Racing identity Peter Mitchell, the owner of legendary New Zealand racehorse Bonecrusher, has died at the age of 73.
Mitchell, the owner of Bonecrusher or “Big Red” as he was affectionately known, died suddenly in Auckland over the weekend.
Mitchell outlaid $3250 for Bonecrusher at the Waikato yearling sales and the handsome chestnut went on to win 18 races from 44 raceday appearances. He earned just over $NZ3 million and was the first galloper to earn $1 million in New Zealand.
Trained by Frank Ritchie, Bonecrusher won four Group Ones in New Zealand and a further six in Australia where he was famous for his stirring battle with another Kiwi-bred, Waverley Star in the 1986 Cox Plate.
Mitchell had a powerful personality and Frank Ritchie’s son Shaune said he will be long remembered.
“Peter was so strong-minded, he could be awkward if you disagreed with his ideas, but he had enormous loyalty. I know for a fact he had any number of offers from trainers to transfer Bonecrusher to them, but he never did. He was very loyal to our family.”
Bonecrusher was euthanised in June 2015 after contracting laminitis. He was buried at Ellerslie where the
Mitchell family sponsor the Gr.1 Bonecrusher Stakes in his memory.