Colic claims Aintree Grand National winner Amberleigh House

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Ginger McCain’s 2004 Grand National Steeplechase winner Amberleigh House has succumbed to colic at the age of 25.

Amberleigh House had been in fine form when he paraded at Aintree before the 2017 Grand National, but suffered a bout of colic a week later. He was operated on but could not be saved. He died on April 27.

The son of Buckskin and Chancy Girl gave McCain his second winner of the Grand National, after the legendary Red Rum 27 years earlier, who won in 1973, 1974 and 1977. McCain died at the age of 80 in 2011, just two days short of his 81st birthday.

Red Rum and Ginger McCain.
Red Rum and Ginger McCain.

Amberleigh House started in the big race five times, running third in 2003 and 10th in 2005. After being pulled up in the 2006 race, he was retired and lived at the National Stud in Newmarket for a time. He later moved to a farm outside Chester where he was looked after by trainer Lisa Williamson. He was owned by the family of her sister, Judy Halewood.

“He’s enjoyed a very happy retirement with me in Cheshire. He has been very busy with his public appearances and it was nice that his last one was on Grand National day,” Williamson said.

Amberleigh House was the last 12-year-old to win the National, ridden by Graham Lee. He also won the Becher Chase at Aintree in 2001, winning nine races and a total of £556,432 in his career.

Amberleigh House at the National Stud in Newmarket in 2012. 
Amberleigh House at the National Stud in Newmarket in 2012. © Silverlutra [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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