Champion First-Season sire dies

Northern Meteor, who was today set to be officially crowned Australia’s Champion First-Season Sire, has died.

Widden Stud, where he stood, announced last night that he had died suddenly from a “swift and fatal attack of colic”.

“We are all still in a state of shock,” Widden’s Antony Thompson said in a statement on Widden’s website last night.

“Northern Meteor suffered a severe bout of colic requiring surgery 18 months ago, but has been in perfect health since then, so this has come completely out of left-field.

“It came on very quickly this time at about 9pm tonight and despite the very best of veterinary care, he died shortly after.”

Northern Meteor was bred by Goree Stud, who also raced the son of Encosta de Lago, winner of the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington in 2008. He also set track records at Randwick and Canterbury.

Northern Meteor retired to Widden in 2009 and his first crop of progeny have starred, 17 individual winners claiming 26 races and $1,842,650 in stakes.

“He was a strong and noble horse that made a lasting impression on all who knew him and to say we are shattered here would be an understatement,” Thompson said.

“It’s devastating for Mr Cojuangco, the team at Gooree and everyone at Widden.

“At a time when we expected to be sharing and celebrating his success and achievements as Champion First Season Sire with our many clients and friends, we are instead mourning his death and wondering what might have been.”