Superstar Spotlight: Kauto Star
You may have heard this week that the racing legend, Kauto Star has sadly been put to sleep after sustaining catastrophic injuries from a fall in his paddock. We thought it only fitting to write a Blog looking at his racing career and his recent transition into dressage.
Kauto Star was born in France to his mother ‘Kauto Relka’. He won a series of hurdle races at Auteil racecourse, near Paris, before being sold to Mr Smith, a golf course designer who paid €400,000 (£285,000) for him in 2004, who put him in the care of champion trainer Paul Nicholls (seen in picture below)
Kauto Stars’ King George VI Chase win at Kempton Park on Boxing Day, 2006 was the first of five – more than any other horse to have won the Christmas showcase. Fans of Kauto Star saw him win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the most prestigious race in the calendar in March 2007. The next season saw a rivalry that would go down in racing history, as he competed against his stablemate Denman.
Kauto Star continued to rack up high-profile wins – including another Gold Cup in 2009 – until he ran in the 2012 Gold Cup despite getting an injury in the build up. He was pulled up halfway through that race to a gigantic round of applause.
His retirement was announced later that year.
Fondly known as ‘The King’, Kauto Star was working with event rider Laura Collett to introduce him to the world of dressage, just before he passed away. This decision was not easily made- trainer Paul Nicholls wanted Kauto Star to retire at his yard, living a quiet life as a happy hacker, however it was decided that he would try to pursue a career in dressage under the training of Laura Collett. He appeared at Olympia to showcase his new career to thousands of equine enthusiasts, showing that he could turn his racing talent into the skills needed to compete in dressage.
A racing legend lost but definitely not forgotten.