Racing Hall of Famer Cigar Dead

The 24-year-old stallion died Oct. 7 while recovering from surgery to treat neck-arthritis-related conditions.

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Each April 18, Maryland's Country Life Farm puts out a sign wishing Cigar a happy birthday, and fans stop by for photos and leave cards and gifts at the farm where the Hall of Famer was born.

Today, fans have told the farm they plan to leave notes and gifts in tribute to Cigar.

Cigar died at age 24 Oct. 7, at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, in Lexington, Kentucky. Country Life Farm broodmare manager Christy Holden said she received a call from the Kentucky Horse Park, where the stallion had resided since 1999, with the news the morning of Oct. 8.

“Cigar had been experiencing arthritis-related health issues over the past six months and was in outstanding physical and mental condition other than the osteoarthritis he was suffering from in several of his cervical vertebrae,” said Kathy Hopkins, director of equine operations for the Kentucky Horse Park. “Medical therapies had failed to relieve the pressure that the arthritis was causing on his spine, which had resulted in instability in his hind legs

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Frank Angst is a staff writer for The Blood-Horse magazine. An American Horse Publications three-time winner in best news story category, Angst has covered horse racing for more than a decade. Angst spent ten years at Thoroughbred Times, where he earned awards as that magazine’s senior writer and helped launch Thoroughbred Times TODAY. Besides covering horse racing, Angst enjoys handicapping. Angst has written about sports for more than 20 years, including several seasons covering a nationally ranked Marshall Thundering Herd football team.

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