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    Therapy Horse, Former Gold-winning Racer, Dead at 24
Therapy Horse, Former Gold-winning Racer, Dead at 24

Therapy Horse, Former Gold-winning Racer, Dead at 24

The racing world mourns the loss of Papineau, a remarkable horse whose triumph in the Gold Cup was only the beginning of his extraordinary journey with Godolphin. Papineau, bred by the late Peter Winfield and a half-brother to the acclaimed St Leger victor Silver Patriarch, was acquired for 85,000gns as a foal at Tattersalls in 2000, marking the start of his association with the illustrious Godolphin stable.

Under the tutelage of esteemed trainers Andre Fabre and Saeed bin Suroor, Papineau's talent shone on both sides of the English Channel. He secured a notable Listed victory in France at the age of three, trained by Fabre, before transitioning to the care of bin Suroor at four. It was under bin Suroor's guidance that Papineau displayed his prowess by triumphing in the Henry II Stakes, followed by a stellar performance at the prestigious Royal Ascot, where he outclassed a formidable field comprising Westerner, Brian Boru, and Mr Dinos.

Image Source: Midjourney

Retiring from racing in 2005 after an impressive record of five wins out of nine starts, Papineau embarked on a new chapter of his life as part of Godolphin's Lifetime Care program. He was retrained and competed in various equestrian disciplines, including affiliated dressage and Racehorse to Riding Horse show classes. In 2016 Papineau worked in Hamilton Hill, Godolphin's pre-training facility in Newmarket, leading out the yearlings each morning, a testament to his enduring presence in the world of equestrian sports.

Papineau actively participated in events such as Newmarket's open weekend, Retraining of Racehorses parades, and the Au-Dela des Pistes display in Deauville, demonstrating his versatility and charming the audience with his grace. Additionally, as a part of the Godolphin Beacon Project, a collaborative effort between Godolphin, Newmarket Academy, and the education charity Racing to School, Papineau made visits to a number of schools.

Following his retirement to Woodditton Stud, where the horse was constantly cared for by stud groom Geraldine Jones and her daughter Megan, Papineau's innate ability to connect with individuals became his greatest asset in equine-assisted therapy. He brought solace and joy to patients and their families during visits to Newmarket Hospital and East Anglia's Children's Hospices, leaving a lasting impact with his gentle and intuitive nature.

Image Source: Midjourney

In recognition of his remarkable contributions, Papineau was recently honoured as a finalist in the Community Impact Award by Retraining of Racehorses (RoR). Sadly, the horse's otherwise perfect health took a turn when he was diagnosed with heart issues, leading to the difficult decision to euthanise him.

Reflecting on Papineau's legacy, bin Suroor expressed his admiration for the horse, emphasising the pleasure he derived from training him and the unforgettable significance of their Gold Cup victory at Ascot. Liam O'Rourke, Godolphin's director of stud, stallions, and breeding, echoed this sentiment, acknowledging the profound impact Papineau had on both the racing industry and the wider community during his retirement. O'Rourke is sure that Papineau's memory will endure, cherished and dearly missed by all who knew him.

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