Irish steeplechaser Wicklow Brave died Oct. 19 due to injuries sustained in a fall during the $450,000 Grand National Hurdle Stakes (Grade 1), held during the Far Hills Race Meeting in Far Hills, New Jersey.
Wicklow Bloodstock Ltd.’s 10-year-old gelding, ridden by Paul Townend, was leading when he fell at the final fence. New Jersey state veterinarian Dr. Stacey Romano told the National Steeplechase Association Wicklow Brave fractured his right shoulder in the fall and was euthanized.
Millsec Limited bred Wicklow Brave (Beat Hollow—Moraine, Rainbow Quest) in England, and Willie Mullins trained him at Closutton in Muine Bheag, Ireland. He ran 59 times, winning 17 races, finishing second eight times and third seven times to win $1,323,663 throughout his career. He won his last three races, and other notable wins included the 2016 Palmerstown House Estate Irish St. Leger Grade 1 Stakes (Ireland), the 2015 Vincent O’Brien Country H. Hurdle at Cheltenham (Ireland) and the I.N.H. Stallion Owners E.B.F. Hurdle at Punchestown (Ireland) in 2014.
“I would like to pay tribute to Wicklow Brave who was a real legend in our yard,” Mullins wrote on Twitter. “A career like his will probably never be replicated, going from bumpers to hurdles back to the Flat then chasing. His best day was winning the St. Leger, however, winning the Punchestown champion hurdle with Patrick [Mullins] on board to put us ahead in that memorable trainers battle will be remembered around here for a long time. He will be missed by Wicklow Bloodstock’s Nick Peacock, [and] Jason Dear who rode him [every day] and looked after his every need and all at Closutton.”