Top US thoroughbred stallion Dynaformer, sire of Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro and Melbourne Cup winner Americain, has died at the age of 27 just two weeks after being retired from stud.
Dynaformer, who stood for a fee of $150,000 in 2012, experienced an aortic valve rupture in his stall at Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Kentucky on April 14.
The son of Roberto was euthanized at about midday on Sunday, Three Chimneys announced.
An ultrasound had been performed on Dynaformer on April 15 which revealed several holes in his heart as a result of the heart attack, one measuring eight centimeters long and two others measuring two centimeters each. He had been “resting comfortably, eating well, and maintaining his daily turnout routine in the weeks following his heart scare, but his health took a turn the evening of Saturday, April 28,” Three Chimneys Farm said.
At the time, Three Chimneys resident veterinarian, Dr Jim Morehead said: “Dynaformer told us when it was his time to go. Amazingly, he had been comfortable after his initial crisis on April 14 and had been able to go to his paddock daily. A normal horse would not have survived his initial cardiac episode. He did everything on his terms, including deciding when he’d had enough.”
Three Chimneys President Case Clay said Dynaformer impacted the industry in a way that few horses ever have. “More than that, though, he was an awe-inspiring horse to be around. He commanded respect and his toughness was undeniable to the very end. He reminded me a lot of Seattle Slew in that when you were around him, you knew you were in the presence of greatness.”
Dynaformer was one of the most globally successful sires in the thoroughbred industry. With 21 crops to race, his progeny have earned more than $105,000,000. Dynaformer is the sire of 130 stakes winners, including 61 graded stakes winners, 25 Grade 1 stakes winners, and 18 millionaires. These numbers are the best in each respective category of all active sires.
Best known for siring such racing greats as Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro and multi-millionaire Perfect Drift, Dynaformer’s runners have proved versatile runners worldwide.
As well as the G1 Melbourne Cup winner Americain, other notable runners by Dynaformer include Lucarno (English Champion Three-Year-Old Colt), Rainbow View (European Champion Two-Year-Old Filly), Riskaverse (winner of the Flower Bowl H.-G1 in 2004 and 2005), Film Maker (Grade 1 performer from age 3 through age 6), Dynaforce (winner of the 2008 Flower Bowl H.-G1) and McDynamo (five-time winner of the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Grand National Steeplechase).
Dynaformer ranks in the top one-half of one percent of all sires by average earnings per starter.
“Dynaformer’s tough spirit will continue to influence our breed for many years to come. He reminds us that looks aren’t everything, and that the will to win is that intangible ingredient we are all striving to find,” said Robert Clay, owner of Three Chimneys Farm.
“We are forever grateful to the Dynaformer syndicate for the privilege of managing his career, to Nathan Fox, who first saw his potential as a stallion, and to the breeders who supported him and found success with his offspring.”
Four of his daughters have won the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland’s fall meet, a record for any stallion.
“He commanded respect and total attention at all times,” said Three Chimneys stallion manager Sandy Hatfield. “He had earned every bit of his reputation as being one of the toughest stallions in the industry, but when it came to his job in the breeding shed, he was a total professional. In my opinion, our industry has lost one of the greatest sires it will ever see.”
Known not only for his propensity to sire high caliber racers, but also his curmudgeon-like attitude, Dynaformer had legions of fans both within the Thoroughbred business and among the general equestrian community.
Dynaformer’s progeny were known for their soundness, durability, and heart. They not only excelled on the flat, but over jumps as well. His son, McDynamo, is the winner of an unprecedented five Breeders’ Cup Steeplechase races, and countless other sons and daughters went onto successful post-racing careers in the show ring and as field hunters.
Thoroughbred owner/breeder and show horse owner Ann Banks said: “I was always on the lookout for offspring of Dynaformer as flat and steeplechase horses. They were the full package; good bone, athleticism, fabulous movers, and a flexibility and natural movement like no other. The breeding industry, the flat and steeplechase industries, and the show world have truly lost one of their greatest producers.”
Dynaformer will be impacting the breed for decades to come. His daughters have produced 78 stakes winners and that number grows month-by-month.
Dynaformer, whose passing came on what would have been the ninth birthday of his most famous son, Barbaro, will be buried in the Three Chimneys stallion cemetery next to stable mates Rahy and Wild Again.
Dynaformer began his career at Nathan Fox’s Wafare Farm for an advertised stud fee of just $5000. From his initial crop of just 47 foals, 46 went onto race and from that group came five stakes winners, including Blumin Affair, who was second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile-G1 and third in the Kentucky Derby-G1.
Dynaformer relocated to Three Chimneys for the 1995 breeding season.
Foaled April 1, 1985, the 17hh son of Roberto is out of the His Majesty mare, Andover Way. Dynaformer was bred and raced by Joseph Allen, and his racing accomplishments included wins in the Jersey Derby (G2) and Discovery H. (G3) and earnings of $671,207.
The public is invited to pay their respects to Dynaformer during the annual Three Chimneys Derby Week Open House on Thursday, May 4 from 10am until 1pm. A memorial service for Dynaformer will be held at 12:30 during the event in the stallion cemetery.