01/07/2015 11:01AM

New York-bred millionaire Thunder Rumble dies following colic

Barbara D. Livingston
Grade 1 winner Thunder Rumble, a resident of Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division in New York, died on Jan. 6 at age 26.

New York-bred millionaire and Travers Stakes winner Thunder Rumble died on Jan. 6 following complications from an episode of colic at Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division in Greenfield Center, N.Y. The son of Thunder Puddles was 26.

Thunder Rumble, who was trained for the majority of his career by the late Richard O’Connell, captured three stakes races in the winter and early spring of 1992 at Aqueduct before a virus sent him to the sidelines during the spring classics. He returned for the major summer events at Saratoga Race Course, sweeping the Jim Dandy and the Travers.

An injury sustained while finishing seventh in the 1992 Breeders’ Cup Classic cost Thunder Rumble the 1993 season. He returned in 1994 to win the Saratoga Cup Handicap, retiring at the end of that season with eight wins from 19 starts and earnings of $1,047,552.

Thunder Rumble entered stud in New York, where he stood his first four seasons before moving to Albemarle Stud in Free Union, Va. He returned to New York in 2002 to stand at Keane Stud in Amenia, N.Y., until he was pensioned in 2006. He arrived at Old Friends at Cabin Creek, a satellite for Georgetown, Ky.-based retirement organization Old Friends, in December 2009.

Thunder Rumble has sired 56 winners who have earned more than $3.9 million combined, led by stakes winner Frisky Thunder and stakes-placed winners On the Fan, Rumbling Girl, Deputy Shaker, Burning Rambo, December Thunder, and The Roscoe Rumble. He also sired Real Charmer, a champion in the Dominican Republic.

Thunder Rumble was buried at Old Friends at Cabin Creek.

“He was the most magnificent stallion I have ever met and am so thankful to have known him and loved him,” Cabin Creek’s JoAnn Pepper wrote in a statement on the farm’s Facebook page. “He is buried here, in his favorite place, under his pines. Be free, my friend, till we meet again.”

Nancy Treusch More than 1 year ago
So sad. I own his 2000 colt Thunder Bumpers. Looks much like Thunder.
Harvey Connors More than 1 year ago
I just saw him on the 3rd of Jan. it was a cold day and I am in a wheelchair. My girlfriend ran up to take pic of him. She told a man there I wanted to get a closer look at him. The man walk Thunder up closer to me as I was several yards away. About halfway to me more fans had stopped to visit with him. I couldn't bare the cold any longer and left happy with his picture. And happy to donate in his birthday box at Cabin Creek. God Bless those at Cabin Creek. R. I. P. Thunder.
Lucy Maynard More than 1 year ago
Thunder was one of my favorites at Old Friends. He reminded me so much of my 23 year old Thoroughbred, James. It was a joy to share his day on Saturday, January 3rd trotting with him up and down his fence line and seeing him enjoying all the visitors. I will miss him, but will meet him again in Heaven. Rest in peace my dear friend.
Dory Funaro More than 1 year ago
I was so happy to have been to Cabin Creek on Saturday to celebrate the thoroughbreds' birthdays and to see Thunder. I'm so thankful for Joann and Mark and all the dedicated volunteers at the Cabin Creek division for giving these champions the attention, love and happy lives they all deserve. Rest in peace, Thunder. I know we'll see you again in the Heavenly Herd.
Neil Dorsman More than 1 year ago
I saw him a few years ago at Old Friends and it was hard to believe he was as old as he was. I remember collecting on him in the Jim Dandy and Travers. Glad he wa able to spend he last years at Old Friends.
Michael Blowen More than 1 year ago
Thank you Joanne and everyone at Cabin Creek for caring so deeply about Thunder. They always seem to give us more than we can give them. But that doesn't stop us from trying. He was very lucky to have Joanne in his life.
Mary Eddy More than 1 year ago
He was just so amazing.
Mary Seaworld Fan More than 1 year ago
I'm so thankful to have known him. As a volunteer, it's impossible to not get attached. Thunder was so very special and we will miss him terribly. It's hard to imagine a kingdom without its king.
mike More than 1 year ago
Am very sorry to hear about him. I live five hrs from OF in Georgetown and visit few times a year. Also,I've donated there as well.