Perennial California champion sire Unusual Heat dies aged 27
Son of Nureyev had been retired from covering duties in 2016
Unusual Heat, a perennial champion sire in California, has died at the age of 27 due to complications from arthritis induced laminitis.
The son of Nureyev had been retired from covering duties at Harris Stud in October of last year and was residing at the stud as a pensioner.
Harris Auerbach, managing partner of the Unusual Heat Syndicate said: "He gave so much to racing, breeding and Thoroughbred Retirement here in California. He provided the impetus for Cal-breds to be at the forefront of California racing with runners that filled fields and raised the quality standard of the state breds during his era.
"He was also the driving force behind the creation of CARMA (Californian Retirement Management Account) which has led to millions of dollars of funding for our retirees here in California. He will be sorely missed, especially to those of us who loved and admired him."
Unusual Heat was bred in Kentucky by John TL Jones out of Danish champion mare Rossard and in 1991 became one of the most expensive yearlings sold at a Barrett's auction when he sold for $250,000.
Under the care of Dermot Weld Unusual Heat won the Listed Amethyst Stakes, Glencairn Stakes and Platinum Stakes as well as being runner-up in the Group 2 Platinum Stakes.
The horse then returned to his native country, where he was trained by Richard Mandela before being claimed by a partnership for $80,000.
Unusual Heat stood his first season at stud at Walter Greenham's farm in California, and produced just 15 foals from that debut crop. He also had a stint at Old English Rancho before joining Harris Farm in 2010.
His most notable progeny include the US-bred Acclamation, a six-time Grade 1 winner, Lethal Heat, Unusual Suspect and Gervinho.
With his sons and daughters having amassed $54.3 million in worldwide progeny earnings, Unusual Heat has won six California leading sire championships and is still the reigning California conceived leading turf sire with 13 straight championships from 2004-2016.