Kentucky Derby winner Country House retired

Feb 14, 2020 Vance Hanson/

Country House, who was elevated to first place in the 2019 Kentucky Derby (G1) after the disqualification of Maximum Security, has been retired from racing.

Co-owner Guinness McFadden's Blackwood Stables released a statement on the evening of Feb. 14 revealing the health issues Country House has faced since becoming the first horse to win the Derby via an on-track disqualification and which necessitated his retirement:

'On June 27, Country House was sent to Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital for a routine lameness examination, to be followed up by turn out. Country House was examined by Dr. Larry Bramlage and was diagnosed with proximal suspensory ligament desmitis on both front fetlocks. Country House experienced complications and was re-admitted to Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital on July 1, where he was treated for a right front lower leg infection.

'Over the course of the next two weeks, the team at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital got the infection under control, but as a result of his non-weight bearing right front foot, he developed laminitis in his left front foot. He was released on July 15 and returned to Blackwood for stall rest. Over the coming months, Dr. Scott Morrison was able to stabilize the foot and make Country House more comfortable. He is currently on turn out and we anticipate that he will make a full recovery, but because of the laminitis and the subsequent steps taken to save his life, he will never race again.

'Over the past seven months, our primary focus has solely been on Country House and his health. With the Derby right around the corner and his health much improved, we felt it was an appropriate time to make this announcement. We appreciate everyone's patience during this difficult time.'

The Derby was the second and final win of Country House's seven-race career. The Bill Mott trainee finished ninth and second in a pair of maiden attempts at two, but graduated last Jan. 17 with a 3 1/2-length triumph at Gulfstream Park going 1 1/16 miles.

Prior to the Run for the Roses, Country House finished second in the Risen Star (G2), fourth in the Louisiana Derby (G2), and third in the Arkansas Derby (G1). His career earnings were $2,120,175.

By dual champion Lookin at Lucky, Country House was produced by the War Chant mare Quake Lake. His half-sister is the Grade 3-winning turf performer Mitchell Road

(Coady Photography)

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