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Kappelhoff

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  • #20443
    graysonscolumn
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    • Total Posts 6965

    Sad news to impart for those of us who adore the elder statesmen of the chasing ranks in particular, but Kappelhoff has had to be put down after the injuries sustained in his fall at Fontwell this week (the only one of his life) proved too severe. Full story:

    http://www.racingpost.com/blog/horse-racing/david-carr/sad-end-for-a-great-old-thing/958886/

    Low-grade handicaps on the south coast aren’t going to seem the same without him from here on. Rest in peace, old boy.

    gc

    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    #381629
    reetlass
    Member
    • Total Posts 433

    Oh dear dear, the poor old chap. I’m probably under fire for saying this as I don’t know the background circumstances etc, but why do owners not retire their horses before this age?. The report says he had been with his owner since he was a three year old, had he not done enought to earn a retirement? Too late now.

    #381652
    graysonscolumn
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    • Total Posts 6965

    A familiar refrain whenever an old chaser perishes in action, Reetlass, and as the former co-editor of the Quixall Crossett website you can probably appreciate that it’s a line of thinking I’m generally reluctant to endorse.

    Fixed ages at which animals should be retired from racing are nothing that should be entertained, given how many examples there are of horses still producing perfectly respectable performances, and in some cases wins, at an advanced age.

    Kappelhoff himself, as David Carr’s article points out, managed to double his career tally of wins during 2010 alone (from three to six) when in his thirteenth year; and I’d further add that having equalled his highest mark defied for the first of these, he then raised it for each of the following two victories.

    Admittedly the marks in question are all plater’s marks, but even so we’re not talking here about a horse who had spiralled into rapid decline in the 12-18 months before his untimely end – quite the opposite.

    He entered Tuesday’s race on a mark 7lb behind his highest defied, and nothing about the course, trip, grade of race or underfoot conditions didn’t suit.

    Note also that for a horse in training for ten and a half seasons, all bar one of those for current connections, he was not overraced – 49 Rules and three Point-to-Point outings just about works out at an average of five per season. Further, Lydia Richards has always been careful about not letting him take his chance if she felt the going was false or he wasn’t quite right, having pulled him out on a further 18 occasions.

    No, for me this is a sad loss of a much-loved and much doted-on warrior, but not a stick with which to beat either the trainer or the persevering with older horses in general. I don’t imagine I will have to go too far into the just-started 2011-12 Pointing season to witness the first victory for one of Kappelhoff’s age group, if not one older.

    gc

    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    #381655
    Ten Plus
    Member
    • Total Posts 812

    All indications are that he was a much thought of character who enjoyed his outings … he was raced within his capabilities and by no means over-raced. Although his ultimate end is undoubtedly very sad I don’t think anyone should have regrets about him continuing to race at all. RIP old warrior XXX

    #381656
    Ten Plus
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    • Total Posts 812

    I meant to add that it is such a shame his first fall ever was also his last … seems so unfair …

    #381663
    moehat
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    • Total Posts 8179

    Strange how you get horses that jump terribly from day one but seem to get by

    and then you get the horse that makes one fateful mistake [Monsieur le Cure]. At least he had a happy life unlike the fate of a lot of horses, racing or non racing. Terrible shame, though.

    #381666
    reetlass
    Member
    • Total Posts 433

    Thank you for you comments Grayson, they are much appreciated and accepted. As I said, I don’t know the individual circumstances involved. I know that old warriors race on, and recall back in the sixties an old chap of approximately 17 years old still racing.
    Unfortunately it doesn’t prevent me feeling desperately sorry for this poor chap.

    #382878
    graysonscolumn
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6965

    Strange how you get horses that jump terribly from day one but seem to get by

    and then you get the horse that makes one fateful mistake [Monsieur le Cure]. At least he had a happy life unlike the fate of a lot of horses, racing or non racing. Terrible shame, though.

    The whole uncertainty of chance as succinctly put as ever, Moe. Bless you.

    I see the Richards’ colours at Sandhurst and South East Area Points a few times during the course of most seasons, usually being carried by Trooper Kit; a horse who particularly seems to enjoy the Cartmel-but-tighter batsh*t crazy fairground course at Peper Harow but gets proper bored with longer, more galloping lines quite quickly.

    More limited than Kappelhoff as a performer, he is no less well loved and looked after, with the Richardses plotting and missing races with him if conditions don’t suit. If our paths cross again this term, I’ll be sure to say a few kinds words to them for sharing Kit and Kappelhoff with us all so carefully for so long.

    gc

    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    #382879
    graysonscolumn
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6965

    I know that old warriors race on, and recall back in the sixties an old chap of approximately 17 years old still racing.

    The oldest still racing in 2011 were Carryonharry and Cape Stormer, actively involved in Points each aged 17 and in the case of the latter still winning a few. Sonny Somers landing handicap chases at 18 back in 1980 still sets the standard for Rules racing, though, I think.

    gc

    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    #383003
    nighthorse
    Participant
    • Total Posts 385

    Oh dear dear, the poor old chap. I’m probably under fire for saying this as I don’t know the background circumstances etc, but why do owners not retire their horses before this age?. The report says he had been with his owner since he was a three year old, had he not done enought to earn a retirement? Too late now.

    Totally understand what you mean Reetlass, but would he have wanted to retire? Given the choice he would probably have said No Way!
    I heard the other day of a retired old stager who still had to be put in the box and taken to the races to keep him happy. I agree with everything Grayson said.
    Terribly sad end (to us), and very unlucky, but how could his connections have possibly predicted that this run, which he was probably enjoying a lot, would bring about his sad demise.

    RIP Kappelhoff :(

    #383061
    reetlass
    Member
    • Total Posts 433

    Oh dear dear, the poor old chap. I’m probably under fire for saying this as I don’t know the background circumstances etc, but why do owners not retire their horses before this age?. The report says he had been with his owner since he was a three year old, had he not done enought to earn a retirement? Too late now.

    Terribly sad end (to us), and very unlucky, but how could his connections have possibly predicted that this run, which he was probably enjoying a lot, would bring about his sad demise.

    RIP Kappelhoff :(

    I take your point here, I’m sure they had no way of knowing. Bit of a knee’jerk reaction by me in the first place. Sorry.

    #398463
    graysonscolumn
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6965

    I see the Richards’ colours at Sandhurst and South East Area Points a few times during the course of most seasons, usually being carried by Trooper Kit; a horse who particularly seems to enjoy the Cartmel-but-tighter batsh*t crazy fairground course at Peper Harow but gets proper bored with longer, more galloping lines quite quickly.

    The aforementioned Trooper Kit duly reappeared at Hackwood Park yesterday, still in the Kappelhoff colours and still as limited as ever around a non-Peper Harow venue. He popped round safely enough under Kevin Jones, though, and all paths surely lead back to the fairground six weeks hence.

    gc

    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

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