Four-time leading Louisiana stallion Half Ours was euthanized July 17 following a paddock accident at Clear Creek Stud near Folsom, La., according to farm owner Val Murrell.
"It is a sad day for us all… Half Ours enriched our breeders program in Louisiana and beyond, having touched many who bred and raced," Murrell said. "He was obviously an integral part of Clear Creek Stud's very existence, like a family member that you saw every day. His loss will be felt by many and his influence will remain for years to come, defined by progeny that always showed up, held together, running on both dirt or grass."
The 18-year-old son of Unbridled's Song led his freshman sire class in Louisiana in 2011 with nearly $500,000 in progeny earnings and was the state's only freshman sire with a black-type runner that year. He kept the momentum going in 2012 when he was Louisiana's leading second-crop sire and remained among the top 10 sires going forward.
Half Ours topped the Louisiana sire list twice in 2015-16, siring six black-type winners for each of those years and amassing nearly $5.8 million in progeny earnings over the two years.
Bred in Kentucky by Brilliant Stables, Half Ours was out of the winning Storm Cat mare Zing. He was a highly regarded yearling at the 2004 Keeneland September Yearling Sale where agent Buzz Chace bought him for $625,000 out of the Taylor Made Sales Agency consignment. The colt was initially raced by Aaron and Marie Jones with Barry Schwartz and later just by the Joneses. Half Ours won the Three Chimneys Juvenile Stakes at 2 and the Richter Scale Sprint Championship Handicap (G2) at 4. He retired with five wins and a second from seven starts and earned $319,680.
As a stallion, Half Ours entered stud at Taylor Made Stallions in Kentucky in 2008 and then was relocated to Clear Creek for the 2010 breeding season. He has sired 24 stakes winners, led by multiple grade 1-placed stakes winner Gentlemen's Bet. The colt out of Lady of Sun won three stakes—the Frank J. de Francis Memorial Dash Stakes, Iowa Sprint Handicap, and Hot Spring Stakes—and was third in the Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) and Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1). Gentlemen's Bet earned $744,155.
Half Ours' progeny were tough competitors on the biggest racing days for Louisiana-breds, having won or placed 51 times during Louisiana Champions, LA Bred Premier Night, Louisiana Legends, and Louisiana Cup day races. His runners were particularly precocious, with 11 of his stakes winners earning black-type at 2. Not surprisingly his progeny were especially potent in the Louisiana Futurity divisions, for which he sired six winners between 2014-20. In 2015, his son Half Cajun and his daughter Smitty's Cougar won both divisions.
Aside from siring stakes winners that performed from 2 to 8, Half Ours' runners also were successful on different surfaces. He sired eight stakes winners on grass, topped by Partly Mocha, who won the Frontier Utilities Stakes Turf Sprint and Bucharest Turf Sprint Stakes on his way to earning more than $533,000 in turf races. To date, Half Ours' progeny have earned more than $21.7 million and averaged $50,990 per starter.