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    More than 1,000 mourners turned up at an unusual funeral service near Kyoto, in Japan...in?

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    More than 1,000 mourners turned up at an unusual funeral service near Kyoto, in Japan...in honour of a racehorse. But his was no ordinary horse: it was Ten Point, the most famous racehorse in Japan. Ten Point died after breaking a leg at a small meeting in January, and his death was followed by a period of near-nationwide mourning.

    SYNOPSIS: In his racing career, Ten Point won more than 300 million yen (1,200,000 US dollars), and only last year he had won Japan's top race, the Memorial Stakes.

    The funeral, at the Ritto Training Centre near Kyoto, cost more than one million yen (4,100 US dollars) and was conducted by five Buddhist priests.

    Many of the mourners were in tears. Ten Point's success on the racecourse had brought him millions of devoted fans throughout Japan.

    Among the mourners was Ten Point's owner, Mr Hisanari Takada.

    Winning the Memorial Stakes last year was undoubtedly the highlight of Ten Points' career, and the racing fraternity in Japan are wondering if there will ever be another like him. Hopefully there will be. His sire and dam, Kontolaito and Wakakumo, are still alive and producing foals in Hokkaido.

    Ten Point's career ended on January the 22nd at Kyoto, when he stumbled and fractured his left hind.

    The next day an operation to try to save him was performed by 33 vetinary surgeons. Get well messages poured in their thousands, and more than one million yen (about 4,100 US dollars) was donated towards the operation. But sadly 48 days later, Ten Point died.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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