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The Kidnapping of Shergar

History of Sorts

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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.

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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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