2014 Melbourne Cup champion Protectionist passes away

17 November 2023 Written by VRC

The Victoria Racing Club is saddened to hear of the passing of 2014 Melbourne Cup champion Protectionist.

Bred in Germany, Protectionist first made his way to Australia in 2014 under the care of trainer Andreas Wohler. He made an immediate impression, running fourth in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes before winning the 2014 Group 1 Melbourne Cup with 56.5kg by four lengths.

He became the first German-trained winner of Australia’s most iconic race and gave Andreas Wohler and world-champion jockey Ryan Moore their first win in the Melbourne Cup.

Protectionist remained in Australia and was transferred to trainer Kris Lees, where he returned to compete in the 2015 Australian Cup and Turnbull Stakes at Flemington.

He found his way back to Andreas Wohler after his 2015 Australian spring campaign and won his next three starts in Germany, including the Group 1 Grosser Preis von Berlin.

Protectionist finished his career on the track in 2016 and took up stud duties in his homeland Germany at Gestüt Röttgen where he has sired seven stakes performers.

Protectionist remains one of the most dominant winners of the Melbourne Cup in recent years and VRC Chairman Neil Wilson paid tribute to the 13-year-old stallion.

“Protectionist holds a special place in the history books at Flemington as the first German-trained winner of the Melbourne Cup. Winning a Melbourne Cup can change your life, and we know how much he meant to Andreas Wohler, Australian Bloodstock and their ownership group,” Mr Wilson said.

“On behalf of the VRC, we send our heartfelt condolences to the connections of Protectionist and those who loved him. We look forward to following his legacy on the track through his sons and daughters.”

Australian Bloodstock Director Jamie Lovett also paid tribute to Protectionist.

“We owe so much to Protectionist, a remarkable horse with such a strong character. Not only did he win our greatest race the Melbourne Cup, but he went on to win another Group 1 in Europe and enable us to forge great friendships with everyone involved to this day. He took us on a some ride, a truly special horse.”