24th February 2020
Double Trigger died yesterday in his paddock at John and Sarah Haydon’s Clarendon Farm in Wiltshire. He was 28 years and 11 months old. A great age for a thoroughbred horse.
It is only a few weeks since videos were distributed on social media of him cantering around the paddock and cavorting like a young thing. He was in rude health till the end. What a way to go.
It seems that, no matter what champions I trained or might be lucky enough to train in future, I will always be remember more for having trained Double Trigger than for anything else. He captured the public’s imagination like no other animal that I have been associated with, and rightly so.
He was purchased for just 7,200 Irish pounds at Goffs Orby sales in October 1992 and he went on to win 14 races (13 of them Stakes races) from 29 starts, amassing £559,102 in prize-money. His wins included three Goodwood Cups, three Doncaster Cups, the Ascot Gold Cup, and the Italian St.Leger. He was third in the real St.Leger on just his fourth career start and he also finished runner up twice in the Ascot Gold Cup.
His career as a stallion inevitably revolved around jump racing and he didn’t scale any great heights – few, if any, stayers do these days – but it was a long and productive career at stud with the couple who kept him in his retirement.
I was neither shocked nor particularly saddened by the news that he had gone. It had to happen soon and it happened suddenly and without any suffering. To share the phrase which has been adopted as a slogan by the new Welfare Board, Double Trigger had ‘a life well lived’.