Tributes paid to Cool Roxy
Fakenham legend Cool Roxy has died at the age of 20 after suffering an attack of colic.
Cool Roxy, ridden by regular pilot Chris Honour, on his way to victory in 2009 – at Fakenham, of course.
An 11-times winner at the Norfolk track, Cool Roxy was retired in 2011 and last visited the course in October 2015 to attend the opening of a new owners' and trainers' bar named in his honour.
He was owned and trained by Hertford permit holder Alan Blackmore, who described Cool Roxy as a "lovely horse to handle".
Blackmore said: "It's very sad. We didn't look after him anymore – I gave him to Emily Crossman, who used to ride him out. She did some showjumping with him and dressage and looked after him very well.
"Unfortunately, the other night he got colic and she took him into the vet college.
"They operated on him, but sadly they found it was impossible to fix it, so they had to put him down.
"It's very sad as he was so active. You'd think he was a five-year-old when you saw him working.
"He loved his work and was full of beans. He'd have lived to a ripe old age if that hadn't happened.
"He was a favourite at Fakenham. He always raced so well there. He never had a day's lameness. He was always a lovely horse to handle. He had no vices, he wasn't quirky at all.
"He was just straightforward and wanted to please you. It was a pleasure and an honour to train a horse like that."
Fakenham clerk of the course David Hunter was also saddened by the news.
Hunter said: "He was a horse very much personally in my heart and to Fakenham.
"He opened a bar we named after him just over a year ago and you couldn't come across a nicer horse owned by nicer people.
"I also feel sad for the groom who was looking after him. He was leading a full and active life. My heart goes out to Emily and to the Blackmores.
"He was a fantastic horse and he took a lot of money out of the Fakenham coffers over the years. It's a great shame.
"He had a massive following at Fakenham. When he opened the bar the October before last, he looked a picture. We named a race after him and if he'd been in the race he'd have been the best-turned-out."
Cool Roxy was also "a special horse" to Chris Honour, who rode him to all but one of his career victories.
"I won on him 11 times – once at Fontwell and nine round Fakenham," Honour told At The Races.
"He was a special horse to me and I've got plenty of good memories."
Cool Roxy won 12 of his 77 starts under Rules, from November 2001 to May 2011, and amassed £132,000 in prize-money.
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