Lyndhurst loses a legend in Sequalo
THE death of Sequalo is like losing a family member, Lyndhurst Stud manager Jeff Kruger says.
Sequalo was euthanised on Wednesday after a battle with Cushing's disease, ending the life of a sire that will likely go down as the greatest win-producer from Lyndhurst Stud.
Sequalo's tally of winners stands at 645, winning more than 2200 races and more than $40 million in prize money.
"We've been here for nearly 60 years and he was absolutely one of the best stallions to stand here," Kruger said.
"He stood here for 18 years so it is like losing one of your family."
Kruger said Sequalo was well on track to producing record wins by a horse from Lyndhurst Stud.
"His predecessor, Celestial Dancer, produced about 700 wins and he is already closing in on that," he said.
"I have no doubt that Sequalo will go past Celestial Dancer and become the greatest win-producer from Lyndhurst Stud."
Sequalo, the 24-year-old stallion had been troubled by laminitis brought on by Cushing's disease that veterinarians sourced back to a benign tumour on his pituitary gland first detected seven years ago.
"He had been battling that and then the Cushing's disease brought on laminitis," Kruger said.
"With the battles he had been having, it wasn't a shock (that he had to be euthanised) but it's still a big loss.
"Myself, (studgroom director) Griff and everyone else here is upset to lose him," he said.
Brothers Jeffrey and Griff Kruger, who operate the family-owned ...stud, managed the problem mostly by keeping the stallion on a special diet.
However, the laminitis flared just as the current breeding season was about to start.
The horse recovered sufficiently 10 days ago and he was able to cover two mares, but the condition worsened and he was taken out of service.
The decision to euthanize was taken yesterday.
"We could not let him suffer," Jeffrey Kruger said.
"He was like one of the family.
"You don't look after a horse for 18 years without becoming attached.
"It was a sad day for us."
Sequalo's tally of winners stands at 645.
They have won more than 2200 races and over $40 million.
His winners-to-runners ratio is 69 per cent.
His best performer has been Spirit Of Boom, who won the Group 1 William Reid Stakes and Doomben 10,000 this year before setting out this month on his own stallion career at Eureka Stud In Queensland.
Sequalo was Queensland's leading sire last season when he was represented by 100 winners of 165 races and $4.3 million.
It was the second time he had been leading sire, having won in 2002-03.
In the interim years, he was a constant in the top three behind Lion Hunter and Show A Heart.
Sequalo (by Rustic Amber) was among the top sprinters of his time in Victoria when trained by Charlie Waymouth.
He won the VRC Linlithgow Stakes (Gr 2), MVRC A.J.Moir Stakes (Gr 2), VATC Chirnside Stakes (Gr 2), MVRC C.S. Hayes Stakes (Gr 3), VATC H.D.F. McNeil Quality (L), Moondah Stakes (L) and five other races.
He was also runner-up in the VRC Newmarket Handicap (Gr 1) and was third in the VRC Lightning (Gr 1) and was black-type placed eight other times.
He ran a Moonee Valley course record 56.3 sec for 1000m when he won the 1994 Moir Stakes, and when photo-finished into second place by Brawny Spirit in the 1996 Newmarket Handicap the clocked stopped at a record 1:07.7 for the Flemington straight six.
Norm Waymouth, his regular jockey, often visited Lyndhurst to meet up with Sequalo while the stallion was there.
Jeffrey Kruger pointed out that he raced in an era of good sprinters, encountering and sometimes beating the likes of Mahogany, Schillaci, Hareeba, Keltrice, Sword, Strategic and Gold Ace.
It was Jeffrey who convinced his father Merrell that Lyndhurst should acquire Sequalo for stallion duties.
"I worked at studs in Ireland for two years and everytime I opened a newspaper I'd see that Thatching would have sired another winner," Kruger said.
"Thatching reminded me a lot of Celestial Dancer, who was a prolific sire of winners off Lyndhurst.
"When I came back from Ireland I said we should get a Thatching line horse because the horse was such a phenomenal winner getter.
"I thought the line would provide a good out-cross for the Northern Dancer and Star Kingdom lines."
Glen Burrows told me Sequalo was being retired from racing and was for sale.
Sequalo's sire Rustic Amber was a son of Thatching.
"We syndicated him among 45 shareholders - and at the end 40 of those orginal shareholders were still in the horse," Kruger said.
"He would not have owed any of them a penny.
"We started him on a service fee of $2500, and his service fee rose to $16,500."
Sequalo covered books of as many as 197 and 181 mares in the 2003 and 2004 springs.
Last spring he covered 75 mares, remaining popular with broodmare owners despite his years.
"He was an absolute gem of a horse to deal with," Kruger said.
"He was a wonderful, kind animal . . . just a gem.
"He was incredibly easy on mares, particularly with a maiden mare.
"He seemed to sense that a maiden mare was new."