PROLIFIC Bendigo standardbred broodmare Classic Kate has died at the grand age of 32.
Classic Kate spent her final moments in a paddock with her 20 year-old son Sports Dancer and 10 year-old grandson Real Impact.
Bendigo trainer and breeder Garry Graham and long-time friend Eddie Jenkins purchased Classic Kate as a yearling.
Classic Kate won six races, including the 3YO Sires Stakes semi final at Moonee Valley, and earned more than $21,000 (30 years ago) in prizemoney.
After being retired to the breeding barn, Classic Kate had her first foal New York Dancer in 1988.
Her last foal Leica Dancer was born in 2005. She had 14 foals, two of which died young.
Nine of Classic Kate’s foals were fillies and she managed to outlive her two eldest daughters.
The Graham family is still breeding from four of her daughters and now have two grand-daughters.
Classic Kate is the only mare to have five of her descendants as finalists in the Group One Australian Pacing Gold Series including:
1993: fourth place - Whata Dancer (out of Classic Kate). 1996: fourth place - Sports Dancer (out of Classic Kate). 1998: third place - Sister Dancer (out of Classic Kate). 2009: second place - Modern Girl (out of Sister Dancer). 2010: first place, colts and geldings champion - Royal Verdict (out of Sister Dancer).
Classic Kate is also the grandmother of top race horses Hexham Heartbeat, Whata Impact, Real Impact, Earls Court, Black Legacy, Otaktay, Sidney Shaw, as well as the top juveniles of 2009 and 2010 in Modern Girl and 2010 Horse of the Year Royal Verdict who won three group one two-year-old races that season.
Classic Kate’s descendants have earned more than $1.5 million in prizemoney, including grandson Royal Verdict ($531,187), son Sports Dancer ($162,018), grand-daughter Modern Girl ($122,135) and great grandson Sir Jasper ($100,101). Hexham Heartbeat is on the verge of breaking the $100,000 mark.
The Grahams are expecting five more descendants of this broodmare gem to be born in Bendigo in the next couple of months. The Classic Kate dynasty is set to continue for many years to come.