The legendary harness racing pacer was diagnosed with heart disease and had to be humanely euthanized after taking a sudden health turn. He was 23 year old.
As a racehorse Elsu had few peers. He compiled a record of 47 starts, 27 wins, 9 placings and $2,083,352 in earnings for trainer Geoff Small, driver David Butcher and his many owners.
Elsu was a two time NZ Horse of the Year, an 8 time Group 1 winner and he closed his career out on an 8 race win streak which included a dominating clean sweep of the 2005 Inter Dominion series and one of the most impressive Hunter Cup wins in recent memory.
At his peak, Elsu was a rockstar with large crowds gathering at tracks just to see the black champion pacer with the big white blaze.
Elsu retired to stud in 2005 and, while his exploits as a stallion didn’t much his racetrack success, he still carved out a successful stud career siring 529 winners of over $22 million.
After retiring from stud duty in 2017, Elsu took up a role as guardian of the weanlings at Alabar, a role in which he took great pride in.
He also made one last return to Alexandra Park to lead out the final field at the 2019 Inter Dominion Final. Although he was twenty years old, he still believed he could have taken the field that night.
Elsu will be greatly missed by all.