Twin Champion Hurdle hero Hardy Eustace has died on the age of 27.
The massively fashionable gelding was educated by the late Dessie Hughes to win 14 instances in a 48-race profession, together with a trio of Cheltenham Pageant victories.
Having landed the Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle at Prestbury Park in 2003 below Kieran Kelly, he returned 12 months later to make all within the Champion Hurdle at 33-1, partnered by Conor O’Dwyer.
Hardy Eustace was a 7-2 joint-favourite for a similar race in 2005 when exhibiting great battling qualities to get the higher of Harchibald and Courageous Inca in one of the crucial memorable Champion Hurdles of latest instances.
He was retired from racing in 2009 and had been on the Irish Nationwide Stud since 2015.
Hardy Eustace’s proprietor, Lar Byrne, mentioned: “It is a very unhappy day to announce the passing of the legend Hardy Eustace.
“Hardy gave us so many particular days out and can perpetually be remembered as a once-in-a-lifetime horse for all of the Byrne household.
“Hardy made us many particular associates over his racing profession and retirement. Thanks for all the nice reminiscences, Hardy.”
Sandra Hughes, daughter of Dessie, mentioned: “Hardy was a horse of a lifetime for my dad. He was a good looking horse with an enormous coronary heart who beloved racing. We’ll cherish the reminiscences.”
O’Dwyer added: “I’m very unhappy to listen to the unhappy information of his passing, however he had a beautiful life and great retirement. He was an enormous a part of my profession and it was an honour to be related to him.”
Irish Nationwide Stud CEO Cathal Beale mentioned: “That period of Irish two-mile hurdlers; Hardy Eustace, Courageous Inca, Harchibald, Macs Pleasure and others lives lengthy within the reminiscence and coincided with an upturn in Irish fortunes at Cheltenham that we nonetheless see in the present day.
“He was a beautiful, light horse who lived out his days receiving the best of care from all of the group right here. He will likely be deeply missed by everybody on the Irish Nationwide Stud.”