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Studmaster Branch President reports a notable year

NZTBA Studmaster Branch President Rodney Schick (pictured) tabled this report at the Branch's recent Annual General Meeting
NZTBA Studmaster Branch President Rodney Schick (pictured) tabled this report at the Branch's recent Annual General Meeting

The 2014-15 season has once again been a successful one for the New Zealand-bred horses. In total there have been 12 international Group One races won outside New Zealand, as well as three Singapore Group One events. The four different countries where these were won are important export markets for our horses: Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore & Japan.

One of the highlights of last season must be, for the second year running, The Championships at Royal Randwick where our horses played a major part taking out the Doncaster Handicap (Kermadec), the Australian Oaks (Gust of Wind) and the crowning glory of the carnival, the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Criterion). To top it, off the Murray Baker-trained Mongolian Khan won the Australian Derby.

Aerovelocity (Pins) has done a great job promoting NZ this season winning three of the International Sprint Series races in three different countries – Singapore, Hong Kong and for the first time since Horlicks, one in Japan, all being Group 1 races. This makes a great story as he is trained by Paul O'Sullivan in Hong Kong. There were many other great performances, congratulations to those also.

This year there will be eight first season sires standing in NZ: Sacred Falls, Charm Spirit, Pure Champion, Atlante, Proisir, Ghibellines, Little Wonder and Giant's Steps. I wish them all the best of success.

It has been a great year for some of our younger sires with Tavistock, Makfi and Per Incanto all producing Group One winners from their first New Zealand crops.

The highlight among our stallion ranks this year must go to Waikato Stud's Savabeel, a son of the great Zabeel. He produced an outstanding six Group 1 winners for the season between here and in Australia, and showed his versatility with Pasadena Girl winning the 2YO Group 1 ATC Champagne Stakes.

The NZB National Yearling Sale this year held up on last year's results with the Premier Sale being slightly up on 2014's average from $144,000 to $150,000.The Select Session average remained the same at $46,000 with both sales achieving clearance rates of about 75%.

There have been some very strong sales in Australia especially at the top end of the market supported by a very strong International buying bench, but outside of that our sales compared well when taking into account the difference in the cost of production of our yearlings.

As a member of this branch I feel it is vital that we continue to consolidate the very important relationships we have with the people in our export markets and to foster new ones. This is a people business so the more time we spend on these relationships the better it is for our industry.

Two weeks ago Gary Chittick spoke at the NZTBA AGM on the work he has been doing on our behalf with problems facing the Racing Board. I think we would all agree that with Gary's business acumen and industry knowledge he is certainly the right person to take this on. As a branch I think we should give our full support in his endeavours to help secure a healthy industry.

As a racing industry we have to be very careful we don't become a nanny state, we have all seen the introduction of recent rules in Australia regarding the age of racehorses and the new whip rule. We seem to be making rules for things that are not real issues, this kind of over-regulation only serves to bog us down with red tape instead on focusing on the real problems we face.

I would like to wish you all the best for the new breeding and racing season and the upcoming sale series.


- Rodney Schick