Great Australian Horse 'Phar Lap' Dies Suddenly

SAN FRANCISCO, Cal., April 5 —
"Phar Lap," the sleek-coated, reddish brown
gelding brought to this country
from Australia last January in
the expectation of becoming the
greatest money winner of all time,
died of colic today on the Ed Perry
Ranch at Menlo Park, near Palo
Alto. Hours later, sportsmen were so
stunned at the suddenness of it they
could scarcely believe the news.
The "Red Terror" was being conditioned
on the Peninsula Ranch for
an appearance at the Tanforan
track, on the outskirts of this city,
in the near future, following his sensational
victory in the $50,000 added
Agua Caliente Handicap.
That race was "Phar Lap's" initial
American appearance and it was anticipated
it would be the forerunner
of a season that would eclipse even
the tremendous winning capacity of
Willis Sharpe Kilmer's "Sun Beau"
greatest money winner of all time to
date. "Phar Lap" needed only $45,000
more to pass the American champion,
his total winnings being $332,250.
The illness of the great Australian
gelding was kept secret at the stable.
Even a party of visiting newspaper
men this morning were kept in the
dark. But when they were refused
permission to look at the horse,
suspicion was aroused and an
investigation begun.
It was afternoon, however, before
an accurate guess was made as to
the real trouble and the query was
put directly. Attaches of the stable,
with tears coursing down their
cheeks, then confessed that death
had claimed their charge.
Later, rumors flew the horse had
been poisoned. This was immediately
and emphatically discounted by Dr.
Walter Nielsen, Australian veterinary;
Trainer Tommy Woodcock and Jockey Elliott,
but to remove any and all suspicion Chief of
Police Frank Love of Menlo Park and Chief
of Police Edward Farrell of Atherton
announced that they would have
"Phar Lap's" oats examined.
About twenty sacks, the remainder
of the original consignment brought
from Australia, were stacked outside
the stables.

April 6, 1932 edition of the "New York Times"