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MSU loses stallion with top pedigree
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University’s equine reproduction program lost its top stallion to a catastrophic leg injury during a severe thunderstorm on the afternoon of July 11.
Minister Slew, a grandson of 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, was alone in a paddock when he apparently spooked or took a misstep during a sudden thunderstorm and fractured a front leg above the knee. He was euthanized a short time later.
Dr. David Christiansen, assistant professor of pathobiology and population medicine with MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, responded to Minister Slew’s injury.
“Slew was standing in the paddock but completely unable to put weight on the leg. It was clearly not something he could have recovered from,” he said. “I would describe it as the worst fracture I’ve ever seen. He was showing a lot of heart, but there was no doubt that we needed to put him down as soon as possible.”
Peter Ryan, associate professor of animal and dairy science, said this thoroughbred stallion will be difficult to replace.
“This is obviously a great loss to our equine program since Minister Slew was our major income generator, not to mention the most talked about and popular horse we had,” Ryan said. “He had an impeccable pedigree and matching confirmation. He was great to work with and ideal for teaching the veterinary students how to handle a stallion.”
Minister Slew provided owners of thoroughbreds and other breeds with the opportunity for champion bloodlines at an affordable cost. His stud fee was $1,000. His maternal pedigree included Seattle Slew and Bold Ruler, the father of Secretariat. The paternal side of his family included notables such as Deputy Minister, Vice Regent, Northern Dancer and Native Dancer.
A Kentucky partnership purchased Minister Slew for $500,000 in 2000 at Keeneland Yearling Sales. A foot problem made him unsuitable for future racing but was not expected to affect his offspring. His owners donated him to the university because of a personal connection with an MSU faculty member.
“We have had several donors who are very supportive of our equine program,” Ryan said. “The funds we raise from stud fees and the sale of weanlings help support our efforts to improve Mississippi’s horse industry.”
MSU owns eight mares that are carrying Minister Slew’s foals to be delivered next spring. Stud services of four MSU stallions registered with the American Quarter Horse Association remain available for the public’s horses and for MSU’s mares.
For more information about using the MSU equine reproduction program, contact Ryan at (662) 325-2938 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: Dr. Peter Ryan, (662) 325-2938 or Dr. David Christiansen, (662) 325-1348