Jade Hunter, a multiple grade I winner who sired 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri, was euthanized Sunday, Jan. 23, at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute near Lexington because of complications from colic.
The 27-year-old son of Mr. Prospector had been pensioned at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility, near Georgetown, Ky., since 2009.
“Jade Hunter was a very proud and confident stallion with an intelligence that matched his beauty,” said Old Friends president and founder Michael Blowen. “It's very hard on all his caretakers to lose him and (fellow pensioned stallion) Polish Navy (who died Jan. 6) so close together.”
E.A. Cox was the breeder of Kentucky-bred Jade Hunter, who was produced from Irish-bred Jadana (by Pharly). Jade Hunter was bought for $700,000 by Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley Stud Management at the 1985 Keeneland July yearling sale.
Racing for Sheikh Mohammed, Jade Hunter won four races and ran second in the Widener Handicap (gr. I) and the Seminole Handicap (gr. II), both run in December 1987. Following the Widener, he raced for Allen E. Paulson and Bruce McNall's Summa Stable, winning both starts. He captured the 1988 Donn Handicap (gr. I) and the Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. I), defeating Cryptoclearance in both races.
Jade Hunter was retired in 1988 at 4 after he fractured his right front cannon bone during a workout. He exited with six wins from 14 races and earnings of $407,260. He had been trained throughout his career by Richard Lundy.
Jade Hunter, who entered stud at Paulson’s former Brookside Farms near Versailles, Ky., is represented by 46 stakes winners and the earners of more than $42 million.
Paulson was the breeder of Azeri. Racing for Paulson’s Trust, Azeri won the 2002 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I) and was voted Horse of the Year and champion older female. She repeated as divisional champion the next two years.
Jade Hunter sired additional grade I winners Diazo, Global Hunter, Stuka, and Yagli, plus several other graded winners.
Jade Hunter also stood at John Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms near Lexington and at Questroyal at Dutchess Views Farm in New York state. He also shuttled overseas.
Jade Hunter was donated to Old Friends by the Paulson Trust. A memorial service for him and Polish Navy is planned for the spring at Old Friends.