Sports Outside the Beltway

Breeders Cup Champion trotter kidnapped in Italy


Equinox Bi, who won this year’s Breeders Crown and Maple Leaf Trotting Classic and is scheduled to begin a career as a sire at Blue Chip Farms in New York next February, has been kidnapped from the Gina Biasuzzi Farm near Padua, Italy. There has been no official information regarding the circumstances of the kidnapping, but news of it began spreading throughout Italy, Europe and the US early Friday morning.

Equinox Bi, who is 6 years old, is the fourth trotter of renown to be kidnapped in Italy in the past 10 years. About two years ago Lemon Dra was kidnapped and that horse has never been found.

Equinox Bi was bred by the Biasuzzi family and trained at their farm in northern Italy by Jan Nordin.

Equinox Bi came to the US this summer and competed at the Meadowlands and Mohawk. He finished second in the Nat Ray on Hambletonian Day, then won the Breeders Crown and Maple Leaf Trot at Mohawk in September. He earned $774,348 in purses in North America this year, giving him a career bankroll of $1.3 million.

Equinox Bi carries a royal American pedigree. His sire, Valley Boss Bi, is a full brother to Valley Victory. His dam, Personal Banner, raced for George Steinbrenner in the US and was sold to the Biasuzzis before she won the Breeders Crown as a 3 year old. Personal Banner hails from the family of the great Delmonica Hanover.

A top sire can make millions in stud fees for its owner. The only trouble I see is if the horse is stolen, how do you sell Equinox Bi’s progeny? They obviously would be worth quite a bit of money. If the breeding papers say the father was Equinox Bi, I’d think a buyer wouldn’t want to risk money(and his liberty) purchasing stolen property. If the papers don’t say Equinox Bi, then the colt or filly won’t raise as much money at sale time.

Anyone who knows more about the horsebreeding business, please pipe in. I’d love to hear some theories as to what the horsenappers plans could be with Equinox Bi.

Update- Just occurred to me. The kidnappers could ask ransom of Equinox Bi’s owners in return for their horse.

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