Brown Panther was as tough, honest, and game as a horse can be. Racing almost exclusively in long-distance races from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 miles, the son of Shirocco made 28 starts over the course of six seasons, finishing first 11 times while winning such prestigious races as the Irish St. Leger (Ire-I) and Dubai Gold Cup (UAE-II). All told, he traveled more than 341 furlongs during his career (nearly four times as many furlong as American Pharoah has run so far), while competing in England, Ireland, France, Australia, Germany, the United States, and Dubai.
But on Sunday, Brown Panther’s legs failed him for the first time while he was attempting a repeat victory in the Irish St. Leger at the Curragh. After tracking the pace and looking like a contender throughout, Brown Panther was pulled up near the homestretch, and was found to have suffered a hind leg injury that proved fatal.
It was an incredibly sad and unfortunate ending to the story of a remarkable racehorse, but rather than focus on the sadness, let’s instead remember Brown Panther from when he was at his best, galloping along with his free-running style, doing what he loved best, and scoring an easy win in the 2015 Dubai Gold Cup. Rest in peace, Brown Panther.