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On the morning of March 30, the 32-year-old American Saddlebred Champion Harlem Globetrotter passed away.
That morning, Harlem was led to his exercise paddock by Jesus Gonzalez, his long-time friend and caretaker of 30 years.
As was his daily routine, the black stallion trotted to his favorite spot, rolled onto the soft ground scratching his back and there he died peacefully.
At the age of two, “Harlem” arrived at Kalarama Farm after being purchased by Paul Hamilton.
The young, black stallion arrived at Kalarama as an unknown, pinned with hopes and dreams.
Joan Hamilton(Paul’s daughter) bred him to Kalarama’s mares, hoping he’d be a successful sire.
Surpassing all expectations, Harlem went on to win five world championship titles.
For years, he dominated the show ring in the hands of trainer Larry Hodge.
He sired many world champions, including WGC Garland’s Dream, who won the biggest honor an American Saddlebred show horse can win, the 5 Gaited Grand Championship in 1998 and ‘99.
His sons and daughters have been exported to Canada, Europe, Australia, Greece, South America and South Africa.
Today the daughters of Harlem are sought after by breeders, due to their unparalleled success as broodmares.
“In so many respects, we owe Harlem Globetrotter much,” Joan Hamilton said. “He helped us put Kalarama back on the map while bringing us pride, pleasure and great friends. To get to care for him through his old age for so long was a big bonus. He was a thing of beauty, a horse lover’s daily inspiration. Everybody knew him.”
It was common for visitors far and near to show up on Kalarama’s doorstep seeking opportunities to visit and enjoy taking photos with the famous horse.
Visitors are welcome to visit the gravesite of Harlem Globetrotter.
It is located just beyond the farm entrance, adjacent to another famous sire Kalarama Rex, laid to rest in 1944.