Sir Prize Birthday Euthanized at age 35
Saratoga Springs, NY- Sir Prize Birthday, the oldest member of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s herd, was euthanized Wednesday afternoon at the Wallkill Correctional Facility in NY. He was 35 years old.
“Wednesday morning, he wasn’t walking straight and was wobbling quite a bit,” said Wallkill Farm Manager Jim Tremper. “We were watching him all day and in the afternoon, he lay down and didn’t want to get up. He had had enough.”
As a racehorse, Sir Prize Birthday was one of a few Thoroughbred racehorses to make 200 starts. He went to post 206 times and fashioned a record of 39-38-32. When he joined Wallkill in 1998, he quickly established himself as the herd boss. According to Tremper, “He always had to be first to the feed tub, first to everything. But he was only aggressive around other horses. Around people, he was easy. In fact, he was so easy that for years we used him as a starter horse for new inmates.”
Sir Prize Birthday was so kind around humans that he was once sent to work at a children’s camp. When the camp closed, he returned home to Wallkill.
In recent years, younger horses took on the more dominant role at Wallkill, which is home to 53 former racehorses used to teach horse management to inmates as a vocation.
“Birthday was one of the tougher horses here for years, but as he got older we had to separate him from the other horses to make sure he had time to eat his large ration of senior feed”, Tremper said. “He was fine with that, and he was doing well. He was always a pretty sound horse.”
Sir Prize Birthday was bred in Florida, a son of Singh-Vent Du Nord, by Prize Du Nord, and earned more than $300,000. In an interview two years ago, his former trainer, Tim Ritchey, described Sir Birthday as, “a hard-knocking horse. He was all class and earned every penny he made.” Quick Call, and Steel Drum, now both age 31, are now the elder statesmen in the TRF herd.