The sporting world has paid tribute to legendary racehorse Subzero, who has died aged 32.
After battling ill health for several days, Subzero was humanely euthanised by veterinarians at the Bendigo Equine Hospital.
Owner and long-time carer Graham Salisbury also passed away in June, having suffered a long-term illness.
Salisbury’s daughter was with the gelding when he passed.
“He just went to sleep. I was with him and it was very peaceful,” she said, as reported by The Herald Sun.
“He died at 2.38pm. The same time as dad did, on a Saturday as well.”
Subzero won the Melbourne Cup, Adelaide Cup and South Australian Derby in 1992, earning more than $2 million in prizemoney during a stellar career.
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Racing Victoria chief executive Giles Thompson called it an “incredibly sad day” for the racing industry.
“Subbie’s contribution to the sport on and off the track was incredible and thoroughbred racing will forever be indebted to a horse that touched the hearts of both racing fans and everyday Australians,” Thompson said in a statement.
“As a Melbourne Cup winner he became a household name, but it was his work in retirement that earned him legendary status.
“Subbie was racing’s most famous equine ambassador and we were privileged to have had him headline our ‘Subzero Goes to School’ program for many years travelling to every corner of the state and beyond.
“Many youngsters have grown up having only had the chance to meet and pat one horse. That was horse Subbie and the laughter that emanated from those kids when Subbie nodded his head to a question of whether he had a girlfriend is something that will live long with many of us.
“From schoolchildren to the elderly, those battling ill health to Hollywood A-listers, Subbie and Graham did plenty to bring joy to their lives whilst promoting the sport of thoroughbred racing at the same time.
“When the time is right we will have a discussion with the Salisbury family and our Clubs about an appropriate tribute to Subzero. In the meantime, we send our thoughts and best wishes to Anita and the Salisbury family.”