FORMER Champion stallion Fort Wood has died at Mauritzfontein Stud, Kimberley, aged 25.
Sourced for Mr Harry and Mrs Bridget Oppenheimer’s by Alistair Brown of Equarius Bloodstock, Fort Wood stood his first season at stud in South Africa in 1994. He made an immediate impression, producing Gr1 winners Dog Wood, Fort Defiance and Triple Crown Champion and 3yo Horse Of The Year, Horse Chestnut in his very first crop.
Fort Wood was champion sire in 1998 and 1999 and his two decades at stud has produced 74 stakes winners to date. He also has the unique distinction of having produced three 3yo Horses Of The Year (Horse Chestnut, Celtic Grove and Dynasty).
An emotional Guy Murdoch, Stud Manager at Mauritzfontein, related that despite his great age of 25, Fort Wood had always been a healthy, happy horse, so it came as a shock when he took ill early on Saturday morning, 24 January 2015. Veterinary examination confirmed that he was suffering heart failure and he died shortly afterwards.
He leaves behind Horse Chestnut, Whitechapel, Dynasty and Elusive Fort to continue his male line, while his daughters are already forging him a formidable reputation as a broodmare sire.
Fort Wood was a son of Sadler’s Wells out of the 8-time winning Pretense mare, Fall Aspen who was the dam of no less than 8 Group winners in Europe and America.
Fort Wood has left a giant legacy on the South African tracks and in our paddocks and will be sorely missed. A mighty oak has indeed fallen. – Extracts from Sporting Post.