Chapel Royal, who owns the North American record for first-crop winners at 38, is the latest U.S. stallion to be relocated to South Korea.
The son of Montbrook—Cut Class Leanne, by Cutlass, had been standing at William Schettine’s Signature Stallions near Reddick, Fla., since 2009. He has been sold to the Korean Thoroughbred Breeders Association, which is one of two major breeding associations. The KTBA has about 90 of the 130 Thoroughbred breeders in Korea.
Chapel Royal, winner of the Sanford Stakes (gr. II) and graded stakes-placed in the Champagne, Hopeful, and Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (all gr. I), set the record for first-crop winners in 2008. He was the sixth-leading first-crop sire nationally that year by progeny earnings.
From five crops of racing age, Chapel Royal has sired eight stakes winners, including grade II winner Advice. He also is the sire of two Korean group winners—Ace Galloper and Royale Embrace.
Bill Bazzell, general manager of Signature Stallions, described Chapel Royal as a balanced and powerful presence that produced sound and precocious horses that were game at all levels.
Other U.S. stallions recently relocated to Korea include Rock Hard Ten.
Korea opened its first racetrack in Busan, the second largest city in South Korea, in September 2005.
The Korean government then approved a second racetrack in 2010 in Youngchun, Gyungsangdo province, which is expected to expand the market again for both local horse breeders and foreign suppliers over the next few years. The Youngchun racecourse, expected to open in August 2015, will be similar to the Busan racecourse in scale of operation, and will race some 800 registered horses.
In 2010, Korean horsemen imported 119 head of breeding stock and 200 racehorses from the U.S. The Korean breeding industry contributes about 1,000 horses a year to supply the racing stock.