Smoke But No Fire In Tricky Cigar Saga

Plans for a permanent home for two-time Horse of the Year Cigar are no closer to completion than in November when The Blood-Horse reported the decision was in the hands of management of Assicurazioni Generali, the insurance company that owns the horse.

Cigar could move to the Kentucky Horse Park near Lexington, or to Brookside Farms near Versailles, Ky. That's about all that's known.

Allen Paulson, who bred and raced Cigar, along with his wife Madeleine, made a proposal to serve as custodian of the horse at his Brookside Farms. It included time at the farm and the horse park.

"We did everything we could imagine they would want," Madeleine Paulson said. "The Horse Park would benefit from him, and the rest of the year he is entitled to retirement. I have a 55-acre paddock he can go home to."

Peter Trend, the agent who has handled the case since Generali paid out the $25-million infertility claim for the stallion, responded with a letter that said the proposal was not acceptable. He did not give a reason.

Trend recently said any assumption that Cigar's final home has been determined would be premature. Trend sent a memo to his superior that was then forwarded to the board of the Italian-based insurance company with a recommendation for the horse. He would not say what course of action he preferred for Cigar, or when the board would meet.

According to Paulson's attorney, Richard Craigo, neither he nor his client has heard from Generali in at least a month. They have requested to be notified when a recommendation has been accepted.

"It looks to me like we'll never get him back, but I need to try," Madeleine Paulson said. "How could I just give up on Cigar, after all he did?"

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