Bye Big City Boy

Obituary - Casey Tibbs

Big City Life - Vodacom Durban July

Favourite Son. Casey Tibbs sired the multiple Gr1 winner Big City Life

Stalwart Klawervlei sire Casey Tibbs has died. He was 19 years old. Based at the Hemel ‘n Aarde Stud, Casey Tibbs was a thoroughly consistent sire of stakes performers and smart, gritty runners of both sexes.

He was, without question, one of South Africa’s best value for money stallions and was known for producing tough stock capable of winning over any distance. By the great sire, and sire of sires, Sadler’s Wells, Casey Tibbs was out of the Mill Reef mare Fleur Royale.

By an Irish Classic winner out of a mare, who was second in the Irish Oaks , Casey Tibbs was classically bred. His second dam, French Oaks winner Sweet Mimosa, was a full sister to the great champions Le Moss and Levmoss. Casey Tibbs was one of over 320 stakes winners sired by the great Sadler’s Wells, whose leading sire sons include Galileo, Montjeu and El Prado.

A Gr1 performer himself, Casey won six races during his career, including the leading Derby trial, the Ballysax Stakes. He was also second in the Gr1 Secretariat Stakes, one of North America’s top turf races. Retired to stud in South Africa in 2000, Casey Tibbs got off to a good start with his first runners.

This crop included seven stakes horses, amongst which were the outstanding filly Sweet Virginia (Gr3 Winter Derby), and top-class colt, Play Catch (Gr3 Cape Classic). After that Casey Tibbs would come up with a least one smart performer in every crop. From his second crop came Hilgrove, whose five wins included the Gr2 Premier’s Trophy, and over R500 000 in prize money.

Other stars sired by Casey Tibbs included Casey Cool (G2 Merchants Stakes), Festive Occasion (G2 SA Oaks, and an Equus Champion), Naughty Prince (G3 Winter Guineas), Cyber Case (G3 Lebelo Handicap), Cree Lodge (Gr3 Langerman Handicap) and recent feature race winners Cash Register and Why Worry.

However, Casey Tibbs’ greatest son was champion Big City Life. This magnificent colt won four G1 races, including the Vodacom Durban July, Cape Derby and Daily News 2000. He also beat the mighty Pocket Power in the G1 Gold Challenge, but tragically suffered a fatal injury in the 2011 Vodacom Durban July. Big City Life, who won over R3 900 000 in prize money, was named Equus Champion 3yo colt in 2009.

Casey Tibbs had a remarkable ability to sire graded winners over all distances. He had feature race winners from 1000-2400m, and both his colts and fillies run. His success came despite never covering top-class books of mares, and Casey proved himself the hard way.

To date Casey Tibbs has sired 31 black type performers. His current 2yos include the useful filly Masked Lady, who competed in the Summer Juvenile Stakes on Met day and last Wednesday’s eye catching debut winner Red Tractor.

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