04/01/2013 11:09PM

New Zealand sire Faltaat dies at 23


Faltaat, a leading sire in New Zealand and a champion sprinter in the United Arab Emirates, died at Westbury Stud in Karaka, N.Z., on March 30 at age 23.

“He was 23 years old so we all understand these things do happen, but it’s very sad to see him go,” Westbury Stud general manager Russell Warwick said in a statement posted on the farm’s website. 

“The boys went out to get him in on Saturday afternoon and he was dead in his paddock. It couldn’t have happened more quickly or unexpectedly. If it has to happen, then it’s best to go out that way and he didn’t suffer.”

A son of Mr. Prospector out of champion Epitome, Faltaat was bred in Kentucky by a syndicate including Jonabell Farm and J. Mack Robinson. A half-brother to two stakes winners, including $2 million-earner Essence of Dubai, he earned champion sprinter honors in the United Arab Emirates just prior to the unveiling of the World Cup races.

Faltaat began his stallion career at Westbury Stud in 1996 after retiring with 13 wins—two in stakes racs—from 20 starts and $147,038 in earnings. He briefly shuttled to the U.S. in the late 1990s.

Faltaat’s runners have bankrolled over $21 million through April 1. Recently, he earned notice as the sire of Hong Kong champion sprinter Little Bridge, who became the first New Zealand-bred winner at the prestigious Royal Ascot meeting in 2012 when he captured the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes. His other top runners include 2003 New Zealand Horse of the Year Tit for Taat and New Zealand Group 1 winners Sedecrem and Sight Winner, and in the U.S., multiple stakes winners That Tat and On to Richmond.