By Gustavo González
Argentina, the fourth-leading producer of Thoroughbreds in the world, has enjoyed having Giant's Causeway shuttle to farms there for the second straight breeding season.
The leading North America sire who stands at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky., stood the Southern Hemisphere season at La Mission, where he covered 160 mares, with a 95% conception rate of mares bred. His 2009 crop, the first in South America, produced 115 foals from 152 mares bred.
Located in San Andres de Giles, 54 miles from Buenos Aires, La Mission is owned Argentinean farms Firmamento, La Pomme, La Biznaga, La Esperanza, and the Brazilian TNT. More than than 1,300 broodmares were bred in 2009.
Broodmares from Brazil and Chile were sent to Giant’s Causeway in 2009, as well as producers from South Africa and the U.S. Argentina is also the chosen place by some Peruvians, Chileans, and Brazilian owners for breeding.
The 2009 book of Giant’s Causeway included grade I winners Bartola (by Roy), Randy Cat (Roy), Mariah Plus (Alpha Plus), Halo Ola (Southern Halo), Miss Twins (Numerous), Perugia Wells (Poliglote), Miss Carry (Numerous), Bouclette Glory (Honour and Glory), Stormy Nimble (Bernstein), Furla (Lode), and Estricta (Roy), among others. His book also included graded stakes producers such as Visionera, dam of Cocoa Beach; Candy Cane, dam of Julia Tuttle, also one of Giant’s Causeway daughters; and the dams of La Severa, Trenzado, Best Bob, Husson, South Vagabunda, Storm Military, Storm Mayor, Forty Mirage, Life of Victory, and Savoir Bien.
As a result of a growing number of purchases at U.S. sales by those in the Southern Hemisphere, the mares bred to Giant’s Causeway included daughters of Mr. Prospector, Seeking the Gold, A.P. Indy, Sadler's Wells, Smart Strike , Tiznow , Kingmambo, Gone West, Danzig, Dixieland Band, Unbridled's Song, Elusive Quality , Danehill, and Danehill Dancer, among others
Also, the leading broodmare sires Southern Halo, Fitzcarraldo, Interprete added some of their daughters to the list.
"I trust the presence in La Mission of such a champion at the tracks and a worldwide leading sire as Giant's Causeway, would give us good fruits in the next 50 years," said Nicolas Ojea Quintana, general director of La Mission. "We are very thankful and proud to hold him."