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Legendary racehorse Bonecrusher euthanised after contracting deadly disease

The racehorse that became a sporting identity in New Zealand and Australia has died.

The racehorse that became a sporting identity in New Zealand and Australia has died. Source: 1 NEWS

Bonecrusher was the first thoroughbred to win $1 million in New Zealand after a string of famous wins, including his 1986 Cox Plate victory over fellow Kiwi thoroughbred Waverley Star.

The 33-year-old chestnut gelding was humanely euthanised after contracting the incurable hoof disease laminitis.

Bonecrusher won races from seemingly impossible conditions, winning nine Group One races and 18 races in all.

His record would have been much greater if he hadn't been struck down by a severe virus in Japan in 1986. In that same year he was made a sports ambassador for New Zealand.

His total earnings were almost $3 million.

A memorial will be erected in his honour at Ellerslie Racecourse in Auckland.