An opportunity to breed a mare to up-and-coming stallion El Roca and at the same time aid a worthy community cause has come about through a generous offer from Westbury Stud.
A service to El Roca has been donated for tender by the Karaka-based nursery to the Keep Matamata Beautiful Committee, which over the past year has been raising funds for the construction of a unique thoroughbred racehorse sculpture. Maintaining Matamata’s theme as “The Town that’s Racing Ahead”, the three-metre high work by renowned Te Aroha artist Adrian Worsley will be erected in the main street of the east Waikato township.
El Roca, a son of iconic stallion Fastnet Rock, was a top-class racehorse and has taken little time to pass on that same ability. He was a stakes winner on both sides of the Tasman as well as finishing second to subsequent Australian Horse of the Year Dissident in the Gr. 1 Randwick Guineas.
With his first crop now three-year-olds, El Roca has current headline acts in unbeaten filly Travelling Light, who went to the top of the NZ 1000 Guineas market when winning the Gr. 3 Soliloquy Stakes at Ellerslie, and Bella Mente, who notched her second Group placing in the Gr. 2 James & Annie Sarten Memorial at Te Rapa.
El Roca, who stands at a fee of $9,000 plus GST, is also sire of the two-year-old Group-placed Moeraki, and his tally of first crop winners currently stands at 10.
“Westbury Stud is pleased to be able to contribute to what we see as a worthy cause,” commented General Manager Russell Warwick, who in his younger days managed Blandford Lodge in Matamata and now also oversees operations at the Westbury Waikato property south of the town.
“We’re thrilled with the record that El Roca is putting together and this opportunity could be all the encouragement that a breeder might need to make use of a mare that may otherwise be left unmated this spring. It’s certainly not too late to be serving your mare.”
In expressing her organisation’s gratitude, Keep Matamata Beautiful committee member Jane Ewen said that a successful tender would be a further welcome boost to the horse sculpture initiative.
“We’ve had a fantastic response both in our own region and from further afield, and the generosity of Westbury Stud will hopefully take us a step closer to completing the project,” she said.
Enquiries to Jane Ewen at 0274 518119 or firstname.lastname@example.org