In Memory of Genuine RiskPublished August 21, 2008
It is with deep sadness that I write about the passing of Genuine Risk, the Thoroughbred mare who stole the hearts of racing fans around the world. On the morning of August 18, Genuine Risk died peacefully in her paddock at Newstead Farm in Upperville, Virginia, at the age if 31 years-of-age. A special mare, she once proudly wore the blanket of red roses after winning the Kentucky Derby in 1980. One of the only three mares to capture this prestigious win, she followed in the hoof beats of Regret, in 1915. Winning Colors was the last filly to win the race in 1988. A daughter of Exclusive Native, Genuine Risk was owned by Bertram and Diana Firestone. In a statement released by the farm, Bertram and Diana Firestone said, "Genuine Risk was an amazing horse with tremendous heart that lived a life befitting a champion," We are truly blessed that she was a part of our life and we are deeply saddened by her passing." Discovered at a sale by their son Matthew, in 1978, Genuine Risk, bred by Mrs. G. Watts Humphrey in Kentucky was purchased for $32,000. Matthew, who had fallen in love with the filly, accurately predicted her amazing talent and athletic ability. Genuine Risk was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1986. This amazing and beautiful mare has always held a special place in my heart over the years. Perhaps it is because I had the immense pleasure of becoming personally acquainted with Diana Firestone many years ago. And while our friendship lasted for but a short time, as life often takes unforeseen detours on our paths, I feel blessed that I had the incredible opportunity to spend time with her. Diana is not only delightful and knowledgeable, but she is an incredible horsewoman herself. Mrs. Firestone, once a brilliant competitor in the world of show jumping, her understanding and deep love for horses is highly evident. My deepest condolences and healing prayers go out to the Firestone family as well as all of those connected with this brilliant equine champion.
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