01/14/2014 12:09PM

St Nicholas Abbey euthanized during colic surgery

Barbara D. Livingston
St Nicholas Abbey, winner of the 2011 Breeders' Cup Turf, was euthanized on Tuesday during colic surgery in Ireland.

Nearly six months after suffering a career-ending injury while training in Ireland, multiple Grade/Group 1 winner St Nicholas Abbey's long battle against various complications ended when he was euthanized Tuesday morning during colic surgery.

The 7-year-old Montjeu horse had resided at Fethard Equine Hospital in Co. Tipperary, Ireland, since fracturing his right front pastern during a morning gallop at Ballydoyle, trainer Aidan O'Brien's base, last July. Initial surgery to fuse the pastern and stabilize the injury was successful, but just days later, St Nicholas Abbey underwent emergency colic surgery.

A month later, a weight-bearing steel pin in his injured leg broke, necessitating its removal. He then developed what was termed a "life-threatening" case of laminitis in his left front foot in November. However, in recent weeks, attending veterinarians had expressed optimism in the horse's recovery, before the latest, and ultimately fatal, setback.

"Regretfully, St Nicholas Abbey has lost his brave battle after suffering a colic this morning," Coolmore Stud announced in a statement. "Surgery revealed a severe strangulating colon torsion that was unviable, and he had to be euthanized on humane grounds. 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.

"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," the statement continued. "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."

St Nicholas Abbey, owned in partnership by the Coolmore-affiliated team of Susan Magnier, Derrick Smith, and Michael Tabor, captured the 2011 Breeders' Cup Turf at Churchill Downs and last year became the first three-time winner of England’s Group 1 Coronation Cup. He also won the 2013 Dubai Sheema Classic and the 2009 Racing Post Trophy for a total of six Grade or Group 1 victories. His multiple Grade/Group 1 placings included a second to Cirrus des Aigles in the 2012 Sheema Classic, a third behind Little Mike and Point of Entry in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Turf, and consecutive thirds in the 2011 and 2012 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. In total, he won 9 of 21 lifetime starts for earnings of $7,863,492.

St Nicholas Abbey was bred in Ireland by Barton Bloodstock and Villiers Syndicate.

John Murray More than 1 year ago
40 positive posts with many + thumbs up for St Nick. Anon, maybe turf horses last longer because of the safer surface. Up in Canada, Woodbine's turf course is recognized as the best in NA and their Poly has the lowest rate of critical incidents, btw one of their triple crown races is on the turf and maybe the Belmont should be transferred to the green, which might be a positive incentive for turf breeders. The last decade of Belmonts have been little but a staggering group of plodders, especially last year. Triple Crown times were awfully pedestrian. Green is good. As Jonie Mitchell sang, you do not miss it, 'til it's gone' long gone!
anonymous More than 1 year ago
One less Euro horse to have to hear about. I can't believe the purses they pay for breeders cup turf races- insanely inflated. Why not use that money to plump up the triple crown prep races, instead of paying older horses who are past that point and also letting it go to Euro horses who specialize in turf and ballet? Keep the money and the winners here, America. Forget about far away racing, imprive it here. All work is local.
Rob Yetman More than 1 year ago
I see why your anonymous. You must be a real moron, you comments give that away. You are unable to spell simple words like "improve." Guess you never made it past the second grade. Or maybe you quit after trying it for the tenth time. St Nicholas Abbey was a great horse and better then the vast majority you see in this country. Group I winner on three continents. But I doubt you know what a continent is or have ever counted as high as three
Dennis Ochs More than 1 year ago
I remember his Breeders Cup win. I was there. It is so sad. Such a great horse. RIP
John More than 1 year ago
He ran one amazing Breeders Cup race Ill never forget God Bless "horsey " RIP you were a CHAMPION !
Solon Lechonitis More than 1 year ago
Extremely sad.I had a particular love for this brave Champion. My wish someday to visit him did not materialize.We will never Forget you. S.Lechonitis
sassypratt More than 1 year ago
St nicholas abbey was a strong and brave fighter that will never be forgotten! May you run free in heaven with champions, big boy!
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Maybe because Nick made just one start at 3 after being one of the winter book faves for the classics, it seemed to me that he wasn't celebrated in Europe the way that we here in the states would have. He wasn't Frankel, but he was a big time runner and would have been a standout talent in the marathon turf division in North America. This is just too tragic.
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
So sad to lose this tremendous horse RIP.
Amy Hurley More than 1 year ago
Sad, sad news - again. Damn laminitis and colic. I'm certainly not a veterinarian, but it just doesn't seem like these illnesses should kill so many horses. In any event, St. Nicholas Abbey was a warrior with great spirit, and it is very sad that he finally lost the battle. RIP.
Wendy Parrish More than 1 year ago
Farewell sweet boy.