Lou Gehrig was known as the ‘Iron Horse.’ He was nothing compared to the racehorse Band Performance, who died suddenly on my farm the evening of Aug. 10. With the help of Andrew Motion, Band Performance was foaled on Mar. 25, 1992 at Lazy Lane Farm in Upperville, Virginia. His first race was Mar. 4, 1995 at Laurel Park and his last race was at Penn National 10 years later on Mar. 10, 2005. Band Performance raced in 130 races, including seven races at age 13. He had 28 wins, 26 seconds and 22 thirds and was claimed 10 times. To quote Graham Motion, he was a “hard-knocking horse.”
Upon completion of his seventh race as a 13-year-year-old, he was promptly shipped to the sales in New Holland, Pennsylvania to be sold for slaughter. Mercifully, he was rescued by the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, but could not stand for the first couple of days. Nursed to health, he came to our farm 12 years ago. He was very sweet and very sturdy and a joy to be around. He was in very good health until [Friday] afternoon when he very rapidly showed signs of distress. Within minutes he lay down on his side and for 30 seconds he moved all four legs as in a race, then he peacefully passed away.
So I say farewell to a true champ, who ran in 130 races through age 13. Amazing. It is the Band Performances of the world that deserve our affection and support. He campaigned long and hard for racing fans and I felt it a honor to have him with us after such an amazing racing career.
Johnathan Miller, Bay Watch Farm
Paeonian Springs, VA