LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 30, 2012) — One of the breed’s premier stallions, Dynaformer, has passed away at the age of 27 at Robert and Blythe Clay’s Three Chimneys Farm. The stallion had been pensioned after suffering an aortic valve rupture the afternoon of Saturday, April 14 while in his stall.
He was known internationally for siring such top class athletes as Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, Melbourne Cup winner Americain, $4.7 million dollar-earner Perfect Drift, European Champion 2-year-old filly Rainbow View, English Champion 3-year-old colt Lucarno, multiple Grade 1 winner Riska Verse, multi-millionaire Dynever and many others.
“Dynaformer impacted the industry in a way that few ever have or will,” said Case Clay, president of Three Chimneys. “More than that, though, he was an awe-inspiring horse to be around. He commanded respect and his toughness was undeniable to the very end. He reminded me a lot of Seattle Slew in that when you were around him, you knew you were in the presence of greatness.”
Dynaformer was one of the most globally successful sires in the Thoroughbred industry. With 21 crops to race, his progeny have earned more than $105,000,000. Dynaformer is the sire of 130 stakes winners, including 61 graded stakes winners, 25 Grade 1 stakes winners and 18 millionaires. These numbers are the best in each respective category of all active sires. Dynaformer ranks in the top one-half of one percent of all sires by average earnings per starter.
“Dynaformer’s tough spirit will continue to influence our breed for many years to come. He reminds us that looks aren’t everything, and that the will to win is that intangible ingredient we are all striving to find,” said Robert Clay, owner of Three Chimneys Farm. The caliber and quantity of races won by progeny of Dynaformer is unprecedented. Sons or daughters of Dynaformer have won the Kentucky Derby, One Thousand Guineas, Melbourne Cup, Irish Oaks, Stephen Foster Handicap, English St. Leger, German Derby, Blue Grass Stakes, American Oaks, Hollywood Derby, Shadwell Turf Mile, Santa Margarita Invitational, Flower Bowl Invitational, Santa Maria Handicap, Yorkshire Oaks, Beverly D. Stakes, Diana Handicap, Florida Derby, Hempstead Handicap, Gazelle Handicap, Matriarch Stakes and numerous other events.
Four of his daughters have won the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland’s fall meet, a record for any stallion.
“In my opinion, our industry has lost one of the greatest sires it will ever see,” said Three Chimneys stallion manager Sandy Hatfield.
Known not only for his propensity to sire high-caliber racers, but also his curmudgeon-like attitude, Dynaformer had legions of fans both within the Thoroughbred business and among the general equestrian community. Dynaformer’s progeny were known for their soundness, durability and heart. They not only excelled on the flat, but over jumps as well. His son, McDynamo, is the winner of an unprecedented five Breeders’ Cup Steeplechase races, and countless other sons and daughters, went onto successful post-racing careers in the show ring and as field hunters.
Dynaformer, whose passing came on what would have been the ninth birthday of his most famous son, Barbaro, will be buried in the Three Chimneys stallion cemetery next to stable mates Rahy and Wild Again. After suffering a significant cardiac episode in his stall, Dynaformer was immediately pensioned from stallion duty. After he had been stabilized, an ultrasound performed April 15 reveled several holes in his heart as a result of the heart attack, one measuring eight centimeters long and two others measuring two centimeters each.
The horse had been resting comfortably, eating well and maintaining his daily turnout routine in the weeks following his heart scare, but his health took a turn the evening of Saturday, April 28.
“Dynaformer told us when it was his time to go,” said Dr. Jim Morehead, Three Chimneys’ resident veterinarian. “Amazingly, he had been comfortable after his initial crisis on April 14 and had been able to go to his paddock daily. A normal horse would not have survived his initial cardiac episode. He did everything on his terms, including deciding when he’d had enough.”
The public is invited to pay their respects to Dynaformer during the annual Three Chimneys Derby Week Open House on Thursday, May 4 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A memorial service for Dynaformer will be conducted at 12:30 during the event in the stallion cemetery.