Home » Kentucky Horse Park to honor Thoroughbred champion Cigar

Kentucky Horse Park to honor Thoroughbred champion Cigar

Public Memorial Service to be Held at Hall of Champions

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 5, 2014) – A public memorial service for Thoroughbred champion Cigar will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, at 2 p.m. The service will be held at the park’s Hall of Champions near Cigar’s gravesite and the paddock he occupied for most of the 15 years he lived at the park.

Cigar1990-2014.KyHorsePark.HallofChampions.smallCigar died Oct. 7 at age 24 due to complications following surgery for severe osteoarthritis in his neck.

Kentucky’s First Lady Jane Beshear will pay tribute to the Hall of Fame horse and longtime visitor favorite at the Hall of Champions. Fans are welcome to bid a final farewell to the horse known as the “Incomparable, Invincible, Unbeatable Cigar.”

The public is invited to attend the memorial service, which is included with park admission. Guests arriving only for the memorial service after 1:30 p.m. will not be charged admission.

Videos of Cigar’s races and related news stories will play in the Hall of Champions throughout the day, and a memorial guestbook will be available for fans to sign and leave comments.

Guests who post photos and farewell wishes to Cigar on Twitter or Tumblr with #CigarKHP, or comment on the park’s Facebook or Google+ posts to Cigar on Friday, Nov. 14 will be included on Cigar’s memorial page on the Kentucky Horse Park website at www.KyHorsePark.com.

The Kentucky Horse Park Foundation is leading efforts to raise funds to commission a bronze statue memorializing Cigar, with plans to unveil the statue during the week before the Breeders’ Cup 2015, when the races will be in Lexington. The Kentucky Horse Park and Cigar’s connections will celebrate the 20th anniversary of his 1995 Breeders’ Cup Classic win at Belmont Park, ending a perfect season for the champion.

At retirement, Cigar’s career had a total of 19 wins out of 33 starts with earnings of $9,999,815, which was a record at that time. He was voted champion older male and Horse of the Year in both 1995 and in 1996. The first horse to tie racing legend Citation’s record of 16 consecutive victories, Cigar had lived at the Kentucky Horse Park since his retirement in 1999. Cigar was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in August 2002, his first year of eligibility.

Like the other Hall of Champions horses who died in retirement at the park, Cigar was buried on the Memorial Walk of Champions near Thoroughbreds Alysheba, Bold Forbes, Forego, John Henry and Kona Gold; Standardbreds Cam Fella and Rambling Willie; American Saddlebreds CH Imperator, CH Skywatch and CH Gypsy Supreme; and American Quarter Horse Sgt. Pepper Feature.