Horse Chestnut, a South African Horse of the Year, will be shipped out of the United States to take up stud duties at the Rupert family’s Drakenstein Stud Farm in the Western Cape in South Africa. Horse Chestnut stood his entire career at the Hancock family’s Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky.
“Mrs. Gaynor Rupert is sentimental about racing, she’s a fan of Horse Chestnut, and it is an honor for all of us to be bringing him back to South Africa,” Drakenstein stud manager Ross Fuller told Mikedekockracing.com.
By Fort Wood out of the Col Pickering mare London Wall, Horse Chestnut was bred and owned by Harry and Bridget Oppenheimer. Foaled in 1995, Horse Chestnut won eight of nine South African races, including the Triple Crown, and his sole U.S. start, the 2000 Broward Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park. He entered stud at Claiborne in 2000.
As a stallion, Horse Chestnut sired nine stakes winners and 17 stakes-placed runners. A daughter, Lucifer’s Stone, was a grade I winner on grass. His runners have earned $8.6 million.
“I am delighted that Horse Chestnut is returning to South Africa, albeit nine years later than it should have been,’’ said the horse’s trainer, Mike de Kock.
Robin Bruss of Northfields Bloodstock, who brokered the deal with Claiborne, said: "Some shares in Horse Chestnut will be released for sale and the stud fee for 2009 is R10,000 (about $1,000) nom+R40,000 live foal. His book is limited to 60 mares.”