Pensioned French Stallion Bering Dies

Grandson of Sea-Bird II won the French Derby and ran second in the Arc de Triomphe.

Bering, a French classic winner who finished second to Dancing Brave in the 1986 Trusthouse Forte Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I), was euthanized Dec. 16 at the Head family’s Haras du Quesnay near Normandy, France, after suffering from lymphangitis, according to the Racing Post. The son of Arctic Tern out of the stakes-winning Lyphard mare Beaune was 28.

Bred in Great Britain by Alec Head and raced by his wife, Ghislaine, Bering went into the Prix du Jockey Club-Lancia (Fr-I, French Derby) following triumphs in that year’s Prix Noailles (Fr-II) and Prix Hocquart (Fr-II). Trained by the Head’s daughter, Criquette, Bering captured the 1 1/2-mile classic in course-record time, breaking a 60-year-old record.

Bering went into the Arc after winning the Prix Niel (Fr-III) that summer. Attempting to emulate his grandsire, Sea-Bird II, who won the 1965 running in effortless fashion, Bering led with a furlong to run but couldn’t hold off Dancing Brave’s relentless charge. Shahrastani, that year’s Ever Ready Epsom Derby (Eng-I) winner over Dancing Brave, finished fourth. (Shahrastani died Dec. 6.)

Bering was retired after the Arc with a record of five wins from seven starts and earnings of $544,192. He entered stud at Walmac International (John T.L. Jones Jr., general manager) near Lexington for $75,000 and stood there until he was repatriated to Haras du Quesnay following the 1992 breeding season. He was pensioned after the 2009 breeding season,

Bering has sired 77 stakes winners. His seven champions include French highweights Moiava, Vertical Speed, and Pennekamp, who won the 1995 Madagans Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) the year after his French championship. Bering’s other runners include American Post, who captured the 2004 Gainsborough Poule d’Essai des Poulains (the French Two Thousand Guineas, Fr-I), and Matiara, winner of the 1995 Dubai Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (French One Thousand Guineas, Fr-I)) and second in that year’s Prix de Diane Hermes (French Oaks, Fr-I). In North America, Matiara won the Ramona Handicap (gr. IT) at Del Mar.

As a broodmare sire, Bering is represented by such champions as 2010 English highweight Harbinger, who was the highest-weighted runner on the 2010 World Thoroughbred Rankings at 135 pounds.