Seabiscuit Horse Actor Popcorn Deelites Dies at Age 24 Due to Complications of Colic, Farm Says
Popcorn Deelites, one of the many horses that starred in the 2003 film Seabiscuit, has died at age 24 due to complications from colic.
Old Friends Farm, which served as the horse's home in Georgetown, Ky., since 2005, announced that Popcorn Deelites died Thursday morning.
"Pops will always be a shining star in our hearts," Old Friends Farm wrote alongside three photos of the late horse.
Popcorn Deelites appeared in several scenes from Seabiscuit opposite Tobey Maguire, including the epic race against Triple Crown winner War Admiral.
Michael Blowen, founder and president of the non-profit organization, spoke of the love shown for the animal after his Hollywood days in a press release following Popcorn Deelites' death.
"Pop's Hollywood history made him an enormous fan favorite, of course," said Blowen. "But what really won people over was his warm personality and friendly demeanor. Fans adored him and he adored the fans."
He added, "[Popcorn Deelites] will be sorely missed here on the farm, but I'm sure that his old pal and paddock mate, Special Ring, will miss him the most."
Fox Sports racing analyst Gary Stevens, who portrayed legendary rider George Woolf in Seabiscuit, remembered Popcorn Deelites as "a star" in the Oscar-nominated film.
"He was my go-to guy in all the big scenes," the Hall of Fame jockey said of the "kind" and "fast" horse. "He not only won real races multiple times, but he won the famous match race playing Seabiscuit."
After filming Seabiscuit, Popcorn Deelites resumed his racing career. He made 58 starts and won 11 races "with career earnings of $56,880," according to Thursday's press release.
Both the horse's owner David Hoffman and conditioner Pricilla Leon were "instrumental in retiring Popcorn to Old Friends" at the end of his career.
Popcorn Deelites died from complications of colic, a term generally used when referring to abdominal pain in horses, according to The American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and delays in treating the condition "can decrease the prognosis for survival."