Black Heart Bart will spend the remainder of his days at a cattle farm in the Great Southern after connections decided not to send him to Living Legends.
The rising 10-year-old ran his last race at Belmont on June 13. The son of Scenic Lodge champion Blackfriars finished his career having won 17 races – 6 of them at Group 1 level – with prizemoney of $4.81 million after being purchased for just $20,000 at the Perth Magic Millions.
Melbourne-based Living Legends confirmed they would be keen to offer a home to the popular galloper, but his connections decided to keep him closer to home.
Managing owner Kim Renner, who is a Geraldton builder, said while they were thankful Living Legends had shown interest in Black Heart Bart, they were keeping ‘their mate’ somewhere they would be able to regularly go and visit him.
“He means so much to us and he’s certainly our friend so I decided to send him to live with a good friend of mine who has a 300-acre cattle farm in Albany,” Renner said. “He will really enjoy it there among other horses too and it means I can still go and see him more often, there’s even a chance that mate’s daughter might ride him in shows too.
“I’ve owned more than 300 horses but he’s right up the top of the most special.
“We bought him as a group of five mates and sadly two of those friends have since passed away from cancer and a heart attack, so he’s even more special that we were able to share all those moments with him together.”
Renner had been the first one to spot Black Heart Bart more than eight years ago and says he’s been an owner’s dream and deserves a great retirement.
He failed to beat a runner home in his final two races in Perth and was retired after bleeding at Belmont but Renner defended the decision to continue to race him this year. “We would do nothing to hurt him because he means so much to us but he’s a racehorse and always showed us that he wanted to keep racing.
“We received a bit of criticism on social media and it was obviously sad with him having bled. But he’s a happy guy who has recovered well and I can guarantee will now be given a well-earned retirement in a beautiful place.”