Florida Pearl had a cancerous disease in his abdomen that was untreatablePICTURE: Getty Images
Popular Florida Pearl dies at20 after illness
FLORIDA PEARL brought us endless joy, great friends and unforgettable journeys, his connections said on Sunday after the death of the outstanding chaser on Saturdaynight at the age of 20.
Owned by Archie and Violet O'Leary, Florida Pearl was trained by Willie Mullins to win four Irish Hennessys, a Champion Bumper, RSA Chase and the 2001 King George VI Chase, his last run being his final Irish Hennessy victory in 2004.
He was retired to the Irish National Stud in County Kildare, where he thrived until a nosebleed last week and a bout of colic this week led to the discovery of a cancerous disease in his abdomen that was aggressive and untreatable.
The stud's chief executive John Osborne said: "Once we knew the situation it was a case of timing. The vet couldn't get his restingheart rate below 80, which is a sign of stress and we didn't want him to live like that.
"A hard decision was taken to have him put down, but it was the right thing to do at the right time. It's very sad and I am sure that we will commemorate him somehow here, but that's for another day."
Florida Pearl was Closutton's earliest stable star and Mullins on Sunday paid tribute to the eight-time Grade 1 winner.
He said: "He was a huge star and the best chaser we ever had. He was a dream horse, who played a huge part in my career as a trainer."