News Briefs: Benburb dies of melanomas

Photo by Matt Wooley

Benburb, Canada’s reigning Horse of the Year in 1992, died in Kentucky last night, according to a press release from Old Friends.

The stunning grey gelding, who earned over a million dollars on the racetrack, was euthanized due to complications from melanomas on Aug. 1 at the Haygard Equine Medical Center in Lexington, Ky, the press release stated. He was 23.

Michael Blowen, president and founder of Old Friends says losing the champ was a tough blow.

“We were really blessed to have retired Benburb,” Blowen says. “He was the kindest of them all. He was the teacher’s pet to our farm manager, Janet Beyersddorfer.

He is irreplaceable.”

In his life, Benburb earned an impressive list of accomplishments.

In 22 starts, he won $1,159,904, and in 1992, he gave fans a thrill in the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie in Ontario.

Up against Queen’s Plate winner Alydeed, Benburb dug down in the muddy track and swept to victory.

That same year, the hard-charging racehorse, who was trained by Phil England, executed another upset victory in the Molson Export Million. He beat a “blue-chip field” of equine athletes, including U.S. Horse of the Year A.P. Indy, Alydeed, and GR1 winner Technology.

For his efforts Benburb earned the Sovereign Award as the Canadian Horse of the Year as well as Champion 3-year-old male honors.

He was born at Steve Stavro’s Knob Hill Stables, and was donated to Old Friends in 2008 by Catherine Perkins, farm manager of Perkins-Mackey Stables in Bourbon County.

For additional information about Old Friends or any of its retirees, please call (502) 863-1775 or visit the website at

Media inquiries should be directed to Cynthia Grisolia at (347) 423-7322 or

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