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The perfect dead solid authentic senior death at the age of 39

The perfect dead solid authentic senior death at the age of 39

Former Dead Solid Perfect racehorse, who drew attention this winter for being perhaps the oldest living thoroughbred horse in the United States, died on November 8, according to long-time owner Bridget Yokers. He was 39 years old.

Eukers said on November 9 that her horse, known as “Rush” in his second career as a thoroughbred off-track, was in good health through the first half of 2022 before experiencing some setbacks. He had a minor head injury from this fall and his longtime teammate, 25-year-old Quarter Horse “Cowboy” had succumbed to old age, and Rush had a foot abscess earlier this fall. Akers said he advanced, before apparently unable to get up Tuesday morning after a fall that left him in an awkward position, in and out of his stall at his Connecticut stable. He was mercifully killed.

“I knew we were nearing the end of the road, but I was hoping we’d have more time,” said Akers.

Born on May 4, 1983, Rush lived 39 years and 188 days – far exceeding the average lifespan of a thoroughbred horse of 25 to 28 years, according to various internet sources. Although records of the oldest thoroughbred horse are not kept by The Jockey Club, due in part to the difficulties of requiring death notices from every thoroughbred horse owner, Rush is widely believed to have been an American record maker.

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Prospect Point has been held the American standard for the oldest Thoroughbred horse on record, living to 38 years and 203 days before his death on September 23, 2016. There are reports of Thoroughbreds in other countries living in their lowest forties, including a couple of Japanese horses.

Other breeds usually live longer than Thoroughbred horses.

Bred by Preston Madden in Kentucky, Dead Solid Perfect was a dark bay or brown horse by Raise a Cup from Olden Times mare Kame Yen. He turned gray late in his life, with Eukers speculating that he had a predisposition to go gray with one of the distant sons in his lineage being the Native Dancer, nicknamed Gray Ghost.

It was a $60,000 one-year purchase by John Fort from Madden’s shipment in the 1984 Keeneland September Yearling Sale and his only victory at the Fort’s Peachtree Stable at The Meadowlands was for coach Robert Klesaris and jockey Julie Crone in December 1986. His last 16 starts came for owner/coach Lewis. Galina at Rockingham Park in January 1988.

Years later, 9-year-old Ecker’s parents bought Rush for their then-teenage daughter. Together they competed in formula and hunting events, including the 1995 National Children’s Medal Finals and the 1996 Connecticut Junior Medal Finals. Akers said he retired from competition after a tendon injury the following year, although they continued to work in dressage and later, riding Arcades, until 2018 when he was 35 years old.

Image source: Bridget Eukers

Rush shows off his jumping skills as a younger horse

In his later years, Rush was no longer mounted, but Eukers—who wanted to keep his flexibility and conditioning—continued to manually walk him up and down a hill on the farm where I rode him at Windsor Hunt Stables in Connecticut. He ate an organic diet of alfalfa grains, barley, and oats for the last decade of his life.

Eukers said she wanted to make sure Rush had companionship after Cowboy’s death and worked to arrange a free ride rental with a friend’s horse, the 15-year-old mare. Tiara Vive at Windsor Hunt Stables.

“When she got there, I think she decided Rush was a little pony,” the Yokers recalls. “She’d come close to the corner and kind of caress his ears. She’d treat him like he was a little guy. And Rush was looking at her like, ‘Hey ma’am, I’m 39.'” “

At such an advanced age, it will continue to delight its owner with behavior more typical of a younger horse.

“I got it from a new gate that was open all the way, and it had metal steps,” she said. “Find out that he can put his head down and run his ears along the metal bars, and you’ll kind of hear,” Schwing said. Shuing. “This must be his favorite way to wake me up in the morning.”

Dead Solid Perfect, 39, or
Photo: Barbara D. Livingston

Dead Solid Perfect outside his barn

Eukers praised her vet, Dr. Michael Stewart, for his care of Rush, which dates back to 1999. She said he suspended some veterinary obligations on Tuesday morning to attend Rush when he was unable to stand. Eukers, her mother, and Stewart worked for hours trying to help him, but the horse was getting hot and showing signs of exhaustion.

“He got up, half fell, half got up, half fell, and I kind of looked at Doc and said, ‘You know, if that’s the end of the road, if that’s where we’re in, it’s okay,'” she remembers. Doc thought about it a bit and said, ‘I think we’re out of moves here.’

She noticed her horse’s vibrant spirit.

“One of the things I’ve learned during my years working with Thoroughbreds is that you can ask for a lot from them,” she said. “They will keep trying for you. They will continue to try their hearts out.

“I started getting worried because I was asking him too much. So at that point, we let him go. I talked to him, my mom talked to him, Doc talked to him. We kind of spoiled him, made him cool, and he drifted off very peacefully.”

After 30 years with Rush, “Right now, there’s a sense of a huge gap,” she said.

Eukers said his remains will be cremated, and will be preserved when they are delivered from Connecticut Horse Cremation.

Viv’s Tiara will be returned to its owner, and Eukers, whose only horse was Rush, plans to take some time to evaluate their equestrian plans. She intends to volunteer with an organization in Connecticut called Angel Horses, which provides homes for senior horses and provides horse-assisted activities.

“I was very lucky to have him,” Acers said of Rush. “It was truly a partnership and something that was special and unique that I will cherish all my life.”


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