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Karreman makes the Breeder of theYear Shortlist again

For the second consecutive year Karreman Bloodstock is a nominee for the Mercedes Breeder of the year.

In fact, they feature predominantly in the award nominee stakes being finalists in
Mercedes Owner of the Year, Mercedes Champion Sprinter of the Year, Mercedes Champion Middle Distance Horse, Mercedes Champion Stayer of the Year, Mercedes People's Choice and for good measure Just Cruisin, the dam of Seachange and Keepa Cruisin, is a contender for Mercedes Broodmare of the Year. That's an incredible seven awards.

That was the news that greeted Karreman Bloodstock principal Dick Karreman when he arrived back from visiting his native Holland, a visit he tagged on to his trip to England to watch his amazing mare Seachange take on the might of Europe at Royal Ascot and Newmarket.

"Isn't it amazing what one horse can do for you, its all down to Seachange" reflected a very proud Dick Karreman, "she has taken me on this incredible journey, its unbelievable, here I am just returning from watching her perform in Europe. And but for the b#@*dy s*#thouse English weather she could have won over there too. You know, after two weeks of brilliant summer weather it rained and it rained like it can only rain in England!"

"I am so proud of Seachange and her deeds, but really the credit for her and Keepa Cruisin and any of my bloodstock achievements is down to Rick Williams. I have total faith in him and one of the best things about this journey is me seeing him fulfil his dreams of breeding champions. I admire his judgement and ability.

"I am very good at what I do which is crushing rocks and he is very good at being my bloodstock manager. I have the money and he has the expertise and if we are nominated for all these awards, obviously he is doing something right."

Karreman first met Williams on a visit to The Oaks with fellow Queenslander and ex pat Kiwi Bevan Laming, in fact when he first drove up the magnificent drive at the Cambridge property, he joking said to Laming that he would own it one day – what Laming's reply was is not printable here.

However when the property came up for sale in 2002 the prophecy came true. Karreman had long had a desire to get involved in thoroughbreds and chose New Zealand because he believes that there is nowhere else in the world that can grow horses like New Zealand - with a statement like that he could almost apply to become an honorary kiwi - after all he wasn't born in Australia.

When he purchased The Oaks and its bloodstock included among the 34 mares was Just Cruisin, the dam of Seachange and Keepa Cruisin, also a Group One winner this season winning the Levin Classic.

Rick Williams takes up the story.

"She was one of six mares that I bought from the Sydney sales for Terry Jarvis when he owned The Oaks, the others off the top of my head were Snow Quill, the dam of the Queensland Oaks winner Zagalia, and Calceolaria, the dam of Magnestism, in fact I think all of the mares I selected then have left group winners.

"Anyway, as you will recall we stood Yachtie here and Just Cruisin is a full sister to him, and reminded me a lot of him. She had a real presence. Because of my love of Danzig line horses I sent her to Cape Cross (Green Desert-Park Appeal) and she produced Korau Road and Seachange and when he didn't come back I went to Keeper (Danehill-Nuwirah) and she produced Keepa Cruisin. We have since sent her back to Cape Cross in Australia and have a yearling full sister to Seachange, and the mare is currently in foal to Darci Bharma."

"Since Dick's involvement we have added a number of mares to the band, we have kept a lot of the Premier sale fillies and Karreman Bloodstock probably now has around 300 horses, made up of 120 broodmares and various weanlings, yearlings and racehorses. I guess being nominated for seven or so awards means we are getting results - the rest is in the lap of the gods and we will see what happens in a few weeks.

Williams is hoping that Karreman will make the trip across the Tasman to attend the awards, but that is another issue that is still very much in the lap of the gods.

"I didn't go to Royal Ascot because I didn't want to wear a top hat and tails," quipped Karreman, "so I am not sure I want to put on a "monkey suit" to pick up my awards, I might leave that one to Williams as well."


- Michelle Saba