Amid Virus Outbreak, Australian Breeders Look to Kentucky for Help

The outbreak of equine influenza that is jeopardizing the Australian breeding season is forcing breeders to consider sending their mares to Kentucky stallions this fall and winter.

The outbreak of equine influenza that is jeopardizing the Australian breeding season has the breeders Down Under taking a hard look at sending their mares to Kentucky-based stallions this fall and winter.

On Sept. 3, the Web site for the Australian equine auction firm William Inglis & Son included a list of Kentucky stallions for which arrangements were being made to handle mares on the Southern Hemisphere schedule.

“Over the past week, the bloodstock team from William Inglis & Son have been liasing with contacts in Kentucky to secure access to numerous stallions who will be able to serve mares on Southern Hemisphere time,” said the announcement, noting the seasons were being acquired at stud fees below the normal Northern Hemisphere charges.

Included on the list were: Awesome Again , Dynaformer, Distorted Humor , El Prado, Exchange Rate, Flower Alley, Good Reward, Malibu Moon , Medallist, Officer, Point Given, Rahy, Sky Mesa , Smarty Jones , War Chant, and Yes it's True.

Mike Recio, stallion nominations and marketing director for Frank Stronach’s Adena Springs Farm, where El Prado and Awesome Again stand at stud, said it is not unusual for the farm to have some mares each year bred in Kentucky on Southern Hemisphere time. He said, however, there has been an increase in interest from Australian breeders this year. Adena Springs does not send any of its stallions from the U.S. to stand in Australia part of the year.

"We will always breed mares on Southern Hemisphere schedule,” Recio said. “Every horse on our roster is available. We are open to anything.”

Many of the stallions on the Inglis & Son list stand at Robert Clay’s Three Chimneys Farm. Three Chimneys’ spokesperson Anne Peters said the farm has always accommodated mares on the Southern Hemisphere schedule at a fee that is 60% of the Northern Hemisphere fee. She said the farm would likely get a larger than normal number of requests this year.

In updates posted Sept. 4 on the Web site, Inglis & Son reported only three nominations remained for breeders wanting to breed mares on the Southern Hemisphere schedule to WinStar Farm’s Distorted Humor, whose $225,000 fee was being offered at $50,000 for this purpose. Also, Inglis & Son reported it had obtained availability of about 60 maiden or empty mares in the U.S. that Southern Hemisphere breeders could acquire for breeding to Kentucky stallions.

Inglis & Son representatives were planning to be in Lexington for the Keeneland September yearling sale that begins Sept. 10 and would be available to assist Australian breeders in the inspection of stallions or mares.