Benburb, Canada's Horse of the Year in 1992, has died.
A retiree at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement facility near Georgetown, Ky., Benburb was euthanized due to complications from melanomas at Haygard Equine Medical Center in Lexington Aug. 1. He was 23.
An Ontario homebred for Steve Stavro's Knob Hill Stables, Benburb (Dr. Carter–Rosedon by Vice Regent) finished his racing career with seven wins out of 22 starts and earnings of $1,159,949.
In 1992 the 3-year-old Benburb stunned fans at Fort Erie racecourse in Ontario when he wore down Queen's Plate winner Alydeed on a muddy track to win the Prince of Wales Stakes.
That same year the Phil England trainee had another thrilling upset win, this time in the Molson Export Million (Can-II) where he knocked off a blue-chip field that included eventual U.S. Horse of the Year A.P. Indy, Alydeed, and grade I winner Technology.
For his efforts Benburb earned the Sovereign Award as the Canadian Horse of the Year as well as champion 3-year-old male honors.
The gray gelding had been retired at Old Friends since 2008. Catherine Perkins, farm manager of Perkins-Mackey Stables in Bourbon County, donated him to the facility. "We're so happy Benny got to live out his life as a champion," said Perkins in a release.
"We were really blessed to have retired Benburb," said Old Friends founder and president Michael Blowen in a statement. "He was the kindest of them all. He was farm manager Janet Beyersdorfer's favorite, so he was the 'teacher's pet.' When his time came, we returned his kindness. And he was grateful. He is irreplaceable."