04/25/2014 1:44PM

Grade 1 winner Unbridled Belle dead after foaling complications


Grade 1 winner and millionaire Unbridled Belle died in February in Japan after foaling complications, Kate Hunter, a communications manager in the Japanese bloodstock industry, confirmed.

The 11-year-old Broken Vow mare was purchased by Haruya Yoshida’s Oiwake Farm for $400,000 at the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale earlier this year. She died from foaling complications while in quarantine Feb. 17, two days after delivering a Bernardini foal. The foal also died.

A minor stakes winner at 3, Unbridled Belle blossomed as an older mare, winning the Grade 1 Beldame Stakes and Grade 2 Delaware Handicap, the latter by 7 3/4 lengths, in 2007. The field she defeated in the Beldame included eventual Eclipse Award champion Ginger Punch and multiple Grade 1 winner Balance. Unbridled Belle went on to win the following season’s Grade 3 Obeah Stakes, a race she again won in 2009, along with the Grade 3 Turnback the Alarm Handicap, and was second in the Beldame. She placed in seven other stakes, including three Grade 1 events, and concluded her career with eight wins from 25 starts and earnings of $1,909,823.

Unbridled Belle produced a 3-year-old Medaglia d'Oro filly, Love d'Oro, who resides in Ireland; and a 2-year-old Distorted Humor filly, Ma Belle Amore, who resides in Russia.

Diane Elhard More than 1 year ago
So sad. I hate when they die like this. IMHO, they should not have bred her again. Retired her and let her live out her life, being a nanny to the other foals with Mom's in her pasture. I'm not going to pass judegment on the the Japenese or the farm, who knows what exactly happened. I just would not have bred her again knowing her previous troubles.
Ida Lee More than 1 year ago
I did not know Unbridled Belle died and so tragically. I'm just devastated. So beautiful and so talented. I just loved her...RIP Sweetheart...you will not be forgotten.
Susan Crane-Sundell More than 1 year ago
She had had a difficult pregnancy from her last mating.She should have been given a break from breeding. She lost her Bernardini foal for 2013 due to complications. So now breed her again to same sire and lose the second foal and her. Her life was worth more than as a broodmare. She had distinguished herself on the track time and time again. Can we not honor a mare for her service instead of putting her life at risk? Secondarily, long transport is not good for mares coming to term, especially those known to have experienced birthing complications in the past. She should never have been transported with less than 5-6 weeks left in her high-risk pregnancy. Mares who are unduly stressed have a tendency to deliver early. Ah the almighty dollar. Now there is no foal, no broodmare, no valuable "product". Unnecessary suffering has occurred. Greed has spoken.
Claire Baker More than 1 year ago
Who the hell ships a pregnant mare that far that close to her foaling date?? And was she now allowed to have vet care as she was stuck in quarantine?
Al Bowman More than 1 year ago
Horrible news. I hate when they send them to Japan, or anywhere out of the country. The stress of the travel always bothered me. I would never send a pregnant mare anywhere. Actually, since the Exceller and Ferdinand murders, and that is what they were, I get disgusted whenever a horse leaves this country. We are bad enough here as it is. I do not trust any of these countries with our horses. I know it is not politically correct these days to say that, but that is how I feel.
Gaye Goodwin More than 1 year ago
Whatever. If they couldn't take her out of quarantine "in time", that means no one noticed she was in distress. Why was she in quarantine in that stage of her pregnancy? Something is rotten in Denmark (or Japan) and no amount of excuse making will clear the stench.
KeibaKate More than 1 year ago
I replied in some comments but I'm gonna do it here too. Horse racing has and always will be a global sport. That is one of my favorite things about it. Isn't it awesome that Sunday Silence, a stallion no one in the US wanted is now a LEGENDARY stallion even if it is in another country? Since the dawn of thoroughbred racing, importing and exporting the best of the best has been what we do! It helps strengthen and diversify the breed. Just because a horse is sold to Japan or Russia doesn't mean they are gone. Following them won't be as easy, sure, but they are not gone. They are going out into the world to make it better. Silver Charm was sent to Japan in 2004. The same year I came to Japan as a student. That opened my eyes to the world of Japanese racing. I didn't know anything about it before. But I learned, I followed, and now I work in it! You can follow Japanese racing at japanracing.jp or search for your exported favorites at jbis.jp . There are resources out there to keep you in touch with your favorites if you are at all interested in trying. I did! This wont be the last time something bad happens to a horse, a wrong step playing in the paddock can be the end of them. You can't blame anyone for natural misfortunes. Unbridled Belle had a still born in 2013, before being bred back to the same sire and having this still born which ended up rupturing her uterus(according to a comment I saw from the farm representative). "Couldn't take her out of Quarantine" could mean a lot of things. If the rupture was bad enough, perhaps they couldn't take her out IN TIME. I highly doubt the farm, which paid a lot of money for this mare, wouldn't try to do all they could to save her. I am not familiar with the quarantine facility, where it was located, or the protocol for when a horse gets sick in quarantine, but there could be a lot of factors that contributed to her being unable to make it into surgery. This is unfortunate but you can't hate on anyone because you have no idea what they tried to do for her in the moment. The Yoshida family takes VERY VERY good care of their mares and stallions. I know this first hand. If you ever have any questions about Japanese racing, feel free to contact me. -Kate Hunter
LorraeWtf More than 1 year ago
Thank you Kate. When I saw the original report it seemed a miscommunication had occurred, a difference in language. Japan has a great racing industry and would not jeopardize that by mistreating any of their expensive thoroughbreds. Bad things happen to good horses all the time unfortunately. We need a wider world view of racing if the sport is to survive in the USA.
Karla Georges More than 1 year ago
Stop sending or selling to butchers outside the U.S., It's bad enough here for horses being seen as only a commodity, or cash cow. When does it stop!
KeibaKate More than 1 year ago
Karla, I can assure you that you are wrong. Oiwake Farm is owned by one of the Yoshida Brothers (the other brothers own Northern Farm and Shadai Farm) and they do EVERYTHING for their horses. Mares die from foaling complications all over the world, all over the US. The Yoshida family takes pride in how good they treat their horses, bringing in specialist from around the world. They spare no expense when it comes to their care. I've been to their farms, I have met them. They don't butcher as you put it.
Kyri Freeman More than 1 year ago
To me, this is an example of why it's dangerous to let so much of our best stock be sold out of the country. Not only has Unbridled Belle died (which is very sad, but surely could have happened in America just as easily), but her 3YO may or may not ever have an influence in the U.S. and her 2YO almost certainly will never be seen or heard from again. We can't just count on these great mares having other relatives who can pick up the slack in American breeding when so many of them are sold away.
KeibaKate More than 1 year ago
Horse racing has and always will be a global sport. Since the beginning top class horses have been sold abroad. That is how you get a diverse and strong breed! The Euros that came over in the 1800s and early 1900s helped make US racing what it is today. The US bloodstock has helped turn Japanese racing into the global power it is today. Every time a Japanese race horse win it is a testament to the quality of US racing. Hana's Goal(JPN) winning a G1 today in Australia and Lord Kanaloa(JPN) winning in Hong Kong. You can follow them! They are not gone, they are out in the world making it better. They might be out of sight but they are only out of mind because you are not looking at the sport as a global affair. If you ever have a question ask me.
Geral John Pinault More than 1 year ago
This is very sad news indeed...