Jade Hunter: sired US Horse of the Year Azeri (above)PICTURE: Getty Images
Death of Jade Hunter, sire of champion Azeri
GRADE 1 winner Jade Hunter, who later hit the heights as the sire of US champion Azeri, was put down on Sunday at the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute near Lexington, Kentucky, following complications from colic.
The son of Mr. Prospector was 27 and had been living in retirement at the Old Friends retirement facility in Kentucky since the summer of2009.
"Jade Hunter was a very proud and confident stallion with an intelligence that matched his beauty," said Michael Blowen, president of Old Friends. "It's very hard on all his caretakers to lose him and PolishNavy so close together."
Polish Navy, the sire of 1993 Kentucky Derby winner Sea Hero, died on January 9.
Purchased for $700,000 at the Keeneland July Yearling Sale by Darley Stud Management, Jade Hunter was trained by Richard Lundy to carry Sheikh Mohammed's colours to victory in four races as well as a runner-up placing in the Grade 1 Widener Handicap.
He was sold following that effort to Allen Paulson and Summa Stable, for whom he won a pair of Grade 1 races, the Donn and Gulfstream Park Handicaps.
Jade Hunter retired to Brookside Farm in Kentucky, then under the ownership of Paulson, before moving within the state to Hill ‘n' Dale Farm. He spent his final three seasons at Questroyal Farm in New York standing for $5,000.
To date he is the sire 46 stakes winners, led by US Horse of the Year Azeri, who won 11 Grade 1 races during her four-season career. He also sired Grade 1 winners Diazo, Global Hunter, Stuka and Yagli.
Bred by E A Cox, Jade Hunter was out of Marigold Stakes winner Jadana, an Irish-bred Pharly half-sister to Dewhurst Stakes winner Monteverdi.