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Colic claims life of Irish star

1/15/2014

Six-time Grade/Group 1 winner St Nicholas Abbey died the morning of Jan. 14 due to complications from colic, Coolmore Stud reported.

"Surgery revealed a severe strangulating colon torsion that was unviable and he had to be euthanized on humane grounds," Coolmore representatives stated in a release. "This is extremely unfortunate as St Nicholas Abbey had been in terrific form, the laminitis was resolving very well, and the fracture had healed better than expected."

The son of Montjeu fractured his right foreleg while training at Ballydoyle in Ireland for Aidan O'Brien July 23 and subsequently underwent surgery. He developed laminitis in October, and veterinarians expressed concern that the condition could progress to further sinking of the pedal bone in his left front foot.

But a Dec. 10 update from Coolmore Stud spoke positively of the recovery of the 7-year-old horse and the operation had an upbeat outlook on his chances for survival.

"Coolmore would like to thank the surgeons, the international experts, and all the staff at Fethard Equine Hospital who gave him such excellent care 24/7," Coolmore stated Jan. 14. "We would also like to thank the multitude of well-wishers for all the cards and messages of support for St Nicholas Abbey. He will be buried in the graveyard here at Coolmore."

Unplaced in only three of his 21 career starts, St Nicholas Abbey had nine wins, two seconds, and seven third-place finishes to his credit while earning $7,863,492. His victories include the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Turf, Investec Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup (three times), Racing Post Trophy, and Dubai Sheema Classic Presented by Longines, all Grade/Group 1 events.

St Nicholas Abbey, bred in Ireland by Barton Bloodstock and Villiers Syndicate, was produced from the Sure Blade mare Leaping Water. He was campaigned in all his starts by Coolmore's Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith.