It was an extremely sad occasion on Friday December 27th 2013 when MONSIGNOR was put down peacefully and with dignity at North Farm Stud, the home of HEROS Charity.
Earlier in the year he sustained an injury to his left fore tendon and suffered further damage to the same leg in field this morning. The injury was too bad to consider putting him through any more, especially as he had endured endless box rest earlier in the year, something he was not fond of at all.
His record as a racehorse was almost without fault, winning 8 of his 10 races at top level. These included back to back wins at Cheltenham festival, winning the Champion Bumper in 1999, followed by the Royal and Sun Alliance Novice Hurdle in 2000 in record time. He is one of the few horses to have beaten BEST MATE and did so by 2 ½ lengths in the 2000 Tolworth Hurdle. Hopes were very high for him to have a wonderful chasing career but unfortunately this did not materialise due to a tendon injury.
He retired when it became obvious that the injury was not going to heal sufficiently for his return to racing.
MONSIGNOR was not only a fabulous horse in his racing days but has been a tremendous horse for HEROS and for ex-racehorses. In his time with HEROS he had been painted for anatomy demonstrations, paraded at Lambourn’s Open Day and Epsom trainers Open Day and been QIPCO’s ‘Meet The Racehorse’ for three years for the British Champion Series. In 2012 HEROS was tremendously honoured to be asked if MONSIGNOR could carry the Olympic Torch and Frankie Dettori around Ascot. He did so magnificently and rose to the occasion as always. He has also met ‘The War Horse’ puppet and, they said, he was the only horse to whinnie to the puppet as it left the Ascot parade ring without him.
Grace Muir CEO says: “I have known him for what seems like forever and he will leave a huge gap in our lives, 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.”
Arrived at North Farm Stud: 1 August 2006
1994 chestnut gelding
By: Mister Lord Out of : Dooney’s Daughter
Trainer when racing: Mr Mark Pitman
Race record: 10 runs, 8 wins & 1 third.
Total Prize Money: £114,583
Highlight of Career: Won Royal Sun Alliance Hurdle at Cheltenham breaking course record in 2000
HE WAS A HERO ON THE TRACK AND WILL ALWAYS REMAIN OUR HEROS AMBASSADOR.