05/02/2014 11:09AM

Tribal Rule, leading California sire, dies at 18


Tribal Rule, one of California’s leading sires, died Thursday at Ballena Vista Farm in Ramona, Calif., after suffering a heart attack. He was 18 years old.

The son of Storm Cat was homebred in Kentucky by Martin and Pam Wygod, and won two of four starts with two seconds over three seasons of racing for earnings of $77,600. He was trained by Julio Canani.

Tribal Rule suffered a sesamoid injury in his final start, and retired to the Wygods’ River Edge Farm in Buellton, Calif., for the 2003 breeding season. He moved to Ballena Vista Farm in 2010 after the Wygods closed the California wing of their breeding operation.

Tribal Rule was versatile at stud, finishing at or near the top of the California sire lists in multiple categories during the past several years. He also gained national notice as a prominent sire of synthetic-surface runners, finishing fourth among North American sires in that category last year and leading the synthetic list this year through May 1 with progeny earnings of over $540,000.

Tribal Rule also led the California general sire list for 2014 through May 1, with progeny earnings of over $1.68 million. His runners overall have bankrolled more than $21 million.
His leading runners include Grade 1 winner Georgie Boy, Grade 2 winners Ciao Bella Luna and Ethnic Dance, Grade 3 winners Alphie’s Bet and Tribal Spy, and Grade 1-placed Rush With Thunder.

“It’s a very sad day for the Thoroughbred industry and more regionally here in California, as Tribal Rule has ranked at the top of the sire lists year after year and will continue to be a force in California for many years to come,” said Donald Cohn, owner of Ballena Vista Farm. “My heart goes out to all that were around this magnificent horse. He was a popular sire and I wish to thank all the breeders whose continued support contributed to his success at stud.”

Cohn said that Tribal Rule will be buried at Ballena Vista Farm.