EL PASO, TEXAS (KRQE) – The Sunland Derby Winner Wild On Ice was getting ready to compete in the Kentucky Derby. The horse suffered an injury and had to be euthanized on the morning of April 27th.

He was set to be the first New Mexico-based horse to run in the May 6 Kentucky Derby since 2009, but tragedy struck. “When you qualify for something like this it’s pretty special, yeah. He’s always going to be special to our hearts, always,” said racehorse owner Frank Sumpter. 

According to Wild On Ice’s trainer, Joel Marr, the horse’s left hind leg was injured while training at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. “My heart goes out to the trainer because they put so much time into this business,” said Sumpter. 

The 3-year-old was transported to an equine surgical facility in Lexington, Kentucky to get looked at. That’s when it was decided that Wild On Ice needed to be euthanized. 

Dr. Alan Ruggles who works as a veterinarian in Kentucky shared, “The community in racing and the people involved in racing you know they’re very in general really try do the best and make the best outcomes we can unfortunately there are circumstances that doesn’t work out and you have to make these tough decisions”

Wild On Ice’s owner says his family will miss the beloved racehorse. “Wild On Ice he was like a pet, but he had something between his ears like a steel trap, you know he was a fighter.” 

The Kentucky Derby will be taking place on May 6 at Churchill Downs. Wild On Ice was one of 20 horses who qualified.