Racehorse Amberleigh House Dies Aged 25
written by Alexander Reece
It is with sadness that we report on the death of Grand National hero Amberleigh House, who has died aged 25 after surgical complications arising from colic.
The much-loved thoroughbred was last seen in public at the 170th Aintree Grand National on the 8th April 2017, before falling ill with symptoms of colic on Good Friday. Trainer Lisa Williamson, sister of Amberleigh’s owner Judy Halewood, stated “We did operate on him and did everything we could to save him, but unfortunately he lost the battle and didn’t make it”.
Following a win in 2000 at the Punchestown Fesival, Amberleigh House was purchased by John Halewood and Donald ‘Ginger’ McCain Sr. for £75,000. Making his debut appearance in the 2001 Grand National, House came 3rd in the 2003 race before making his renowned 16/1 win in the 2004 race aged 12. Such a win restored the name of McCain Sr. to the Grand National Roll of Honour, 27 years after Red Rum’s trio of victories in the 1970’s. Gingers Son, Donald McCain Jr. led tributes on Twitter for what he called “the most wonderful little racehorse”
Just heard the sad news that Amberleigh House has died.The most wonderful little racehorse,he gave our whole family some fantastic days#RIP pic.twitter.com/Mj5XbLEtYQ
— Donald McCain (@donaldmccain) 27 April 2017
Retired in 2006, Amberleigh House spent a short period of time at the National Stud in Newmarket before being moved back to his family’s farm in Chester, Cheshire. Williamson said of House that “He enjoyed a very happy retirement with me. He was very busy with public appearances and it was nice that his last was on Grand National Day”. Williamson warmly recalled occasions where House had welcomed passengers off a plane at Liverpool Airport, an iconic moment in which he stood next to a plane and “never turned a hair”. House also visited Alder Hey Childrens Hospital in Liverpool, where he “knew there were sick children and knew to turn it on for them”.
“He brought so much joy to the family; he was a big part of it”, said Williamson, echoed by McCain Jr. who commented “He was a pleasure to be around and with”.
Amberleigh House, 29th May 1992 – 27th April 2017.