I am very sad to report that we lost Isla Pearl Fisher at Perth last night, he broke a leg when falling at the first fence on the final circuit and was quickly euthanased by the first class veterinary team. The yard will be a sombre place as it comes to terms with the loss of a horse whose charisma lit up our days for the last eight years. He was a good looking horse with bags of presence that with the support of his owner Philippa and the diligent care of his groom Amy blossomed from wayward youth to become a talented three mile chaser.
We did our best for him and he repaid us in buckets winning eight handicap chases; trainers’ careers are defined by the horses they train and “Surf” has played a central role in the Kinneston story, never straightforward he threw everything at life which resulted in plenty of setbacks (amongst many dramas two fractured hind pasterns skilfully pinned back together by the team at the Weipers centre, the result of his earlier propensity for double barreling his stable wall in the imagination that some of his equine colleagues may be thinking of sharing his grub – and it took Lucy and me an hour to persuade him to get back on the lorry to come home from hospital!).
He was one of those rare horses that transcended the trivialities of racing to bring out the best in many of us and I thank him profoundly for that, we will miss him here every day but will remember him fondly and take comfort in the fact that he died suddenly doing what he was bred to do in peak condition. He was a bundle of energy and approached every day with zest and enthusiasm, never more evident than when he bounced out of the paddock at Perth yesterday and tore off down to the start, looking magnificent and as “up for it” as any horse ever could be. Sleep gently old boy, our world’s a duller place without you.