck and a squeal.
“All good things come to an end. It’s been an absolutely amazing journey.”