Champion South African sire Western Winter died the morning of Sept. 12, according to a statement posted on Lammerskraal Stud's Facebook page. The 21-year-old son of Gone West was recovering from an early morning colic surgery when he broke a front leg as he attempted to stand and had to be euthanized.
Western Winter, bred in Maryland by Richard L. Golden, was acquired at the 1993 Keeneland September yearling sale by Buckram Oak Farm for $200,000 and raced exclusively in the U.S. He won the 1995 Joseph M. O'Farrell Stakes at Hialeah Park and later placed in four graded stakes, including a second in the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) and a third in the Carter Handicap (gr. I), both times to Langfuhr . His career earnings were $312,310.
After his Met Mile placing in 1997, he was retired and sent to South Africa where he began stud duty the same year.
Western Winter has sired 75 stakes winners, including 21 group I winners. He was the leading sire in South Africa in 2003, 2005, and 2006.
Among Western Winter's best runners are South African champions Ice Cube, Yard-Arm, Winter Solstice, Bad Girl Runs, Fearless, Argonaut, Lady Windermere, and What a Winter.