Horses

Kentucky Derby winner Charismatic died of pelvic bleeding

Charismatic was introduced at a news conference Dec. 12 at Old Friends, a Thoroughbred retirement center on Paynes Depot Road near Georgetown. Charismatic, whose 1999 Triple Crown bid ended with a third-place finish and a broken leg at the Belmont Stakes, died Feb. Sunday. The cause of death was internal bleeding from a severely broken pelvis.
Charismatic was introduced at a news conference Dec. 12 at Old Friends, a Thoroughbred retirement center on Paynes Depot Road near Georgetown. Charismatic, whose 1999 Triple Crown bid ended with a third-place finish and a broken leg at the Belmont Stakes, died Feb. Sunday. The cause of death was internal bleeding from a severely broken pelvis. cbertram@herald-leader.com

The cause of death for former Kentucky Derby champion Charismatic, who died Sunday on the Old Friends horse retirement farm in Scott County, has been determined.

Charismatic died of bleeding from a severe pelvis fracture, according to a statement from Old Friends Farm veterinarians.

“A necropsy performed at the University of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory revealed that Charismatic suffered a severe catastrophic fracture of his pelvis that resulted in fatal bleeding,” the statement read. “Pelvic fractures will in some cases also lacerate the large arteries of the pelvis and cause severe internal bleeding. Fatal pelvic fractures are uncommon and usually unforeseeable. It is not possible to know exactly how the injury happened or any factors that may have led to its occurrence.”

The 21-year-old horse had distinguished career, winning the 1999 Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. He came in third in the Belmont Stakes, falling short of his Triple Crown bid, coming behind Vision And Verse and winner Lemon Drop Kid. Charismatic fractured two bones in his left front leg during the race, which ended his racing career.

Charismatic will be buried at Old Friends farm, like all horses who retire there. It has not yet been determined if there will be a special event for Charismatic's death, but every Memorial Day, Old Friends holds a memorial service for dead horses.

Charismatic had lived at Old Friends since December after being in Japan since 2002. Charismatic’s sire was Summer Squall, the winner of the 1990 Preakness Stakes, who was euthanized in 2009. Charismatic’s dam was Bali Babe.

During his tenure, Charismatic had 17 starts, with five wins, two places, four shows and earned $2,038,064.

Trey Crumbie: 859-231-3261, @CrumbieHLeader.

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