Day At The Track

Tears flow big-time for Rocknroll Hanover

07:44 AM 15 Mar 2013 NZDT
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Rocknroll Hanover Rocknroll Hanover Rocknroll hanover Rocknroll Hanover - the montage A fiesty Rocknroll Hanover Rocknroll Hanover
Rocknroll Hanover
Rocknroll Hanover - Pacing peotry in motion
Rocknroll hanover - Wishing everyone a happy New Year on January 1 this year
Rocknroll Hanover - the montage
A fiesty Rocknroll Hanover - With his caretaker Sarah Lauren Scott.
Rocknroll Hanover - With Sarah Lauren Scott and Brett Pelling
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Eight hours after 2005 Horse-of-the-Year and harness racing giant Rocknroll Hanover was euthanized at the Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center in New Jersey, her former caretaker Sarah Lauren Scott was still having trouble holding back her tears.

“I am so saddened at the moment – I can't think straight. I believe there was a trust between us. I love my horses and care for them as my own, but this horse was so special to me. He never went without anything and at the end of the day he knew he was my king,” Scott told Harnesslink from her home in Ontario Canada.

“It’s very tough right now answering your questions, so please excuse me,” she added.

Yesterday at about 4pm the 2005 Pacer of the Year and 3-year-old Colt Pacer-of-the-Year was put down after rupturing his stomach. He was 11.

Scott, who was his caretaker throughout his racing career, said she was having trouble coming to terms with the death of one of her best friends.

“He was the classiest horse I have ever been around. He loved his routine, he was gentle, although full of himself. It was a dream come true to be his caretaker,” Scott said.

The son of Western Ideal and Rich n Elegant, who was trained by Brett Pelling, won 12 of 18 races as a 3-year-old and banked $2.23 million. All up he won 15 of his 26 starts and $3,069,093. His quickest mile of 1:48.3 was recorded at the Meadowlands in the $1million Meadowlands Pace on July 16, 2005.

Rocknroll Hanover’s wins in 2005 included the North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace and Breeders Crown, making him only the second horse to complete a sweep of the three races. The other was 2000 Horse of the Year Gallo Blue Chip.

Scott said Rocknroll Hanover was a very smart, willing horse who knew his job and enjoyed his work. “He was a routine horse. We had a daily schedule and he stuck to it. Everyday after he jogged or trained he would sleep next to the wall and lay down.

“When he was ready to get up I would put him away - most of the time in his stall because he was quieter that way. Nine times out of 10 he had three Jack Russell terriers guarding his stall or sleeping in his hay,” said Scott.

She said the champ was renown for going on to the track on his hind legs (see photo).

“I went back to the barn every night and took him grass. That became our private ritual and it was good for both of us.

Scott relocated from Ontario to New Jersey to care for him through out his unforgettable 3-year-old season.

“He was very healthy and I don't ever remember him missing a meal. However, he was sick as a 2-year-old and we scratched him from the Breeders Crown final, with the hope of not ruining him as a 3-year-old.

“He always came out of the races well. Rest in Peace to my boy Rock, one who gave so many so much,” said Scott.

She said her personal highlights were winning the Metro Pace and Rocknroll Hanover being the first 2yo sub 1:50 pacer in history.

“His Breeders Crown victory was also special. He blew the field away that day. But off the track it was even more special and personal. I just enjoyed spending time with him alone – our quiet time together.”

As a sire, Rocknroll Hanover's four crops of racing age have banked more than $45 million, with 104 $100,000 earners and 233 who have taken a record of 1:55.

Among his top foals were Rock N Roll Heaven p,3,1:47.3 ($2,748,818), the 2010 Horse of the Year, and Put On A Show p,5,1:47.3 ($2,406,628), the fastest female pacer in history.

Rocknroll Hanover sire was standing stud at Perretti Farms of Pennsylvania. He was owned by Perretti Racing Stable, Jeffrey Snyder and Lothlorien Equestrian Centre.

He was inducted into the Living Horse Hall of Fame in 2012.

Other dedications came from:

Mark Herlihy (trainer, Ontario):

“Rip Rocknroll Hanover! It was a true honour working for Brett Pelling and being around great horses like him. I loved the call ‘Rocknroll’ will never die! And he never will!

Greg Peck (trainer Pennsylvania):

Rock N Roll Heaven will be getting a lot of requests tomorrow. With the passing of his sire, he'll be the "go to guy." He was gaited exactly like his Dad which is what you want. A lot of the Western Ideal line did not possess the gait of those two.”

Joe Bellino, owner of Rocknroll Heaven:

“I'It’s all very sad. He gave me one of the biggest joys of my life in Rocknroll Heaven. He will be missed."

Janine Engelman (Engelwood Paint Horses, Pennsylvania):

“Oh man! God rest the soul of the ‘Greatest Pacing Sire’ we may ever see.”

By Duane RANGER (editor)

(1) Rocknroll Hanover – close-up and personal:

(2) Rocknroll Hanover winning the Metro Pace in 1:49.4:

(3) Rocknroll Hanover winning the 2005 Meadowlands Pace:

(4) Rocknroll Hanover winning the 3yo Bluegrass Stakes:

(5) Rocknroll Hanover winning the 22nd North America Cup:

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