Orillia, Ontario resident Mike Hales, who trained the great Admirals Express during his outstanding racing career, confirmed with Trot Insider on Wednesday, October 20 that the 14-year-old Admirals Galley gelding was
euthanized Tuesday, October 19.
Hales said that he didn't receive any specific details last night, but was told that Admirals Express suffered a leg injury last night at the farm he was staying at and had to be euthanized.
From 353 career starts, Admiral Express compiled a record of 86 wins, 53 second-place finishes and 44 thirds. He earned a pair of O'Brien Awards in 2005 when he was named Canada's Older Pacing Horse of the Year and Horse of the Year.
Dubbed 'The Grey Gladiator' by former Woodbine Entertainment Group Track Announcer Frank Salive, Michigan-bred Admirals Express battled to $2,176,860 in career earnings and lowered his mark to 1:48.2 over Woodbine Racetrack at the age of nine.
Admirals Express, who was driven by Paul MacDonell, was owned by Gary and Laurel Gust of Cedar Springs, Michigan, and Cheryl and Edward D Sayfie of Rockford, Michigan.
Trot Insider spoke with Admiral's Express' caretaker, Wellington 'Welly' Charles, who shed a little more light on the situation which occurred at the Coboconk, Ont. farm.
"Last night where I keep 'The Admiral,' he was out in the field with the other horses, and when he didn't come in Rob Doyle went out and see where he was," Charles said.
Charles explained that Doyle was able to get Admirals Express to come in, but there was a problem.
"He (Doyle) helped him in, and at the time Admiral had a little limp. Rob called the vet right away and nothing was helping."
Charles explained that Doyle was able to get in contact with him, but that he wasn't able to get there in time to be of any help. The vet had treated Admirals Express, but the gelding's situation had continued to worsen. Admirals Express had suffered a broken bone underneath the hock on his right, rear leg.
Charles told Trot Insider that even after being treated by the vet, Admirals Express started to get the sweats and was beginning to suffer from convulsions. In the best interest of Admirals Express, he was humanely euthanized at the farm by the vet.
"I want to thank Rob for being there with him and making the right decision, because I wouldn't want Admiral to be in pain.
"My heart is broken. My best friend and 'son' is gone. It is going to be a rough road, but I'm always going to preach on the horse he was."
Charles told Trot Insider that anyone wishing to make a donation in Admirals Express' honour can do so with the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society.
"I used him as a poster child to help save horses," Charles told Trot Insider. "We had him at the horse shows. He absolutely loved getting out and seeing the people. He was an unbelievable horse, and I'm really going to miss him."
Please join Standardbred Canada in offering condolences to the connections of Admirals Express.