Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia's most famous harness racing horse dead

Nova Scotia's most famous harness racing horse has died of cancer at the age of 13.

Racing Hall of fame horse 'Somebeachsomewhere' loses battle with stomach cancer at 13 years old

In his prime during the 2007 and 2008 harness racing seasons, Somebeachsomewhere only lost one of his 21 starts. (Dave Landry)

Nova Scotia's most famous harness racing horse has died of cancer.

Somebeachsomewhere, who just turned 13 earlier this month, was undergoing chemotherapy for stomach cancer at a veterinary hospital in New Jersey but died this afternoon.

"We treated him, and as cancer can do a lot of times, it got the best of him," according to Brent MacGrath, Somebeachsomewhere's former trainer and driver and one of the owners.

"Horses and cancer do not mix very well," he said.

"You're always prepared for the worst. We had a great group of owners that were very supportive of doing the right thing with Beach, and giving him the best possible chance," he said.

Somebeachsomewhere was first brought to the vet with abdominal pain, and after performing surgery, veterinarians discovered a small mass that came back as cancerous.

'A terrible loss'

Somebeachsomewhere was the most successful harness racehorse to come out of the Maritimes, and would go on to set four world records.

During his career, Somebeachsomewhere brought in $3.3 million in prize money and was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2009.

He retired from racing nine years ago and has since become the most expensive breeding stallion in North America, siring horses that made more than $80 million in winnings.

"We realized how fortunate we were to have him," MacGrath said. "We looked after him the best we could. He was like part of the family," he said.

MacGrath says an outpouring of condolences has already started.

"My phone hasn't stopped beeping. I've been getting a lot of messages and condolences," MacGrath said. "He's a terrible loss not only for us, but the whole industry."

Somebeachsomewhere is seen being led by Brent MacGrath. (Dave Landry)


Marina von Stackelberg is a senior reporter at CBC's Parliamentary Bureau in Ottawa. She previously worked as a reporter and host in Winnipeg, with earlier stints in Halifax and Sudbury. Her stories regularly appear across the country on CBC Radio and CBC News Network. Connect with her by email at or on social media @CBCMarina.

With files from Shaina Luck