21 minute read

THE NEXT Generation

With the number of young enthusiasts striving to make their way in the racing and breeding world, the Western Australian thoroughbred industry is in great hands. From those with a history of family involvement going back decades to newcomers to the game, there are high levels of skill and ambition amongst those working at studs across the state and after reading about some of the smartest up-and-comers, we are sure that you will agree that the future looks bright!

CLAIRE WILLIAMSON

Willaview Park

How did you get started in the thoroughbred world?

Having grown up on a stud farm, I was exposed toanimals from a young age. My interest and awe inthoroughbreds has grown into a passion for caring andbreeding.

My parents (owners and operators of Mungrup Stud, theproperty on which Willaview Park is homed) bought theirfirst stallion in 1980 and watching them succeed in theindustry shaped and cemented my career choice.

Having the opportunity to somewhat follow in theirfootsteps is a real privilege.

What is your current involvement?

Earlier this year my parents decided to close theirbusiness Mungrup Stud but with that choice came anopportunity for me to use the land and infrastructure for

my own endeavour. The transition has been relatively smooth and I am so thankful for the support and loyalty I have received from my family and the racing community.

We operate on 500 acres of fertile land in the great southern and the climate and all year-round pasture make for an ideal, stress free environment for our horses to grow and thrive.

I currently have two standing stallions, A Lot and Oratorio. Having just completed our first successful breeding season I am excited for the future of this aspect of the business.

Willaview Park’s facilities allow me to cater for every aspect in the life of a thoroughbred, from breeding, growing, educating, sale preparation and spelling to retirement.

Currently the team and I are preparing a draft of quality yearlings for the upcoming Western Australian Magic

Millions Yearling Sale. We are driven to get the best results and watching the yearlings blossom both in maturity and looks is exciting and rewarding.

What are your hopes for the future?

To continue to offer a high standard of service for both clients and their animals, ensuring that they have every possibility of success.

With so much opportunity for growth within the business, it’s exciting and we are striving toward producing quality thoroughbreds for the Western Australia industry.

What do you love about WA Racing and Breeding?

It would definitely be the community within. There are so many honest hard-working people that have such passion for their thoroughbreds. I love seeing owners succeed in breeding a winner; after their years of interest and investment, it is a great outcome for them.

Breeding is a competitive industry, as is the sport of racing, but I believe the motivation to be better is integral for a thriving and successful industry.

TROY VAN HEEMST

Lynward Park

How did you get started in the thoroughbred world?

Having finished school I completed a Bachelor ofCommerce. Unsettled by city life I looked elsewhereand decided on the horses, having been exposed tohorse racing by my sports enthusiast father.

In 1999 I left Perth to live in Victoria where I completeda Diploma in Horse Business Management at MarcusOldham College. The following year I spent living andworking in Ireland at the famed Airlie Stud, home ofmany influential stallions including Habitat, Petingo andEla-Mana-Mou, who was still working when I was there.

I then returned home and twelve months later wasrunning my family’s Lynward Park Stud. I’ve been themanager now for 20 years.

What is you current involvement?

The last five years has seen a strategic shift at LynwardPark. We have moved into the yearling sales marketand have evolved our breeding model; we now standcolonial stallions with the desired traits of precocity andspeed and use eastern states based sires to protectand grow our bloodstock investments.

My family are passionate about racing horses andwe will continue to race stock; some are simplynot commercial and others will be fillies who werespecifically bred for racing and breeding purposes.

Personally, I find the racing and breeding ofthoroughbred horses to be both extremely challengingand rewarding and I consider myself very lucky to be in aposition where I can be there every step of the way, fromplanning matings to raising those foals and to then bethere to witness them fulfill their destiny on the race track.

What are your hopes for the future?

My plans for the future are to keep pushing for improvement. Lynward Park is now producing 10% black-type horses. From only small numbers we are retaining and selling high quality horses. Naturally the strength of the broodmare band is very important and we have been breeding up our best mares so that the next generation of elite athletes is secured with mares carrying the best genetic material available.

Our stallions Bondi and Mahuta have been carefully selected for their suitability for racing in Western Australia; they exhibit elite racing class, a favourable racing pattern and the right speed orientation to hit our major races. Perhaps just as importantly, they offer complementary physiques so that I can mate my mares to advantage.

Thoughts on Western Australian racing and breeding?

From an industry perspective, I’m both passionate and pro-active. I joined the TBWA committee a few years ago and was heavily involved in reinvigorating our Westspeed Scheme to include a raft of enhancements that we refer to as “Platinum” bonuses. Breeders in Western Australia face unique challenges due to our physical isolation and smaller markets. The new and improved Westspeed Scheme is designed to overcome these challenges.

The stallion market is very competitive in Western Australia right now, with more proven options than I can ever recall. The earnings power of the progeny of these “Platinum Stallions” is a gamechanger for people breeding or buying Western Australian sired horses. The recently introduced Epona scheme will augment these benefits and I am optimistic that our great industry will stay strong and keep people and horses connected into the future.

DAVID MOORE

Elvira Park

How did you get started in the thoroughbred world?

I have been interested in racing for as long as I can remember. I am the son of a dairy farmer and we didn’t have horses but my mum’s family had an interest and a couple of my cousins are vets so I guess it was in my blood.

We used to watch the Melbourne Cup and other big races at primary school and my passion developed at a very young age. As soon as I was old enough I bought my first share in a horse with Neville Parnham and have had a few ever since. Six years ago my wife Toni and I bought the old Wayandah Stud and started to breed our own.

What is you current involvement?

We re-named Wayandah Elvira Park. Ray Cochrane had died a few years previously and the place was a bit run down. So we have spent the last six years doing it up, getting it functional. My Dad and I have been flat-out getting it up to scratch and when I am not too busy I do a bit of part time work at Bellbridge Park.

We have ten broodmares of our own on our 100 acres as well as a few agistees and foals; around 25 horses all up.

What are your hopes for the future?

Our dream is to build Elvira Park up to a recognisable brand in the Western Australian thoroughbred industry. It is a tough game but we are chipping away at it and we were lucky enough to buy into Playing God in early 2020.

It’s a long haul but we think we are on the right path towards our ambition of supplying quality thoroughbreds to Western Australian trainers and owners.

Thoughts on the Western Australian breeding industry?

The breeding schemes - such as Westspeed and Epona - have meant that there has never been a better time to breed and race horses in Western Australia. The financial incentives are great and they give breeders and buyers the confidence that Western Australian racing wants to improve.

And we should see some great long term benefits with the good mares visiting local sires which can eventually lead to an even better selection of quality stallions.

BRENT ATWELL

Darling View Thoroughbreds

How did you get started in the thoroughbred world?

Thoroughbred racing has always been in the blood with my great grandfather Walter Atwell breeding, owning and training the 1925 Perth Cup winner Great Applause whilst my grandfather Clive Senior bred and raced a few with the Bosci and Taylor families.

However as a kid I spent more time around the trots, I was there on most Friday nights with my family and it wasn’t until my late teens that Dad starting breeding more thoroughbreds than standardbreds. He bred a wonderful horse called Give Me A Chance who ran second in a Perth Cup and went on to Victoria for a Melbourne Cup campaign before sustaining an injury.

In 2008 an opportunity came up to purchase Patronize, a Redoute’s Choice three-quarter brother to Exceed And Excel and we couldn’t resist the opportunity. At that point in time I was managing the diesel mechanic truck workshop Cummins... I left to re-join Dad on the farm. We have taken our once dairy farm to a fully operational stud farm at times housing more than 150 horses.

What is you current involvement?

Currently I run all operations here at Darling View, foaling down between forty and fifty mares a year, dealing with mares and foals, preparing yearlings for sale and so on. Up until two years ago Dad (Clive) was still hands on with the stock whilst now he is involved heavily with the two hundred Angus cattle we run along with general farm work. We have a great team of five girls and myself here at Darling View Thoroughbreds.

What are your hopes for the future?

Recently we have purchased arguably the two most exciting stallions in Western Australia; Playing God and I’m All The Talk who are allowing us to build on what we have been able to create over the past ten years.

To take our farm right to the top in Western Australian breeding and racing is my long goal. We have been fortunate enough to sell some nice yearlings over the past five to six years and we are forever improving our bloodlines. I’d love to get more of our Western Australian sired stock into the eastern states and I believe that the progeny of our two new stallions are good enough to do that. We also breed a number of mares interstate so to see their foals make the top level would be very satisfying.

What do you love about WA Racing and Breeding?

Racing in Western Australia is pound for pound better than anywhere in Australia. From what we pay in service fees to what our buyers pay on average for yearlings, the return on investment outweighs anywhere in the country.

Our yearlings average $60,000 and we race for nearly $90,000 with Westspeed Platinum bonuses. Western Australia is a pretty relaxed state and the industry is much the same. I love my job; working with horses every day and watching the success of those we breed.

“To take our farm right to the top in Western Australian breeding and racing is my long goal.”

JAIME O’BREE

Ruby Racing & Breeding

How did you get started in the thoroughbred world?

It is a family based passion. For as long as I can remember my parents had horses, they bred to race and I have always been around thoroughbreds. The love of it really carried on with myself and my brother Daniel, so much so that we wanted to take it to the next step, from hobby to business.

What is you current involvement?

Just in the last year my brother and I have set up our own business; Ruby Racing & Breeding. We are currently preparing a few yearlings (including home-breds and pin-hookers) for the Western Australian Magic Millions and we also have a small number of mares.

We absolutely love the breeding side and one of the first we bred is doing really well; Tiger Of Malay (an Extreme Choice half-brother to the Western Australian Group Three winners Samizdat and Samovare) winning the Kirkham Plate at Randwick at debut in October. He is now on a Golden Slipper path which is very exciting, it’s a good start for us.

What are your hopes for the future?

We are still very new but we have a great teamwork dynamic going and we hope to keep on supplying quality horses to Western Australian buyers.

Another of our wishes is to continue to enjoy following all of our horses and our clients’ horses, as well as their relations. It is not just a job to us, it is our passion.

What do you love about WA Racing and Breeding?

It is much more of a closed market than in the eastern states. It is easy to follow our horses and their relatives and everyone seems to know everyone else. Even when I meet new people, they have already heard of us and what we are doing; it is easy to make connections and the opportunities are there for the younger generation to come through.

Western Australians tend to breed for longevity, not just for the two and three-year-old races. We have a great range of open races for older horses and we love seeing them race on.

This is a great market for us to come into and webelieve in ourselves and our horses. Any who wecannot sell we will be happy to race ourselves.

BEN DUNCAN

Forest View

How did you get started in the thoroughbred world?

I was born into it, destined for it. There would besomething wrong with me if I didn’t want to get into thehorse world with my parents having bred and raced ahorse like Northerly! My grandfather Bob was a trainer,the champion Battle Heights stayed with him whenhe campaigned in Perth in 1974 (winning the C.B CoxStakes) and I have a photo of a two-year-old me on hisback. I have always loved horses and I am lucky thatI have had two people, my dad Neville and my pop,give me the guidance I have needed.

What is you current involvement?

My wife Jo and I are directors of the Duncan EquineGroup equine fencing business and we are also keenowner/breeders. Jo is the most integral part of ourthoroughbred operation, she keeps the whole thingrunning whilst I concentrate on the fencing; without herour farm would not have got to where it is today - andwhere it is heading to!

A couple of years ago we actually decided to scaledown but then on a trip to the Gold Coast we endedup buying five mares - so we jumped right back in. Wesold the highest priced Shalaa weanling (a $150,000colt out of the Group Three placed Skating On Ice) atthe 2019 Gold Coast Magic Millions which was quite acoup for us, we were rapt. In 2020 we sent three maresto east coast stallions, 11 to local horses. We bought ashare in I’m All The Talk and have four mares in foal tohim, as well as four to Dad’s horse Sessions, others toPlaying God and War Chant. We have eight foals onthe ground this year.

We are in a lovely part of the world, sitting on 150m acres just down the road from dad and on the same road as Peter Walsh at Amelia Park; three of us within four kilometres; a great little breeding ground for horses!

What are your hopes for the future?

To keep breeding (probably between six to ten horses a year) and racing. We want to keep supporting the Western Australian industry, spreading our horses amongst a few trainers; at the moment we have horses with Simon Miller, Adam Durrant, Justin Warwick, Martin Allen and Jimmy Taylor. And hopefully we will have a few more in work with a few more trainers in 2021.

We will continue to breed to sell as well though we don’t want to give our horses away. I don’t believe that we should sell ourselves short and I like to think that buyers will be happy that we believe in our horses... if you don’t think your horse can win a race you should not be selling them.

We have had a few stakes placings, hopefully there is a stakes winner in the near future.

What do you love about racing and breeding – and about the Western Australian industry?

What I love most about breeding is seeing a foal we bred get to the track and perform, even when it is for someone else, it is an amazing thing. Even if they don’t win, just to go to the races and watch one of your own, it’s fantastic.

I love Western Australian racing, we have some awesome tracks, fantastic places to go and see your horse run. The industry is turning a corner, the stallion pool is improving as is the overall quality of our horses, everything is on an upward cycle which is great.

KYFFIN ANDERSON

Anita Vale Breeding

How did you get started in the thoroughbred world?

My parents Robert and Ann have been breeding andracing thoroughbreds throughout my life and my sisterand I were riding from an early age. We lived near thecity and Mum would drive us out to the Swan Valleytwice a week to ride our ponies. Most of my parentsbroodmares were kept with their friends Glenn andKathy Money at Coral Park Stud. I loved spendingSundays visiting the foals, exploring the property.

After seeing us through high school Mum and Dadmoved to Mardella to set up their own property, namingit Anita Vale after Mum’s mother. With Dad still serving onthe bench and commuting to the Supreme Court daily,Mum was practically running the property. She wasthankful for her background in nursing and grateful forthe support from Kathy down the road and John andSandra Andrew of Alwyn Park just around the corner.

I loved being there around the horses, helping Mumwith foaling and riding the retirees. I didn’t consider studwork as a career until a few years later.

I had just finished university when Dad called to ask meto go to Scone to see a mare he’d bought. I met withColm Santry at Vinery Stud and he took me around thefarm and showed me some of the stallions includingour foal’s sire Langfuhr. The property was immaculateand the atmosphere of the Hunter was so serene, Ididn’t want to leave.

Driving home I stopped at the entrance to Coolmoreand a security guard stepped down from his post tosee what I wanted; I told him I wanted a job. Next thingI was sitting in the office with a black lab at my feetbeing interviewed by Peter O’Brien.

Coolmore provided me with such a great entry intothe industry, the time I spent there was special; I washooked straight away. It was during the Danehill dynastyand the place was buzzing. I worked on differentparts of the farm, able to be involved in all stagesof thoroughbred breeding and development; aninvaluable experience.

Peter got me a job in Ireland working for the pinhooking legend Timmy Hyde at Camas Park. We had about 60 yearlings to prepare for sales in Ireland and England. We worked hard and had stacks of fun. As well as prepping the yearlings we got to ride-out the racehorses every morning which was awesome.

for Anita Vale and into my first yearling preparation for the 2004 Perth Magic Millions Sale. We had a draft of six including two Scenic colts, one of whom was the halfbrother to our Group One winner Ancient Song. We had a good sale but it wasn’t the star lot who would fly our flag, rather the other Scenic colt out of Sweepshot. We took $36,000 for him from Danny Morton... Scenic Shot.

We’ve had great results and not so great results in the years since but I’ve loved every preparation; watching the transformation of the yearlings as they grow and develop physically and mentally - then heading to the sales complex full of anticipation, catching up with people you maybe hadn’t seen since the previous sale. There’s a real sense of camaraderie at the Perth sale.

We’ve never had large numbers, it’s a boutique operation and Dad has always been strict on this. He and Mum carefully plan the matings and some of what I’ve thought were left field decisions have produced excellent results. I still have much to learn but I enjoy researching pedigrees, browsing the sale catalogues each year and conferring with Dad.

With small numbers we’ve found great benefit in selling through vendors with larger drafts. We sent two colts to Dawson Stud last summer and were delighted with the results, the $170,000 Blackfriars colt out of Sky Rumba achieved our second best ever result at the Perth sales. We have sent them four yearlings this summer and I’ve been receiving regular updates on their progress. The facilities are excellent and the communication second to none; it’s a very professional operation.

What do you love about WA racing and breeding?

I love being involved in Western Australian breeding and racing, it’s such a great industry. I feel very fortunate to be working with horses and doing so for my family makes it even more rewarding.

EVA HIGHLEY

Edan Dale Farm

How did you get started in the thoroughbred world?

I started when I made the move south and was ableto purchase my farm; 100 acres based in Waroona.After viewing the farm it seemed like it had the perfectsoil and drainage for spelling race horses and raisingyoungsters. I have an equestrian world background,competing through the grades starting out in showingthen onto dressage and finishing off with eventing.

With this knowledge on how to condition a horse formultiple disciplines - along with my experience frommy previous career as a veterinary nurse - I was able tostart my business. And I have also been greatly helpedalong the way by being mentored by some closefriends who train horses.

What is you current involvement?

My current involvement is still spelling race horsesand broodmares but in more recent years I havealso started developing a yearling draft. I find thatmy knowledge on muscle development and theconditioning of horses really plays a big part for me inprepping my drafts.

What are your hopes for the future?

My hope for the future is to just keep producing well conditioned spelling horses, meeting trainers requirements. My aim for my yearling draft will be always to have a smaller draft whilst each year striving to obtain and produce a higher class quality yearling.

LACHLAN DONNELLY

Misty Valley Thoroughbreds

How did you get started in the thoroughbred world?

My father-in-law Tony Patrizi has been involved in racing and breeding for a couple of decades and has been selling for a few years as well. Four years ago he rang me to ask if I could look after a sales preparation for him and I happened to be around at the time so even though I didn’t know the back from the front end of a horse I volunteered!

So, having never even touched a horse I was thrown in the deep-end. But I had great staff who did all the work whilst I fumbled my way through things and convinced some - though not all - that I knew what I was talking about!

A couple of weeks later my father-in-law rang back and said he had bought a new farm and needed someone to look after it. I had previously been working as an electrician on mine sites and oil rigs and had been away a lot so the idea of staying in one place with my wife Jane appealled.

What is you current involvement?

We are building up the farm, it was pretty broken down when we got here but underneath it all is an incredible piece of land. We are working on a lot of infrastructure, a new stable complex at the moment - and as we get things going we are slowly building up the livestock numbers.

What are your hopes for the future?

Like all breeders we want to grow champions! I am in the fortunate position that my father-in-law invests a lot of his own time and money into the farm and I just get to be out there working and playing with the horses. Jane is a massive part of the operation as well and whilst she was not particularly keen on thoroughbreds to start with (though she is a rider)... well when they are growing up around you it is easy for the appreciation to grow!

What do you love about WA racing and breeding?

The people we have dealt with. We have unreal neighbours who have helped me increase my knowledge. The trainers Ross Price and Bruce Watkins have been fantastic educating me; in racing and breeding we are getting to meet a lot of great people.