This week in Dunstan Horsefeeds Meet The Breeder, we catch up with Adrianne Gemmell. A Kaitaia-based small breeder who is passionate about her horses and has had recent success with her bonny mare, Contribute.
Tell us the story of Contribute?
She is out of the O’Reilly mare Contrada which we bred to Contributer. She is from a good family as it is the family of Baltaine (Lord Ballina) and Betcha Wood (Woodbury Lad) who I raced as well with my parents.
She was born at Mapperley Stud, then she went to my friend Don Mackinnon who manages Epona Park, then she was broken in by Eion Kemp. Then when she was a 2yo she went to Daniel Miller to be trained, she run second at her second start to Babylon Berlin and then she won fourth start at Tauranga. We then shifted her to Robbie Patterson at New Plymouth and she won her first start for him but she has had a lot of hoof problems, she has got one bad foot, but the farriers have done a really good job with her.
We then decided to take her to Australia to see if she could do anything over there, and she was placed a couple of times and then we decided to leave her there over the Winter up at the Sunshine Coast with Don Mackinnon’s brother Stewart, and his niece Taylah Mackinnon. They only have a small team. They won two races with her, one at the Sunshine Coast and the other at Eagle Farm.
After that, she came back to New Plymouth as Robbie had mentioned he wanted to try and get some black-type with her for a broodmare proposition. She had her first start back this preparation at Trentham where she run 5th in the Douro Cup two weeks prior to her win in the Gr.3 Taranaki Cup.
We call her Connie and she is such a sweet, sweet horse – Robbie said ‘If she was a lady, you’d marry her’.
How did you get into thoroughbred breeding?
My parents weren’t keen on racing and I was given a broodmare by Morrie Wright – a Centaine mare by the name of Gintaine, and she is the dam of Contrada (O’Reilly) and that was in my teenage years. From Gintaine we also bred McTaine (McGinty), Betcha Wood (Woodbury Lad) and Baltaine (Lord Ballina), along with a number of others, but they were all good horses.
How many mares do you breed from?
I have three broodmares now, and we try to breed one from each every year.
What else do you have in your bloodstock portfolio (youngstock, racehorses, stallion shares etc)
We have Terziere (Complacent) who is Contribute’s half-sister and she won her first two starts so we took her to Australia but she broke down in her first start over there. She we bought her home and hopefully she will get back to the races but you never know, but she is being looked after very well.
We also have a half-sister to Contribute by Proisir, she is a beauty!
Out of our other mares, I have a Noverre foal, a Proisir 2yo, and a yearling Shamexpress; and another couple of yearlings.
Do you breed to trade or breed to race? How do you decide on what to keep and/or sell?
I mainly breed to race but I wouldn’t mind getting into selling off a trial or something if we can but we get too attached to them!
Do you have a favourite cross?
No, but I really love O’Reilly mares – you seem to be able to produce anything from them, they are just incredible mares.
Contrada only won one race herself, but she is throwing everything into her foals.
Do you seek advice on your breeding decisions?
No – I am just a small-time breeder, I don’t pick the expensive stallions, I just pick what I like the look of and what suits our budget.
Proudest moment as a breeder? You can have more than one! 😊
Baltaine was trained by Evan and JJ Rayner and that was a special time winning the Listed Waikato Stud Foxbridge Plate (now a Gr.2). He was a good horse who won 13 races from 53 starts and over 300k. Then the most recent, would have to be last weekend with Contribute!
Finish this sentence: The best part of being a thoroughbred breeder is… the thrills of winning races, meeting new people and making new friends. I am just very passionate about the horses; I know it is a money consuming thing, but you have to have an interest and the hype and everything is just amazing.