Wildcat Heir, Florida's reigning stallion of the year, was euthanized the morning of Jan. 5 after suffering from a severe bout of colic, Journeyman Stud owner Brent Fernung said.
Wildcat Heir was Florida's leading sire in 2010, 2011, and 2013, as well as 2014. When Wildcat Heir's first crop raced in 2009, he set a North American record by siring 39 2-year-old winners that year.
He followed that breakout year by being North America's leading second-crop sire of 2010 by money earned. In 2014 Wildcat Heir led all Florida stallions and ranked 24th in the nation with earnings of more than $6.2 million.
Wildcat Heir, a 15-year-old horse by Forest Wildcat, was represented most recently by grade I stakes winner Heir Kitty, grade II stakes winner Wild Dude, and stakes winners Rainbow Heir , Daring Kathy, and Coco's Wildcat.
With six crops racing, Wildcat Heir is the sire of 311 winners, including 27 stakes winners and nine graded stakes winners, from 404 starters that have amassed more than $26.7 million in earnings.
Wildcat Heir, who was out of the Pentelicus mare Penniless Heiress, was a grade I-winning sprinter with a 6-4-0 career line from 12 starts and $424,460 in earnings. His career-defining win was the the 2004 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Race Course.
"We're truly saddened by the loss," Fernung said. "Wildcat Heir was the impetus for us starting Journeyman Stud in the first place. I feel fortunate to have been able to be associated with such a fine animal these past eight years."
Wildcat Heir was a full brother to two-time grade III winner Forest Heiress and stakes winner Forest Heir and a half brother to stakes winner The Hunk.