We are saddened to hear of the recent passing of CHRHF member Precious Bunny in Australia at the age of 27. Precious Bunny, inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2004 and the U.S. Living Horse Hall of Fame in 2014, died April 20, 2015 at Empire Stallions in Victoria, Australia.
Bred by Alfred Ochsner Jr., Precious Bunny was foaled on May 6, 1988 at Windhaven Farm in Cranbury, N.J.. Purchased in 1990 by CHRHF Member R. Peter Heffering of Port Perry, Ontario, Precious Bunny was primarily trained by Bill Robinson and driven by Jack Moiseyev. He raced from 1990-1991 and had a lifetime summary of 39-21-5-4.
As a two-year-old, Precious Bunny had 14 starts, winning a New Jersey Sire Stakes event and finishing the season with a mark of 1:57.2 and $63,920 in earnings.
In 1991, three-year-old Precious Bunny won 20 of 25 starts, including the North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace (setting the stakes record in the second fastest race mile in harness racing history and fastest mile ever under the lights — 1:49.4), Art Rooney Pace (stakes record), Adios (tying the stakes and the world record for fastest mile by a Standardbred on a five-eighths-mile track and setting the world record for a second heat by a Standardbred on a five-eighths-mile track — 1:50.4), Little Brown Jug (in straight heats with an electrifying start in the first), Cleveland Classic (stakes record), NJSS final and Windy City Pace.
With his Cleveland Classic victory, Precious Bunny became only the second Standardbred in North America (Beach Towel–1990) to earn more than $2 million in a single season ($2,217,222). He was the first to win two $1 million races in one season (North America Cup and Meadowlands Pace), and the first to win the Little Brown Jug, North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace and The Adios in the same year. Precious Bunny was voted Horse of the Year and three-year-old Pacing Colt in both the U.S. and Canada.
At the time of his retirement, he ranked as the number one single-season money-winning Standardbred of all time and the fifth-leading money-winning pacer of all time.
Precious Bunny stood at Castleton Farm in New York from 1992 to 2000. He has sired North American winners of more than $50 million, with 181 in 1:55, 142 $100,000 winners and three millionaires, including 2001 U.S Horse of the Year and Hall of Famer Bunny Lake p,1:49s ($2,843,476), Stout p,1:49.2 ($1,506,390) and 2001 O’Brien Award winner Precious Delight p,3,1:51.1 ($1,096,981).
Precious Bunny was exported to New Zealand in September 2000 and enjoyed his retirement at Empire Stallions in Victoria, Australia.
Visit Precious Bunny’s CHRHF biography page at https://www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com/2004/11/02/precious-bunny/
(with files from Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame)