His registered name was "I Two Step Two," but to thousands of people who fell in love with him, he became known as "Seabiscuit," after the movie in which he starred. I Two Step Two was euthanatized today at the Kentucky Horse Park after battling a rare type of tumor for several months.
John Nicholson, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park noted, "This is a sad day for all of us at the park. This horse was not only very popular with our visitors, but was greatly loved by everyone who worked with him. I Two Step Two was a kind, gentle animal who gladly received thousands of visitors and never lost his patience." He continued, "The only good thing about this is that we will continue to see him every time the movie is shown. We also have the comfort and satisfaction of knowing that he had an excellent, happy life at the park. We only wish had lived another twenty years."
His role as Seabiscuit helped to rekindle America's love for horse racing. He not only helped to tell this wonderful story, but left his own legacy as well.
Lulu Davis, Kentucky Horse Park Foundation board member commented, "The park was such a natural home for a Hollywood star such as I Two Step Two. His spirit and enthusiasm were unmistakable."
Although his biggest claim to fame would at first appear to be his role in "Seabiscuit" and the joy he brought to movie goers, perhaps his greatest legacy is in the mark his lovely character made on the hearts of the people who worked with him. I Two Step Two was affectionate, obedient and willing, and his death is most deeply felt by the people who were close to him. Those who tended to his needs every day at the park collectively referred to him as one of the best horses they had ever worked with in terms of disposition and personality. One of his friends at the park observed, "This is the kind of horse that gets into your soul."
The film had four categories of equine actors needed to portray Seabiscuit in different scenes. I Two Step Two was cast as the "blow by" Seabiscuit because he could turn on speed and blow by the other horses pulling into the lead. He was featured in the "Seabiscuit" festivities at the Louisville premiere of the movie on July 19, 2003 and was auctioned off at the charity fundraiser event that evening. Proceeds from the purchase of I Two Step Two benefited the Race for Education Foundation.
Since that time, he has been featured in the daily Parade of Breeds presentation held in the park's Breeds Barn.
Surgery had been performed on I Two Step Two in December at Hagyard-Davidson McGee to remove a tumor from his nasal cavity. This type of tumor is rare in horses. Unfortunately, he did not respond to treatment and the tumor regenerated. After having consulted with several equine veterinarians and a human oncologist, the decision was reluctantly made to euthanize the horse. Like other horses who died in retirement at the park, I Two Step Two was buried in one of the park's cemeteries.