‘Our Hearts Are Broken:’ Connections Confirm Shared Belief Dead After Bout Of Colic

by | 12.03.2015 | 4:00pm
Shared Belief wins the Santa Anita Handicap

Eclipse Award winner and multiple graded stakes-winning gelding Shared Belief has died after an episode of colic. Co-owners Jim and Janet Rome confirmed the news Thursday afternoon with a statement on Jungle Racing's Facebook page. According to the statement, Shared Belief began to show symptoms of colic Thursday morning and was quickly referred to the veterinary clinic at the University of California-Davis, where he went into emergency surgery. The statement reads that the “doctors were unable to save him,” and that an autopsy will be performed to pinpoint the cause of the colic.

“Shared Belief was a once in a lifetime horse. A champion, fighter and unbelievable talent who impacted and changed all of our lives,” the statement read. “The little horse that feared no one and could do anything. He absolutely loved his job and to compete and run. As heartbreaking as this is, we all consider ourselves so fortunate to have been a part of this amazing animal's life.”

Shared Belief was working back from a hip fracture suffered in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic earlier this year, and had just galloped at Golden Gate Fields on Wednesday morning.

Jerry Hollendorfer trained the son of Candy Ride (ARG) through an undefeated juvenile season that included a win in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity. Shared Belief picked up wins in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic and Grade 1 Awesome Again as a 3-year-old, and suffered his only career loss in that year's Breeders' Cup Classic after being bumped badly at the break by Bayern.

The gelding also won the Grade 1 Malibu and Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap before his injury in the Charles Town Classic.

His career record finished at ten wins from 12 starts and earnings of $2,932,200.

Shared Belief was bred in Kentucky by Pam and Martin Wygod, and is out of Storm Cat mare Common Hope. Hollendorfer campaigned the horse in partnership with Jungle Racing, LLC, KMN Racing LLC, George Todaro, Jason Litt, and Alex Solis II.

“All of us at Golden Gate Fields are devastated to have learned about the passing of Shared Belief,” said Golden Gate vice president and general manager Calvin Rainey in a press release on Thursday afternoon. “It was a privilege being able to watch him train and compete here. We offer our condolences to Jerry Hollendorfer, his staff, and all of his owners.”

The full statement from Jungle Racing reads as follows:

“Thoroughbred racing is a sport filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Some of the most thrilling and surreal moments of our entire lives have occurred in this sport. Unfortunately, today we have suffered our most devastating. We have lost Shared Belief. He seemed to display signs of Colic this morning so our vets rushed in to treat him. They immediately sent him to UC Davis so he could get the best medical attention available, as quickly as possible. Emergency Colic surgery was performed, but doctors were unable to save him. We are still awaiting results of an autopsy. We are all absolutely devastated. Shared Belief was a once in a lifetime horse. A champion, fighter and unbelievable talent who impacted and changed all of our lives. The little horse that feared no one and could do anything. He absolutely loved his job and to compete and run. As heartbreaking as this is, we all consider ourselves so fortunate to have been a part of this amazing animal's life. He was a super horse from day one. He would end up winning 10 of 12 starts, including 5 G1's and an Eclipse Award. The Big Horse was a champion in every sense of the word. There will never be another like Shared Belief. Our hearts are broken. RIP, Champ.”

For a list of frequently-asked questions and answers about colic, see this 2013 interview with Dr. Louise Southwood of the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center.

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