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Updated on January 22, 2011

What Happened to Shergar?

Disappearance of Shergar is one of the two mysterious disappearances that happened within a week in February 1983. Both mysteries were not solved until today though there are many different theories.

Shergar rocketed into fame when he won the 1981 Epsom Derby with a lead of 10 lengths. The fine stallion was retired from racing and retired to stud. The horse was valued at 10 million Sterling pounds by Lloyds and had been syndicated for that value. On 8th February 1983 a group of masked gunmen walked in and loaded the horse to a vehicle and towed it away. The five year old 10 million Sterling Pounds stallion was never seen again.

Disappearance of Shergar is one of the two greatest mysteries in the world in 1983. There are many theories on the disappearance, but there have not been any conclusive evidences to prove any of these theories. The Hollywood movie "Shergar" of 1999 was loosely based on the disappearance of Shergar.

Shergar Winning 1981 Derby at Epsom Downs

Skull with Bullet Holes

Skull earlier believed to be of Shergar's
Skull earlier believed to be of Shergar's

Kidnapping and the Investigations

The investigations by the police did not find the horse or the kidnappers!!! The kidnappers demanded a ransom of half a million Sterling pounds for the return of the horse. Kidnappers had not known that Prince Karim Aga Khan was not the sole owner of the horse. The negotiations over phone did not bring out any results due to the delays of getting the agreement of the owners.There have been many investigations by many parties later and the rumour mills brought forward many theories on the kidnapping.

A skull of a horse with two bullet holes was found in 2000 and earlier believed to be of Shergar. But later evidence showed it was not og Shergar's.



Many Theories on Shergar's Kidnapping

There were many theories on Shergar's Kidnapping.

The three that were mostly discussed are:

  • IRA Theory
  • Gaddafi Theory
  • Mafia Theory

The hollywood film made in 1999 was loosely based on the IRA Theory.

DVD and Books on Shergar

Scope for Many more Books and Films

Twenty eight years have passed and no conclusive evidences have been found on the kidnappers and what happened to Shergar. Therefore, There is scope for many more films and books.


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    • sfrentz06 profile image

      sfrentz06 7 years ago from Sterling Heights, MI, USA

      Interesting hub. Sadly Laura's comment could be true, but I'm not certain. Many racehorses are ruined as horses legs are not fully developed at such a young age. Most race by age 2.

      Being a horse lover, I am inspired to read more about this story. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Laura Meritt 7 years ago

      So many horses, especially the race horses go direct to slaughter. I bet he was just dumped with the meatman, like what happens to thousands of throughbreds for 10s of years.

      Just a day or two crammed over-crowded with other kicking, paniced horses, lack of feed and water..would have had even that stallion looking like crap.

    • scarytaff profile image

      Derek James 7 years ago from South Wales

      Yes, I remember the kidnapping was all over the news at the time. It still remains a mystery.