02/26/2015 5:34PM

Williamstown euthanized at Old Friends

Barbara D. Livingston
Williamstown, who had spent recent years at Old Friends Thoroughbred retirement farm, was euthanized Wednesday at age 25.

Graded stakes winner Williamstown, a resident of the Old Friends Thoroughbred retirement farm in Georgetown, Ky., was euthanized on Feb. 25 due to complications from the neurological disease equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). The son of Seattle Slew was 25.

Williamstown won five of 24 career starts for earnings of $360,884. He posted his biggest victory in the Grade 2 Withers Stakes at Belmont Park in 1993, recording a track-record time of 1:32.79 for the mile. He won or placed in nine other stakes, including a runner-up effort in the Grade 1 Jerome Handicap.

At stud, Williamstown sired 199 winners for combined earnings of $12,981,593. His 15 stakes winners are led by Grade 3 winners Vinemeister and Eze.

Williamstown was pensioned from stud duty in 2007 due to infertility. The Central Kentucky insurance firm Aubrey Insurance took possession of the horse and tried to place him in an equine program at University of Minnesota, but he did not fit their needs. Plans to euthanize Williamstown were underway when an employee at Aubrey contacted Old Friends founder and president Michael Blowen to place the pensioned stallion.

"I'll never forget the day, nearly eight years ago, when a woman named Lisa called from Frank Aubrey Insurance and asked us if we had room for a horse named Williamstown," Blowen said. "I was thrilled. I had visited Williamstown years earlier at Saratoga when Peter Vestal trained him. Over the years, his kind owner, Peter Willmott visited Williamstown many times and was a generous supporter.

"Like his sire, Seattle Slew, Williamstown knew he could be very imperious," Blowen added. "But he earned it, and he'll be missed."