Horse Chestnut (horse)

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Horse Chestnut
SireFort Wood
GrandsireSadler's Wells
DamLondon Wall
DamsireCol Pickering
CountrySouth Africa
BreederHarry F. Oppenheimer
OwnerHarry & Bridget Oppenheimer
TrainerMichael de Kock
Record10: 9-0-1
Major wins
Natal Free Handicap (1998)
Graham Beck Handicap (1998)
The Dingaans (1998)
J&B Metropolitan Stakes (1999)
South African Derby (1999)
South African Classic (1999)
Cape Argus Guineas (1999)
Broward Handicap (2000)
South African Horse of the Year (1999)
Horse Chestnut Stakes Grade 1 (1600m) Turffontein

Horse Chestnut (foaled 19 August 1995-died 19 February 2015[1]) was a champion thoroughbred racehorse bred in South Africa by Harry F. Oppenheimer at his Mauritzfontein Stud[2] in Kimberley. His sire Fort Wood[3] was a son of the British champion sire, Sadler's Wells. He was defeated once in his racing career of 10 starts. He was nominated as the first equine inductee into the South African Equine Hall of Fame in 2019 but lost the vote to Sea Cottage.


Horse Chestnut was raced by Oppenheimer and his wife, Bridget. The colt won the South African Triple Crown[4] and was named both Horse of the Year and Champion 3-year-old Colt at three. He ran 10 races, winning 9 and placing 3rd once. Notable wins include the Grade 1 J&B Metropolitan Stakes[5] over 2000m by 8¼ lengths, the Grade I South African Derby over 2450m by 10 lengths, and the Grade I South African Classic over 1800m by 4 lengths.

Sent to race in the United States, he won the Grade III Broward Handicap at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida, over 1700m by five and a half lengths. During his preparation for the Grade I Donn Handicap, Horse Chestnut fractured a piece of his splint bone on his near foreleg, resulting in his early retirement from racing.[6] The Oppenheimers subsequently sold the majority of shares in Horse Chestnut to Seth Hancock's Claiborne Farm in Kentucky, where he went to stud. He was subsequently purchased by the Horse Chestnut Syndicate and relocated back to South Africa in 2009 and stood at Drakenstein Farm Stud[7] where he stood 6 seasons until his death. He has produced a number of stakes winners but nothing remotely comparable to himself.[8]

Horse Chestnut died on 19 February 2015 in his stall at Drakenstein Stud in South Africa. Autopsy revealed that heart failure was the cause of his death.[1]

==Tabulated Race Record[9][10]

At 2 3 starts  2 wins 1 third  (South Africa) 1997/98
Won Maiden Juvenile Plate (1000m Turffontein) by 5.75 lengths in 57:52 12/20/97
3rd Morris Lipschitz Memorial Plate (Grade 3) (1200m Newmarket) beaten 1.75 lengths by Clifton King 03/10/98
Won Kwazulu-Natal Free Handicap (Listed) (1200m Clairwood) by 2 lengths in race record time of 1:09:31 07/15/98
At 3 6 starts  6 wins  (South Africa) 1998/99
Won Graham Beck Handicap (Listed) (1300m Gosforth Park) by 7 lengths from Pablo Zeta (gave 2.5 kg) 10/24/98
Won The Dingaans (Grade 2) (1600m Turffontein) by 4.25 lengths from Pablo Zeta 11/22/98
Won Cape Argus Guineas (Grade 1) (1600m Kenilworth) by 7.25 lengths from Pablo Zeta 01/16/99
Won J&B Metropolitan Stakes (Grade 1) (2000m Kenilworth) by 8 lengths from the year older Classic Flag (gave 5.5 kg) 02/06/99
Won South African Classic (Grade 1) (1800m Gosforth Park) by 3.75 lengths 03/27/99
Won South African Derby (Grade 1) (2450m Turffontein) by 9.5 lengths 04/24/99
At 4 1 start  1 win (United States) 2000
Won Broward Handicap (Grade 3) (1700m Gulfstream Park) by 5.5 lengths 01/08/00

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Death of Horse Chestnut". Summerhill Stud.
  2. ^ "Homepage".
  3. ^ "Fort Wood stallion".
  4. ^ "tabonline > Major Races > SA Majors > SA Triple Crown".
  5. ^ "The J&B Met".
  6. ^ "PLUS: HORSE RACING; Horse Chestnut Will Be Retired". The New York Times. Associated Press. 27 January 2000.
  7. ^ "Drakenstein Stud Farm".
  8. ^ "Horse Chestnut stallion".
  9. ^ == "Sporting Post Stallion Register Race Record" (PDF). * Excerpted from the previous Stallion Register page.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  10. ^ "Equibase past performances".