Legendary chaser Kauto Star dies after fall in paddock

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The LEGENDARY chaser Kauto Star has been put down after sustaining injuries as the result of a fall in his paddock.

The Clive Smith-owned superstar was hospitalised and given intensive medical treatment at the Valley Equine Hospital in Upper Lambourn with the team working hard over the weekend to try and save his life after Wednesday’s fall.

He was put down at 3pm on Monday, in the presence of Smith and veterinary assistant Hattie Lawrence, when his condition deteriorated.

Smith said: “I am devastated. He had been turned out in Laura’s [Collett – rider] paddock, as has been done normally with him at this time for years, and he looks to have jumped something, and stumbled, we’re not really sure, but he injured himself – and it became obvious it was serious.

“The vets at Valley Equine Hospital did all they could but it became increasingly apparent the injuries were too serious and that it was in the horse’s interests to be put down.

“I have to say Hattie Lawrence and the vets at Valley Equine Hospital did all they could and more. Kauto was kept comfortable throughout and not in pain when the decision to put him down was taken.”

In her report detailing the injuries that resulted in the dual Gold Cup winner being put down, Lawrence wrote: “Three bones appear to have been fractured, the ilial shaft, tuber ischi and the greater trochanter of the femur.

“There also appears to have been a fracture to the spine at the base of the neck, probably between C6 and T2. This ultimately was the most significant injury as it produced the paralysis that made it impossible for him to stand.

“The secondary problems that contributed were pneumonia as a result of being cross tied and unable to put his head down, and laminitis which was the result of the toxins in his body and having to stand for so long.

“It is always very upsetting when we are unable to save any horse but when it is a horse which means so much and has given so much pleasure to so many people it is particularly sad.

“Our thoughts are with all those associated with the horse and in particular Clive Smith who was involved throughout his treatment and was present when the decision was taken to humanely euthanase the horse. ”

The 15-year-old won 23 of his 41 races, including winning the King George five times and Cheltenham Gold Cup twice.

Bought from France by Smith and trained by Paul Nicholls, Kauto Star won 16 Grade 1s. His first victory at the highest level came in the 2005 Tingle Creek at Sandown, a race he won again the following year.

Kauto Star won his first King George at Kempton in 2006, winning every running through to 2011 bar the 2010 renewal at the course which bears his statue.

There is also a statue of the great horse at Haydock, where he won four Betfair Chases between 2006 and 2011.

His Gold Cup victories came in 2007 and 2009, when he became the first horse to reclaim the Gold Cup.

“Article courtesy of Racing Post”

Artwork linked to Kauto Star can be found here.

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