Day At The Track

'Rocknroll' euthanized in New Jersey

12:02 AM 15 Mar 2013 NZDT
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Rocknroll Hanover
Rocknroll Hanover - will forever be a pacing legend.
USTA/Ed Keys photo

Rocknroll Hanover, the sire of 2010 Horse of the Year and five million-dollar winners, was euthanized on Thursday afternoon (March 14) at Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center.The stallion was collected for breeding on Wednesday at the Perretti annex in Pennsylvania. On Thursday morning he showed signs of discomfort and his stomach appeared distended and he was taken to Mid-Atlantic. Dr. Rodney Belgrave told Perretti Farms, where the horse stood at stud, that he suffered gastric impaction and his condition was irreversible.

"Losing Rocknroll feels just like the loss of the horses in the barn fire here several years ago," said Bob Marks, director of marketing at Perretti Farms.

Marks added that when Rocknroll Hanover was bred on Wednesday "he gave us a huge amount of semen and seemed fine. Then this morning they noticed he wasn't right, and while he was eating they said that's because since their stomach gets larger they just keep eating."

Dr. Belgrave, an internal medicine specialist at Mid-Atlantic, said that often horses do not exhibit typical colic symptoms with gastric impaction of the stomach.

"When he arrived here he was diagnosed with a gastric impaction with a suspected rupture or leak," Dr. Belgrave told "He also had peritonitis, or an infection.

Dr. Patty Doyle performed the exploratory surgery.There was contamination of the abdomen with fecal material and the stomach had ruptured." Dr. Belgravec confirmed what Marks said, that horses often do not exhibit classic signs of colic as do horses suffering from an impaction of the colon. "With a gastric impaction, horses continue to eat; you would think that they get a negative signal, but they don't. So when they get to us they are either on the brink of the stomach rupturing or they have already ruptured. At that time the horse can't be saved."

The 11-year-old Rocknroll Hanover was foaled on April 12, 2002, at Hanover Shoe Farms in Pennsylvania. Trained by Brett Pelling, the son of Western Ideal and the prolific producer Rich N Elegant became a major stakes winner at age two, capturing the Metro for owners Jeffrey Snyder and Audrey Campbell's Lothlorien. At age three he won the North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace and other major stakes. Perretti Racing Stable bought an interest in the horse before the Meadowlands Pace and syndicated him to stand at stud in New Jersey. He was retired from racing with a mark of 1:48.3 and earnings of $2,754,038.

Rocknroll Hanover was in his eighth season at stud in 2013 and has already sired four million-dollar winners: 2010 Horse of the Year Rock N Roll Heaven p, 3, 1:47.3 ($2,748,818); Put On A Show p,3, 1:49.4;1:47.3 ($2,362,878); A Rocknroll Dance p,2, 1:49.1; 3, 1:48.1f ($1,933,854); Rocklamation p,2, 1:54.3; 4, 1:49.4($1,197,771) and Ticket To Rock p, 1:50.3f ($1,107,033).

Bob Marks of Perretti Farms said Rocknroll Hanover will be buried at the farm.

by Kathy PARKER (Courtesy of

Rocknroll Hanover destroying his opponents in the 2005 Meadowlands Pace

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