Bob Back has been put down due to the infirmities of old age. He was 30 and had been pensioned after standing at Baroda and Ballylinch Studs in Ireland.
Bob Back (Roberto – Toter Back by Carry Back) hailed from the family of 1965 North American Horse of the Year Roman Brother. He was foaled in Kentucky seven years before another Roberto colt named Red Ransom was born. After being sold for $150,000 at the 1982 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale, he was sent to Europe.
He was a G1 winner of the Premio Presidente Della Republica in Italy before adding the G2 Prince of Wales’s Stakes. He defeated champion filly Pebbles at Royal Ascot but she turned the tables in the G1 Coral Eclipse at Sandown.
Bob Back was owned by Bruce McNall and returned to the United States for the 1985 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Aqueduct. He tuned up with a good second in the G1 Man o’ War Stakes but couldn’t match Pebbles in the championship final.
He returned to Ireland for stud duty and sired 35 stakes winners including Bob’s Return (English St. Leger) but it was as a jumps sire that he achieved fame with stars like Burton Port and Cousin Vinny.
“Bob Back’s death signifies an end of an era – he has been good to all sorts of people in the industry: owners, breeders, trainers, vendors,” Ballylinch Stud’s John O’Connor said. “His progeny are tough, honest and have a real will to win. I think that’s why his progeny have excelled at the Cheltenham festival – if a horse ever needs the will to win, it’s there.
“He has been extremely cosnsistent throughout his career and his influence didn’t diminish in old age. I think he must have sired more good horses in his Twenties than a lot of stallions do in their entire career.”