On March 18, 2019, WinStar Farm lost a treasured and valued horse. Pioneer of the Nile, sire of Grand Slam winner American Pharoah, was 13 years old when he died unexpectedly.
Many took to social media to show their sympathy for WinStar Farm and Zayat stables. “He was nothing short of perfect. A brilliant racehorse, a generational influence, and a cool customer. He started at the bottom and leaves an indelible mark on our industry. My heart goes out to Larry and his team who cared for Pioneer of the Nile everyday at WinStar Farm,” S. F. Bloodstock’s Tom Ryan said via Twitter.
After an autopsy, the preliminary results had indicated that Pioneer of the Nile had died of a heart attack.
He is what’s known as a Triple Crown sire because he is the father of Triple Crown Winner, American Pharaoh. He also fathered Classic Empire who was named American Champion Two-Year Old Male horse of the 2016 Breeders’ Futurity Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
Of the 620 foals of racing age, the stallion had 254 winners which included 23 black-type winners and 29 black-type performers. His winnings have earned more than $35.1 million and averaged around $94,495 in purses.
“It feels like an era is ending,” Ahmed Zayat, owner of Zayat Stables said. “It is so surreal. Elliott called me this morning in tears, and we were both in tears. Losing these horses is no different than losing family. They are part of us.”
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