NEWBRIDGE, Ireland (AP) Brown Panther, a horse part-owned by former England striker Michael Owen, died after a serious injury in the Irish St. Leger on Sunday.
The Tom Dascombe-trained 7-year-old Brown Panther was bidding to repeat his 2014 victory in The Curragh classic but he was suddenly pulled up by jockey Richard Kingscote around the halfway point with a broken hind leg.
After Brown Panther was euthanized, Owen described it as the ''saddest day of my life.''
''The toughest, most honest, most brilliant horse I will ever set eyes on passed away today doing the thing he loved most,'' the former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester United player write in an online post. ''A shattered hind leg that was irreparable according to the first class team at The Curragh ended his life.''
Brown Panther won 11 of 28 starts, earning more than $1.5 million in prize money.
Career highlights include winning the 2011 King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Dubai Gold Cup in March. He also raced in Australia, France and the United States.
''I was with him when he was born, shared an experience for 7 years that will never be repeated and gave him his last kiss goodbye,'' Owen wrote. ''What an honor to own and breed him. I love you Panther, life will not be the same without you.''