Anne M. Eberhardt

Grade II Winner Williamstown Dead at 25

Williamstown had lived at Old Friends in Georgetown, Ky., since 2007.

Grade II winner Williamstown, a 25-year-old son of Seattle Slew, has died, according to a release from Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement farm in Georgetown, Ky.

A retired racehorse and sire, Williamstown had lived at Old Friends since 2007. He died Feb. 25 from complications caused by the neurological disease Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis.

Williamstown won the 1993 Withers Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park in track record time of 1:32.79 for one mile on the dirt. Grade I-placed Williamstown also won the Turfway Prevue Stakes at Turfway Park and the Youthful Breeders' Cup Stakes at Thistledown.

Out of the Northjet mare Winter Sparkle, Williamstown is the sire of grade III winner Vinemeister and 14 other stakes winners. Williamstown stood at Payson Stud in Kentucky, Silvernails Farm and Metropolitan Stud in New York, and Rockin River Ranch in Iowa before being pensioned at Old Friends.

Old Friends founder Michael Blowen said he was thrilled in 2007 when he heard of the plans to locate Williamstown at Old Friends.

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