Our Mims Retirement Haven in Paris, Ky. announced last week that stalwart racemare Cruella, known to be kind to children and all small creatures, died July 26. The regal ex-racehorse was 31.
Jeanne Mirabito, founder and president of the nonprofit charity that serves retired racemares, says in a press release that she knew that morning, when the sweet chestnut failed to come in for breakfast that the great mare had passed on.
Remembered for her ability to bond with other horses—one of her best horse friends on the farm kept to his stall and whinnied throughout the day after her passing, Cruella was one of Mirabito’s favorite residents.
“Cruella met the world head on every day. She was one of the kindest horses I have ever witnessed, behaving so well around a child, kitten or any young creature. But, she was a force to be reckoned for the rest of us,” Mirabito says. “She made her likes and dislikes very clear so it wasn’t difficult to keep her happy; just as long as we humans remembered who was in charge.”
The daughter of Tyrant and Stage Door Dolly arrived at the Haven on March 22, 2008. With two ardent sponsors who supported her throughout her stay, Cruella had a joyful life among the mares, says Cheryl Bellucci, director of fundraising and promotions for Our Mims. “Cruella was loved every day of her life,” Bellucci says. “It’s so heartening to know, because so many mares are lost or forgotten in their later years. Cruella did not suffer that fate.”
The racemare was no slouch on the track. She earned $92,607 in 18 starts, including a second place in the Chris Evert Handicap. And as a broodmare, her successes continued. She was a member of Maryland’s Country Life Farm’s broodmare band, according to a press release, and produced 14 foals. Most notable among them was 1990 colt Diazo, by Jade Hunter, who earned $581,400 in 13 starts, with six wins and one place. Diazo won the Grade 1 Strub, the Grade 1 Pegasus, and the Grade Two Malibu, according to the press release.
Cruella was buried at the Our Mims equine cemetery, and was remembered as a horse whose spirit never failed her. “As with all the beautiful mares who have graced our barns, she will be greatly missed,” Mirabito says.
Our Mims Retirement Haven is home to Princess Royale, Bel’s Starlet, Blue Viking, Lotka, Ms. Royal Flagship, Taba Dance, Trail Guide, and Dogwood Patty. Our Mims’ grandson, 1997 Breeder’s Cup™ Sprint winner Elmhurst, arrived in October of 2011.