The highly influential Nureyev horse, Theatrical (sire of Melbourne Cup winner, Media Puzzle) was put down last week due to the infirmities of old age. He was 30 and has been retired from stud duties since 2009.
Rated Champion US Turf Male of 1987 after six Group One victories (including the Breeders Cup Turf), Theatrical was crowned Champion Sire (AEI) in GB/Ireland in 1996 and was the sire of 80 stakes winners around the world including 20 at Group One level, among them Media Puzzle (below) and VRC Derby winner Portland Player. Raced by his breeders Bert and Diana Firestone, he was purchased by Allen Paulson for stud duties and stood at his Brookside Farm in Kentucky until Paulson's death in 2000. Theatrical then moved to Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms where he spent the remainder of his life: “We were honored to stand Theatrical and have him at Hill ‘n’ Dale for the past 11 years,” said Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms president John Sikura. “He was not only a great stallion, but had become like a member of our family. Our staff has done a fantastic job with the horse and cared for him so personally in his retirement, hand grazing him and tending to his every need.”