ADVOCATE Nigel Riley has been accused of “eating of the insane root” by trying to revive thoroughbred breeding on the Highveld at his Heversham Park Farm, but things are starting to happen, spearheaded by Green Desert’s son Great Britain (GB), who was moved to Gauteng last year due to lack of support in the Western Cape and the Karoo.
Meanwhile Herodotus (Trippi), the first Heversham Park-bred runner from a recent sale, has won early for Glen Kotzen and has the makings of a classic contender.
The well-travelled Great Britain (GB) has taken on a new lease of life and popularity since being relocated to the Daleside Valley farm.
Despite only having covered 17 mares in the previous breeding season, when he was Karoo-based, Great Britain’s current book, for the 2018 season, is expected to be in excess of 45 mares.
Fred Brons, the Director of Stallions at Heversham Park, told Turf Talk: “All of the Heversham Park stallions Great Britain (GB), Wings Of Desire (GB) and Moofed (AUS) have been very well received, and have covered substantial books of mares.
“However, the surprise package is undoubtedly Great Britain, who has proved to be particularly popular with owner/breeders.
“We have been very pleasantly surprised by the number of owner/breeders that actually exist in the Gauteng area, and the overwhelming support given to the Farm’s stallions. It appears that many of the local breeders in these tough economic times, are avoiding the unnecessary expenses of transporting horses to other provinces, and have, instead, decided that ‘local is lekker’.
“Great Britain’s popularity seems to emanate from the numerous winners that he is currently enjoying, which is creating a groundswell of demand for his services.
“There can be no doubt that there exists a strong market in Gauteng for proven stallions that are reasonably priced but might have lost their commercial appeal in other centres.
“As a result of this, we have decided that we will attempt to acquire, on an annual basis, a new and similar type of stallion to Great Britain in order to expand the gene pool and quality of stallions available to Gauteng breeders, working on a reduced budget, whereafter the stallion can be returned to its original centre.”
“Whilst Wings of Desire’s book for 2018 is full, there are still services available to Moofeed and to Great Britain. Due to the lateness of the season, we are quite happy to negotiate deals with breeders for coverings to Moofeed and Great Britain, all of which deals would also benefit from our reduced boarding fees and our transport subsidies.
We would encourage any breeder wishing to send mares to Wings of Desire in 2019, to contact us early in order to secure a service.”