Owner Philip Reynolds paid a moving tribute to Presenting Percy by confirming that his ‘horse of a lifetime’ had died from a blood infection.
The 10-year-old looked like a superstar in the making when he put on a scintillating spectacle in the 2018 RSA Chase – his second success at the Cheltenham Festival, after winning the Pertemps final 12 months earlier.
He went on to win a second Galmoy Hurdle the following season, but could only finish eighth when he was favorite for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and never quite managed to regain his former shine.
After moving from Pat Kelly’s court to Gordon Elliott last summer, however, Presenting Percy returned to the winning track by defeating several first-year winners Kemboy and Monalee in a Listed event at Thurles – his 11th career victory.
An eighth place finish in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas turned out to be his last start – as he was excluded from Cheltenham and later from the Grand National at Aintree due to a leg infection, which ultimately cost him life.
Reynolds said: “It is with great sadness that I have to confirm that we have lost a three month battle with infection and have had no choice but to put Presenting Percy to sleep this afternoon. .
“I want to thank Ger Kelly and his staff at Fethard Equine Hospital for all their efforts in trying to save him and give him the retirement he deserved.
“I know it’s a cliché to say that running is a game of ups and downs, and we’ve had our share of both, but on days like this it makes you wonder if the highs are high enough. .
“Percy was a special athlete with a personality of his own. He took us to where we dreamed of, and we always look forward to having him with us during his downtime.
“We are deeply in pain for his loss and we feel so sorry for so many people who are related to him – Tom Costello, from whom I bought Percy, Pat Kelly, Kim and the team that made it, Gerry and all. to Athenry who loved him, Gordon Elliott, Mary and the Cullentra team, and of course (jockey) Davy Russell – who gave our family three memorable days in Cheltenham, two with our star Percy.
“The sudden sadness of his passing is hard to imagine, and the wonders of the ‘what if’ will remain. To everyone who shared our love for Percy, we are sorry.
“The horse of my life – and my honor to have been called its owner.”