Grist to the Mill

15 March, 2004


Articles in the press at the moment about the kidnapping of Shergar, a champion racehorse whose stud value alone was in the region of £8million.

The gang that stole Shergar clearly hadn’t reckoned on dealing with an enormous, horny, thoroughbred: “The gang appears to have underestimated the difficulty of taking a stallion hostage – Shergar was in stud at the time and at his friskiest”. Imagine it!

“They are thought to have panicked and killed Shergar within hours”… “They couldn’t cope with him, he went demented in the horsebox, injured his leg, and they killed him”… “I assume he would have got very troublesome. And with them not knowing horses they would maybe have got a bit scared of him.”

Of course it’s a shame for the horse (not least because he was about to enter into a retirement of fornication) and undoubtedly it’s a sad story. But it’s also a story that’s crying out to be made into an ‘Irish joke’ – a la Did you hear the one about the Irishman who kidnapped a horse instead of its owner (who was worth much more than £8million, and who also - presumably - would've been considerably easier to handle)?

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