On this day 36 years ago, gunmen stole the champion Irish race horse Shergar from a stud farm owned by the Aga Khan in County Kildare, Ireland. The five-year-old thoroughbred stallion, named European horse of the year in 1981, was worth $13.5 million and commanded stud fees of approximately $100,000.
The most famous and valuable racehorse in the world, Shergar had won the 1981 Epsom Derby by ten lengths, which is the longest winning margin in the race’s 202-year history. Following this triumph, he had four more major derby wins and was named European Horse of the Year.
When he retired after that first season, racehorse owners paid up to $120,000 for shares in his services impregnating mares, eager to have young horses from his bloodline to train for races.
The stallion had a white blaze mark on his face, four white “socks” and a distinctive racing style of running…
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