Summer Squall Remembered
There are many people who mourn the loss of the great stallion, Summer Squall. He did not only make a great impact on horse racing, but touched the lives of so many. He was not the biggest horse on the track, but the athlete with the most courage. Summer Squall took each loss in his stride and saw it as an opportunity to learn and perform better in his next event, which led to the great horse being retired from racing with thirteen victories off twenty starts and career earnings of over $1.8 million.
Summer Squall was foaled in 1987 by Weekend Surprise and sired by Storm Bird. With having Northern Dancer as his grandsire and Secretariat as his damsire, Cot Campbell knew he was something special from the first moment he saw him. Campbell, who is the president of Dogwood Stables, clearly remembers the first time he laid eyes on Summer Squall, and every moment that followed. He purchased Summer Squall for $300 000 as a yearling, and proudly watched as Summer Squall went undefeated throughout his two year old career campaign. He was trained at the Aiken Training Track by Ron Stevens, from Legacy Stables, who also broke him in. According to Stevens, who is deeply saddened by the loss of Summer Squall, commented that he will always be grateful to the horse that not only put Dogwood Stables on the map, but himself included.
This amazing horse is probably mostly remembered for his comeback at the 1990 Preakness Stakes, when he beat Unbridled to the finish line, after placing second against Unbridled in the Kentucky Derby. What few people realize is that Unbridled and Summer Squall came up against each other six times, and four of those events went to Summer Squall. Cot Campbell never let go of Summer Squall even after he was retired to stud at Lane’s End in 1991, visiting the champion at least three times a year. He sired magnificent horses such as Storm Song, Charismatic, Summer Mis and Summer Colony and was damsire to Stevie Wonderboy and Summer Bird. In 2004, due to fertility problems, Lanes End decided to pension him, but they too were not able to let him go. Summer Squall remained at Lanes End until 22 September 2009, when he was euthanized at the age of twenty two, in regard to health complications caused by old age.
Campbell knew the call from Mike Cline, manager for Lane’s End Farm, would eventually come, but it was still a shock to him. But one thing remains certain, Summer Squall will always be remembered by those who loved him, and were privileged to work with him. He will be buried at Lane’s End Farm, a deserved final journey for a courageous and brilliant race horse.