Windsor Park Stud reported that on Saturday morning Champion Sire Thorn Park (AUS) was laid to rest at the Stud at Cambridge after succumbing to a long running and deep seated infection in the navicular bone of his near hind foot.
Over the past few months every effort has been made by veterinarians and staff to overcome the infection, which also gave rise to laminitis in his off hind foot.
While good progress had been made in the lamanitic foot unfortunately the infection in his near hind foot proved insurmountable a statement from the Stud said.
Thorn Park has died just over a month from his four-year-old son Ocean Park (NZ) winning the Australasian weight-for-age championship Group 1 Cox Plate over 2040m at Moonee Valley and in doing so marking his presence as a serious sire on both sides of the Tasman.
The sire had covered 20 mares this season when Windsor Park had to withdraw him from service September in what was to be a crucial blow to the New Zealand breeding industry
Thorn Park, born in 1999 by Spinning World out of the Bluebird mare Joy, commenced stud duties in 2004 after a race career that spanned three seasons and nine wins including the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap over 140m at Eagle Farm.
His progeny lead him to a series of leading sire awards including the Grosvenor Award winner for Champion NZ Sire 2011, being runner-up last season and he was the Second Leading NZ sire this season at the start of the breeding season.
Thorn Park was the youngest stallion to win the Grosvenor Award since Zabeel with four crops to race, he was the only Australasian stallion to sire three individual Gr.1 winners in 2011/12
His progeny include Ocean Park who may now embark on an international campaign to Dubai and Royal Ascot in 2013, freshman sire and multiple Group 1 winner Jimmy Choux, The Party Stand and Veyron and an overall total of 17 stakes winners to-date.
Thorn Park, picture Windsor Park