Ken and Sarah Ramsey are pursuing a major business venture in Australia with their homebred champion Kitten’s Joy and are considering another.
Equine influenza’s disruption of this year’s Australian breeding season and encouragement from a family friend, Racing Victoria operations manager Leigh Jordan, caused the Ramseys to explore breeding opportunities for Kitten’s Joy Down Under, Ken Ramsey said.
“I don’t know how we can lose unless the market in Australia takes a complete turn south,” Ramsey said.
A 6-year-old son of El Pradothat stands at Ramsey Farm near Nicholasville, Ky., Kitten’s Joy is being bred by the Ramseys to more than 20 of their mares on Southern Hemisphere time. The mares will be sent to Australia next year, probably in February, and will be sold at public auction in June by Magic Millions.
The original plan involved 21 mares, but “we’re going to get 22 pronounced in foal, so there will be one extra,” Ken Ramsey said. “It’s a very opportune time to do this because there is going to be a shortage of mares in foal in Australia next year.”
The other venture also involves Magic Millions, Ramsey said, and would provide the couple with a $3-million low-interest loan to purchase mares next year in Australia that would be bred to Kitten’s Joy and sold while pregnant in 2009. The stallion would travel to Australia in 2008 to cover the mares during the Southern Hemisphere breeding season and also would be available to cover mares owned by Australian horsemen.
An earner of $2,075,791, Kitten’s Joy was the champion male on grass in 2004 when he won six stakes, including the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes (gr. IT) and the Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT), and finished second in the John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT).