I have a sad story to tell you. It is a true story but very sad none-the-less. In 1978 an exceptionally beautiful, bay thoroughbred colt was born in Ireland. His name was SHERGAR. His owner and breeder was a wealthy Muslim prince named Prince Karim Aga Khan IV. The colt grew up to be a kind and gentle stallion with a distinctive white blaze on his face. He won nearly all his races as a 2 and 3 year- old, including the famous Epson Derby. A side note: The Epson Derby is the original Derby. It began in Epsom, England in 1780. The British pronounce it "Dah-be." He won that race in 1981 by a record ten lengths and became a national hero in Ireland. He was named the 1981 European Horse of the Year.
Things looked great for Shergar at this point. He was retired to become a stud. When he arrived in Newbridge in October, 1981, her was greeted by the town band and school children waving green and red flags, the Aga Khan's stable colors, as he was paraded up Main Street.
The first year Shergar stood at stud at the Ballymany Stud Farm in Kildare County, Ireland, he produced thirty-five foals. Things were looking promising for the people who bought shares in him.
But things changed quickly. 1983 was in the middle of the decades-long struggle by the Irish Republican Army. The IRA was a paramilitary organization whose aim was to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom and establish a Socialist Republic by force or Political persuasion. On a foggy night, the 8th of February, 1983, a stolen horse trailer (called a "horse box" in Great Britian,) pulled into the unsecured farm. The groom who lived on the grounds with his large family sent his son to answer the knock on the door. He entered the room to see his son sprawled on the floor and masked gunmen in the room. They forced the groom, named James Fitzgerald, to take them to Shergar's stall and load the beautiful horse in the trailer. Shergar was never seen again. His body was never found and it wasn't until twenty-five years later that the sad truth about his brutal ending from machine gun fire was revealed. The ransom was never paid and a beautiful horse became the innocent victim of man's infighting.
Shergar now runs free across the fields of Celestia as a member of the Legion of the Unicorn.
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