Horse racing community in shock over tragic death of I'm Thunderstruck

The multiple Group 1 winner had to be euthanised after a mishap following routine surgery.

I'm Thunderstruck, pictured here before his tragic death.
I'm Thunderstruck had to be euthanised after a mishap following routine surgery. Image: Getty

The horse racing community has been rocked by the shocking death of champion horse I'm Thunderstruck after a freak accident following surgery on Thursday. The multiple Group 1 winner reportedly injured himself while standing up after a routine knee chip operation and had to be euthanised.

“Words can’t adequately express our sadness at today’s news on I’m Thunderstruck,” the five-year-old's owners OTI racing wrote on social media. “We feel for all connected with this amazing horse - our co-owners and the team at Mick Price Racing in particular. We will remember him in full flight.”

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The horse's managing owner Terry Henderson revealed I’m Thunderstruck had to be euthanised after suffering catastrophic injuries. “The horse has been euthanised, and we’re all devastated,” Henderson told The Age.

“Hundreds of times and, in fact, after the operation it appeared everything was OK. But clearly the horse must have got up and put weight in such a manner that caused multiple fractures in the knee and as a result of that, (surgeon) John Russell had no choice but to put the horse down.”

Henderson also told "He seemed to stand up OK but they quickly realised he was severely lame and as a result of that they found he had multiple fractures in a knee, which wasn't the area (operated on), the surgery was actually on a fetlock. He's clearly got up and in some way or another done damage to the knee, which caused the problem and of course we had no choice then but to euthanise the horse.

"It's very upsetting, it's a game (racing) that has its up and downs and this is one of them. The horse wasn't lame when we did the procedure … these are heavy weight-bearing animals and it doesn't take a lot for things to go wrong and all of a sudden you're faced with a major problem."

Jamie Kah, pictured here riding I'm Thunderstruck during a trackwork session in February.
Jamie Kah riding I'm Thunderstruck during a trackwork session in February. (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

Horse racing world shattered over death of I'm Thunderstruck

I’m Thunderstruck won $8.35 million in prize money, winning seven races from 23 starts. He won the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes and Toorak Handicap, as well as the Golden Eagle in Sydney, while also finishing second in the Cox Plate last year behind Anamoe.

Michael Guerin of the New Zealand Herald tweeted: “Terrible news: outstanding galloper I’m Thunderstruck has been put down today. Had an accident coming off operating table after routine knee chip operation and connections left with no option but to put him down. Feel for OTI Racing and Mick Price Racing as well as owners.”

Racing commentator Andrew Hawkins posted: “Sometimes there is news that just winds you. The death of I’m Thunderstruck one of those headlines. Just a very special horse on and off the track. Thoughts with everyone who worked with him and loved him dearly.”

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