Storm Cat, North America’s premier sire for years, has been pensioned from stallion duty because of declining fertility at the Young family’s Overbrook Farm near Lexington. According to farm official Ric Waldman, the 25-year-old son of Storm Bird impregnated just three of the 32 mares bred to him this year. His fee this year was $300,000, down from the $500,000 for which he stood from 2002-07.
Waldman added that Storm Cat’s health remains fine, “for a stallion his age.”
The announcement of Storm Cat’s retirement from breeding came a day after it was announced that Europe’s premier stallion, Sadler’s Wells, was pensioned at Coolmore Stud in Ireland. Sadler’s Wells is by Northern Dancer, sire of Storm Bird.
Storm Cat, who stood for as little as $20,000 in 1991, is represented by 160 stakes winners and the earners of $112 million. He proved an overwhelming success not only on the sire ranks, topping the year-end lists in 1999 and 2000, but also at the sales. Dozens of his offspring that were sold as yearlings commanded $1 million or more.
North America’s current premier sire of sires, Storm Cat is represented by such sons as Giant's Causeway , Tale of the Cat , and Stormy Atlantic , all three of whom rank in the top seven this year by progeny earnings. Plus, this year’s top two freshman sires, Roll Hennessy Roll and Lion Heart, are grandsons of Storm Cat.
Storm Cat’s top runners include such champions Giant’s Causeway, Storm Flag Flying, and Sweet Catomine, plus such grade I winners as Tabasco Cat, Cat Thief , Sharp Cat, and Bluegrass Cat.
Storm Cat raced for Overbrook founder, the late William T. Young, and was bred by W.T. Young Storage. He won the 1985 Young America Stakes (gr. I) and came close to winning that year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I). He didn’t enter stud at Overbrook until 1988. He quickly proved that he was a stallion worth reckoning with when he got 18 juveniles winners from 44 named juveniles from his first crop. Eight runners from that crop won stakes.
Storm Cat’s retirement came shortly after the death of his dam, Terlingua (by Secretariat). Terlingua, who was pensioned at Overbrook, was euthanized in late April at age 32.