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Oct 12, 2007

John Henry euthanized

Lexington, KY (Sports Network) - John Henry, a two-time Horse of the Year, was humanely euthanized Monday night at Kentucky Horse Park. He was 32 years old.

John Henry, who spent the last 22 years of his life at the Kentucky Horse Park following a brilliant racing career, was suffering from kidney problems and a loss of muscle mass.

"After continued successful efforts to maintain the quality of John Henry's life, in the past 48 hours he did not respond to our medical intervention," said Kathy Hopkins, the park's equine director. "Due to the loss of kidney function and muscle mass, his veterinarian, Dr. Mike Beyer, found it impossible to keep him properly hydrated and comfortable. Over the years, our goal has always been to maintain the highest quality of care and life for him, and it became evident over the weekend that this was no longer possible. Our hearts go out to all of those who so deeply cared for John during his long and charismatic life."

John Henry won 39 races, including 30 stakes victories, and earned more than $6.5 million -- the most for any thoroughbred upon his retirement in 1985. He was a seven-time Eclipse Award winner, capturing Horse of the Year honors at ages six and nine, and was inducted into Racing's Hall of Fame in 1990.

In addition to his wins, the gelding finished second 15 times and was third nine times in his 83 starts over eight years of racing.

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