In what has to be one of the most uncommon occurrences in the horse racing industry, a prized stallion was stolen this past weekend by an armed militia.
According to an article by The Daily Telegraph and multiple other sources, stallion Churchill Downs was one of 18 Thoroughbreds that were stolen during a 14-hour siege at Al Shaab Stud in Libya on Saturday, January 4.
Churchill Downs was one of six stallions that were stolen from Libya’s premier Thoroughbred farm along with 12 in-foal mares. According to The Daily Telegraph, the Tripoli-based government of Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj has faced an offensive by rival regimes as of late.
Al Shaab Stud owner Dr. Amad Ashaab told The Daily Telegraph that the armed group arrived at six o’clock and broke into the stable and stole all the veterinary devices, furniture, offices, generator, jars and water pumps.
“They stole the 12 in-foal mares that are about to give birth this January and February,” said Dr. Ashaab. “Then they entered the stable of stallions and stole six stallions: Churchill Downs, Brut Force, Backdraft, Eavesdropper, Raise A Grand and Metternich.”
Dr. Ashaab went on to say, “We appeal to all humanitarian organizations and all horse organizations to save the horses of Libya.”
Churchill Downs, who sold for $950,000 as a yearling, finished second in the 2006 Magic Millions Two-Year-Old Classic and third in the 2006 Golden Slipper.
(With files from The Daily Telegraph)