Shergar: 30 years later - Chances of solving case slim

Stan Cosgrove (far right) at the queens visit to the Irish National Stud in 2011.

Stan Cosgrove (far right) at the queens visit to the Irish National Stud in 2011.

It’s that time of year when the anniversary of Shergar’s kidnapping comes around again. Speculation as to what happened the Kildare wonder horse continues to circulate despite the passing of 30 years.

All the key figures in the drama are contacted and asked for theories on what happened to the Derby winner and old conspiracies are raked over.

One key player in the episode was Stan Cosgrove, Shergar’s vet, part owner and former manager of Moyglare Stud.

I visited Stan at Moyglare Stud on the 20th anniversary of his disappearance to get his views.

Back in 1982, Shergar was returned to stud at Ballymany, where he was syndicated for stg£10 million - 40 shares worth stg£250,000 each. Stan bought a share in the horse.

During his first season at Ballymany Stud, Shergar covered 35 mares, with owners paying up to £80,000 a time for the privilege of having a foal by super sire.

That was until that fateful day on February 8 1983.

Stan told of his shock when he got the call to say Shergar had been kidnapped.

He was his vet and was very fond of the horse.

He still felt aggrieved about the way the whole thing worked out.

The fact that the horse’s body was never found meant that only syndicate members who had insured the horse for theft were compensated. Stan never received a cent from the insurance company.

Ten years ago, I also spoke to the DNA lab at Weatherbys Ireland, who informed me that even if remains were found there would be no way of proving they were Shergar’s as they have nothing to compare them to.

“There are no materials from him.

“What we are trying to do is to trace the first crop of his offspring, but most of them are dead now.

“We are trying to reconstruct a profile but I am afraid we are up against a lot of problems,” explained John Flynn at the time.

Retired Kildare Chief Supt. Sean Feely was a sergeant at the time of the kidnapping.

On the 20th anniversary he expressed the view that the likelihood of the case being solved as slim. Ten years later, and 30 years down the line, the mystery still remains.

- Niamh O’Donoghue




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