Giant Victory, winner of the 1991 Hambletonian, died overnight between Sept. 3 and 4 in his paddock at Hanover Shoe Farms, in Hanover, Pa. He was 25.
The son of Super Bowl-Pink Cheeks showed no signs of illness when last checked on the evening of Sept. 3 and appears to have died of natural causes. He will be buried in the Hanover Shoe Farms cemetery.
Bred by Stoner Creek Stud, Giant Victory was born in Paris, Ky. and owned by Ted Gewertz and Hanover Shoe Farms.
Giant Victory also won the Breeders Crown as a 3 year old and was named Trotter of the Year. He served stallion duties at Hanover Shoe Farms starting in 1992 and was exported to Marco Folli's stallion station in Italy in 1997.
After 12 seasons in Italy, Folli offered transit back to the US and Gewertz and Hanover Shoe Farms forged an agreement for him to live out his life at Hanover.
Giant Victory, then 21, got the chance to return to the site of his shining moment in racing to lead the post parade for the 2009 Hambletonian. He carried out his task, trotting down the track and posing for photos, after a quick sideways duck away from a bouncy ride in the track's Paddock Park.
From 285 foals registered in the US, he had 200 starters, 83 2:00 winners and five winners in 1:55 or faster. His progeny collectively won $9,975,225. His top performer was Victory Margin (1:53.4, $623,329).
"After all his years racing and living on two continents, he was as nice an old stallion as you'd ever want to meet, kind in every way,” said Russell Williams, chairman of Hanover Shoe Farms. "His special talent has been to bring out the best in every human being he's ever been associated with. If there were a world record for that category, not many horses could compete with him.” (HRC)