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Owner Charles Fipke lucky to be alive after being stung over 2,000 times by swarm of wasps

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Breeders’ Cup -winning racehorse owner Charles Fipke has revealed he is lucky to be alive after being stung over 2,000 times by a swarm of wasps.

Fipke, a multi-millionaire Canadian diamond prospector, was attacked while on holiday in Costa Rica where he was taking pictures of birds.

The 77-year-old forgot his glasses, managed to take a wrong turn and got lost as he made his way through the jungle.

“They literally swarmed all over my body. I was bitten well over 2,000 times,” he told Thoroughbred Daily News.

Fipke said he briefly passed out, then managed to shout for help and was found by a young Costa Rican. Police took him to a local hospital.

He had to undergo surgery because some of the wasps had burrowed into his ear. That procedure saved his hearing and he is now recovering in British Columbia.

“The doctor there didn’t think I would survive,” Fipke said. “He said he hadn’t heard of anyone who had ever survived an attack like this.

“There are 400 different types of wasps, but these were really bad wasps. I didn’t think I was going to make it. My fiancee didn’t think I was going to make it and neither did the doctor.”

Charles Fipke (front, centre) owned 2017 Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Forever Unbridled
(
AP/REX/Shutterstock)

Fipke owned the Breeders’ Cup winners Forever Unbridled and Perfect Shirl and has horses in training in Ireland with Joseph O’Brien and Willie Browne as well as Canada and the US.

“When you have some good horses like I do, you really don’t want to die,” he said. “On the one hand, I was very unlucky that this happened to me. On the other hand, I lived. So I was lucky.”

It is not the first time his life has been under threat.

“I wasn’t supposed to survive the case of cerebral malaria, but I did. I’ve used up two of my nine lives. Seven to go.”

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