There will be a changing of the guard at Wellfield Lodge, with the Palmerston North thoroughbred nursery being offered to the market for the first time in two decades.
The Manawatu farm has undergone a change in direction in recent years, moving away from standing stallions, and farm manager Peter Didham ramping up his training operation.
Farm director Bill Gleeson said the decision has now been made to sell the farm and disperse the majority of its bloodstock.
“Wellfield Lodge was under Peter Didham and myself. We got to a stage in our life where we wanted to downsize a bit and Peter wanted to go training,” Gleeson said.
“We have done a development at the farm, there are sections for sale, and we just want to downsize now.
“When we first bought the farm, we bought four or five different blocks. Over the last four years we have progressively sold down some smaller blocks and that leaves us with the two main blocks, which can be sold as one block.
“We are also going to do a dispersal (of the bloodstock) which will be done over two or three sales on Gavelhouse.
“Peter Gillespie, who is one of our main clients that we own bloodstock with, has had a change of circumstances with his health so we are dispersing a lot of that stock.”
Wellfield Lodge has stood three sires in recent years – Alamosa, Road To Rock and Vespa, all to varying degrees of success.
Alamosa sired three Group One winners in On The Rocks, Stolen Dance and Kirramosa, while Road To Rock is the sire of eight-time Group One winner and former Hong Kong Horse of the Year Beauty Generation, and Vespa is the sire of Group One performer Kelly Renee and Group Three winners Puntura and Carolina Reaper.
“Alamosa and Road To Rock have both passed, and Alamosa was probably our most successful stallion,” Gleeson said.
“Road To Rock had some quite good gallopers but he didn’t enjoy the success that Alamosa did, but he certainly left a phenomenal horse in Beauty Generation.”
Alamosa was a big part of Wellfield Lodge’s major highlights, carrying the farm’s colours to Group One glory, with his homebred daughter Kirramosa doing the same in the Gr.1 VRC Oaks (2500m).
“Alamosa winning the Toorak (Gr.1, 1600m) after we bought him and syndicated him was a big highlight,” Gleeson said.
“As too was winning the Victoria Oaks with Kirramosa, a daughter of Alamosa, which we bred and raced.
“We did 12 months with Beauty Generation, we broke him in and got him going for Anthony Cummings.
“The other big highlight was producing Planet Rock, who was the filly of the year, and Abeautifulred. We sold Planet Rock and we raced Abeautifulred, and they went on to quinella the (NZ 1000m) Guineas (Gr.1, 1600m) at Christchurch.”
While Wellfield Lodge is set to pass hands in the near future, Gleeson said he intends on remaining in thoroughbred racing in a reduced capacity for the foreseeable future.
“Where it all finishes up I am not 100 percent sure, but we intend to still be involved in some way,” he said.