Summer Bird Retires from Horse Racing

With the magnificent Birdstone (winner of the 2004 Belmont Stakes) as his sire, and out of the mare Hong Kong Squall, there were high hopes for race horse Summer Bird. During his career he did not disappoint, winning major stakes races and showing all the qualities of an outstanding champion. Unfortunately his horse racing career has been cut short, and the decision has been made to retire Summer Bird to stud, bringing an end to the hopes and dreams of his owners, trainer and loyal supporters.

Summer Bird was bred on Tiffany Farm, in Florida, by husband and wife Kalarikkal Jayaraman and Vilasini Jayaraman, and was foaled on 7 April 2006. He began his racing career in 2009, and enjoyed his first victory at Oaklawn Park on only his second career start, and immediately began showing improvement and focus on the racecourse. His fifth career start saw him compete against his half brother, Mine That Bird, in the 2009 Belmont Stakes, which he won comfortably. The magnificent racehorse went on to win the Jockey Club Gold Cup, as well as the Travers Stakes. The American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse award was also given to Summer Bird in the same year. In total, Summer Bird earned over $2.3 million for his owners during his short horse racing career.

Tragedy struck the talented chestnut while training for his participation in the Japan Cup Dirt, which was to be hosted in November. He was immediately shipped home for medical treatment and had to undergo surgery to stabilize a non-displaced fracture located in the front cannon bone of his right leg. During his rest and recovery period, Summer Bird was placed in the care of trainer Tim Ritchey. Summer Bird was showing positive signs of healing, even taking on a few gallops at Delaware Park, and there was talk of the champion making his comeback as early as June. But a medical check up showed that there was still a hairline fracture in the bone and veterinarians advised that returning to full training and competing could result in a fatal injury. The decision was made to rather not risk the health of Summer Bird and he will be retired to stud. No stud plans have been made for next year, so Summer Bird will remain with Tim Ritchey until arrangements have been finalised for his stud career.