Ontrack’s 2017 New Zealand Racing Tour will have a moment of sadness with the loss of one of the most successful and versatile stallions with the death on Monday of Rich Hill Stud's Pentire.
The Ontrack horse racing tour leaves Australia on Thursday and visits Rich Hill as part of the tour’s stud visits.
The English-bred Pentire was the Walton farm's foundation sire and subsequently made his mark from his base near Matamata at the elite level throughout Australasia and further afield.
"He was 25, but I thought he was going to live forever - he was still serving and so healthy and well," Rich Hill studmaster John Thompson said.
"We noticed after lunch on Monday he looked a bit uncomfortable and I got a bad feeling about it, in 20 years we'd only had the vet to him twice.
"We got him to the clinic and he went into surgery, but sadly he didn't wake up."
Ontrack Managing Director Grant Morgan said Pentire looked in magnificent order during the Ontrack Racing Tour last year.
“He really looked magnificent and belied his years. It was always a pleasure to visit Rich Hill and see Pentire and this year will certainly be tinged with a bit of sadness at the loss of a great horse,” said Grant Morgan.
“Rich Hill is a highlight of our annual racing tour and Pentire was certainly a great ambassador for the stud when paraded for our annual racing tour members.”
Pentire has left 16 individual Group One winners, nine of them in Australia. His progeny won 33 Group One's, 13 across the Tasman, from 1200 to 3200m with his son Mufhasa a 10-time winner at the highest level, and Xcellent was another outstanding representative with multiple Group One victories and a Melbourne Cup placing while Prince Of Penzance sparked Rich Hill celebrations three years ago when he won the Flemington feature.
Pentire's Group One roll of honour also features Xtravagant, Zarita, Rangirangdoo, Pantani, Art Success, Penny Gem, Pentane, Recurring, Markus Maximus, Say No More, Chenille, Volatile Mix and Ferlax.
Pentire shuttled between Japan and New Zealand in the early years and, following two shuttle seasons to Germany, he was permanently repatriated to Rich Hill in 2005. He was represented by stakes winners in both Japan and Germany and winners in 24 other countries.
Pentire was laid to rest at Rich Hill on Tuesday.