The Theft of Shergar

The Theft of Shergar

February 8, 1983 - On this foggy night, Shergar, the famous racehorse and stud was stolen. Then he vanished.

The beautiful bay colt had a distinguished racing career which included an amazing string of victories in 1981 at Chester Vase, the Epsom Derby and the Irish Derby. He was named the European Horse of the Year and became a national hero in Ireland.

After 6 impressive wins, Shergar seemed to lose interest in racing. He had a lackluster showing at the St. Leger Stakes and his competitive spirit was gone. Thus began his lucrative career as a stud. In his first season Shergar produced 35 foals.

On the night he was stolen, at least six men stormed the home of Shergar's groom and forced him at gunpoint to load the horse into a trailer. The gang demanded a ransom from one of Shergar's owners, Prince Karim Aga Khan IV. Khan insisted on evidence that the horse was still alive. Soon police received a photo of Shergar's head next to a newspaper but the owners still refused to pay up. The theory was that if the thieves were rewarded in this case, it would open the floodgates to future extortions.

Four days after Shergar was stolen, the thieves sent their last message in which they claimed the IRA was responsible. Nobody has ever been arrested in connection with the case and Shergar's whereabouts are still unknown.

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