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Bluebloods : NZ Sires Preview June 2010
WELCOME to the first of three NZ Stallion Features being produced by Bluebloods in conjunction with the stud farms of New Zealand. The team at Bluebloods do a fantastic job; certainly NZTM's relationship with the publication grows by the day and I have no hesitation in rating the publication the number one of its kind in Australasia. I've been asked to write this introduction in my capacity of CEO of New Zealand Thoroughbred Marketing. However while I'm doing that, I'm also looking at this through the eyes of a broodmare owner. My wife, Sherryl and I own six broodmares of our own, so like every other breeder, we're going through the process of deciding on the 'right' mating for each of our mares. Sherryl leaves it to me and I must say that it's in no way a burden, it's one of the most exciting and challenging tasks/decisions the thoroughbred breeder gets to make. Whether you're Garry Chittick (Waikato Stud) with a hundred-plus mares to think about, or Mr Average down the road with one precious mare, it's all about getting it right. The ingredients, in my mind, are the same for all of us. I put the physical match-up at the top of my list, getting that nice balance between sire & dam. If mum is a bit plain; Mr Good Looking is the go. If mum is small and insignificant, then a big strapping sire should be high on the list of stallion possibles. Commercial appeal is all-important, unless you're breeding to race and don't really care. At the end of the day, the majority of us need to sell the resulting foal. So you need to not only look at what's commercial today, but what might be commercial in three years' time when the resulting foal goes to market. Newcomer stallions are always a good option; there is no doubt that buyers like fresh blood and with 16 new stallions announcements in NZ (at time of writing, 24 May), breeders have a mountain of choice. Whether it's a newcomer stallion, a proven horse or a stallion at that tricky 'make-or-break' stage, half of the fun is backing your judgement and going for the ride. So we've talked about the physical match and commercial appeal, but the ingredients certainly don't end there. If the mare is carrying a late service, you need to ask yourself if she would be better left empty so that an early service is achievable the following year. Late foals are just so hard to market. When it comes to maiden mares, assisting an early covering is the opportunity to have the horse put under lights leading up to the Ist of September. A number of agistment farms offer this service and it certainly seems to make a difference in getting the maiden mare ready for an early service. I haven't talked about the pedigree factor, but obviously it's all-important. I love looking at the theoretical catalogue page of a mating. Actually, I think it's very important to look at that end result; after all, that's what the buyers will look at long before they inspect your horse. If they like what they see on paper, there is a strong chance your yearling will be viewed. So take the trouble to look at the resulting catalogue page for the mating you have in mind. Another factor in the mating challenge is spreading your risk. If you have a few mares, it's wise not to put all your eggs in one basket, no matter how promising a stallion appears. The farms that have been successful over decades in this country send their mares out to a variety of stallions. Not only does is reduce the risk of potentially having too many by a 'bad' stallion, but the resulting progeny offers buyers variety when they come to view the yearlings. Lastly, making the mating choice is fantastic fun, but don't be afraid to pick up the phone and ask for the advice of studmasters around the country. I guarantee that every studmaster would welcome your call. Of course they will be trying to win your business, but their skill and knowledge of operating successfully for decades is not to be ignored. Ring a few of them; glean information from all of them & use that knowledge as part of your decision making. Here in New Zealand we are blessed with fantastic choice and amazing value from the top right down to entry level. So the 'right' horse is out there for you. Back your judgement, go for the ride and never stop believing! June 2010 3 NEW ZEALAND SIRES PREVIEW GETTING IT RIGHT The challenge of making the right choice, by Adrian Clark -- NZTM.
Tyreel Easter Yearlings
NZ Sires Preview July 2010