The Iroquois Steeplechase community mourns the loss of our 2012 champion, Arcadius, a great horse whose life was claimed Saturday by an aneurysm.
Our grief is tempered by knowing that Arcadius’ death was unrelated to his participation in the 71st running of the Calvin Houghland Iroquois. A necropsy by the state of Tennessee showed that the aneurysm that felled Arcadius, an 8-year-old thoroughbred owned by Hudson River Farms, was not connected to his outstanding performance in the race. Veterinarians said that the type of aneurysm that Arcadius suffered could have happened at any time.
This finding of the necropsy is line with the events surrounding Arcadius’ passing. After winning the Iroquois, he easily trotted back to the Winner’s Circle, stopped for a victory photo with his jockey, and was then calmly walked to the cool down area with no signs of duress. While being cooled down, a service routinely provided to steeplechase horses after a race to assure that they do not overheat, he suffered the aneurysm.
Like any top flight athlete, Arcadius was in top physical condition. Indeed, proof of his strength and stamina was decisively on display in his winning performance. Also like all great athletes, both animal and human, Arcadius enjoyed competing, as was obvious to everyone who worked with him. He simply loved to run.