Obituary: Racehorse and sire Tinner's Way, one of the last offspring of the legendary Secretariat, has died. He was 27 years old. He had lived at the Old Friends retirement farm for horses since 2010.
Michael Blowen, founder and President of Old Friends, made the announcement of his passing this morning. Old Friends resident veterinarian Dr. Bryan Waldridge attributed the cause of death to acute onset of severe neurologic disease. "Tinner had been treated in the past for EPM," added Waldridge, "and he did have some lingering neurologic effects from a previous infection."_____
Bred and owned by Juddmonte Farms, Tinners Way (Secretariat - Devon Diva, The Minstrel) began his career in Europe, where he won three of his seven starts in England and France, including the City of York Stakes and the Milcars Temple Fortune Stakes on the turf as a 3-year-old.
In the U.S. as a 4-year-old, Tinner joined California-based trainer Bobby Frankel's barn, and under the Hall of Famer's watchful eye the striking chestnut won the grade one $1 million Pacific Classic in 1995, beating future Hall-of-Famer Best Pal and posting a record-equaling mile and a quarter of 1:59 2/5 , a time reminiscent of his sire's Kentucky Derby run.
Tinners Way had a repeat victory in the '95 Pacific Classic, where he defeated 1994's Breeders' Cup Classic champion Concern, and he earned yet another grade-one win the following year in The Californian.
Throughout his career Tinner's Way faced off against numerous Old Friends pensioners, including Awad, Kiri's Clown, and Alphabet Soup.
Speaking of racehorses, how old is considered old in thoroughbreds?
Waldridge treats the residents of Old Friends in Georgetown, Ky., which always includes some number of geriatric Thoroughbreds. Unsurprisingly, Waldridge said, a horse's life expectancy also has a lot to do with their health history. Horses coming off the racetrack with more wear-and-tear injuries may see those injuries flare into problematic arthritis more quickly and viciously than those that retired sound. Past illness can also leave a horse susceptible to complications later; a horse that has recovered from kidney disease may be more vulnerable years later to a recurrence, as is true for colic. There are also individual differences; some horses are more sensitive than others to environmental changes that could cause colic._____
Waldridge also believes genetics and attitude have something to do with it.
“I think some people just genetically live longer and I think it's true in horses,” said Waldridge. “Gulch looked like he was going to live forever until he got cancer and then it was over in no time. He was one of the oldest, toughest horses I ever saw.”
Gulch, a longtime resident of Old Friends, was euthanized in 2016 at the age of 32.
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