LARC NEWS Posted: 12/17/2018 7:07:22 AM

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             Don, Kathy and Shawn Meneely of S-Quarter K LLC. have retired the great Heza Dasha Fire, the 2015 AQHA World Champion, following his seventh place finish in the Champion of Champions on Saturday night. The 6-year-old gelding by Walk Thru Fire retires with a record of 16 wins from 25 starts and earnings of $2,240,112. He’s one of only three Quarter Horses to have earned over $2.2 million on the racetrack.

“He bled in the Champion of Champions and we also found that he has an abscess in one of his feet,” Don Meneely said. “We have to do what’s right for the horse. He’s given it us his all for five years. We have to take care of him. He has the Leptospirosis and we thought we had come up with a plan to deal with his issues. He looked strong at the end of the Z. Wayne Griffin Trials and we were really optimistic (for the Champion of Champions).”

“Since the Childers we’ve been race to race to race,” Kathy Meneely added. “He got into the Champion of Champions and it looked like he could come back strong. We could turn him out and then bring him back, but we would still be dealing with the same issues related to the Leptospirosis. He’s not supposed to eat alfalfa. It will affect his kidneys.”

Heza Dasha Fire was a stakes winner in 2018, winning the Restricted Grade 1 Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship.  Trained by Jose Flores during his entire career, Heza Dasha Fire won eight Grade 1 race, one Restricted Grade 1 race, and one Grade 2 race - all while racing at Los Alamitos.  He won the (G1) Ed Burke Million Futurity and (G1) Golden State Million Futurity during his freshman campaign when named 2014 champion 2-year-old gelding. He won the (G1) Los Alamitos Super Derby, (G2) Golden State Derby, and (G1) Champion of Champions during his sophomore season when named 2015 World Champion, champion 3-year-old, and champion 3-year-old gelding, and won the (G1) Go Man Go Handicap and (G1) Robert Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship in both 2016 and 2017.

“It’s the end of an era,” Kathy said. “He spoiled us. For what he’s been through, he’s been tremendous. Jose and his staff really babied him. They spent a lot of extra hours with him. I know they’ll miss him in the barn. He’s the best we’ll ever have. He’d give you goosebumps watching him run. We really feel blessed to have him.”

“We love the horse and he’s accomplished some unbelievable things,” Don added. “His stats are off the charts. In his 2, 3, 4, and 5-year-old year, he won at least two grade ones. There are a lot of horses that have won two grade ones, but to do it four straight years, that’s special. One of the things that I always thought separated him from the other good ones was his acceleration from about 50 to 200 yards. He was unbelievable. He just separated himself. He would get out there in front and would just keep running. That acceleration that he had when he was in his prime was breathtaking. We’ll look back at his career and watch his races and we’ll probably have an even greater appreciation for what he has accomplished.

“He’ll be at Los Alamitos for a few more weeks and then we’ll turn him out at a ranch around here for the winter.  Probably in March or April when it warms up in Washington, he’ll come up there and live on our green pastures. He’ll have room to run and romp and he’ll watch the babies for us. 

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