While international buyers won’t be able to be physically present at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sales later this month, Beaufort Downs will ensure there is still some international flavour at their Karaka Sales Complex.
Beaufort Downs principals, Annabel Wigley and Olly Tuthill, will offer an eight-strong Book 1 Sale draft, including a couple of yearlings out of mares the couple sourced in England at the twilight of their athletic careers.
Wigley was a top-level eventer in the United Kingdown, representing New Zealand, while Tuthill represented England in polo.
“I was eventing in England and I had an amazing time over there for quite a few years,” Wigley said.
“I competed at Badminton and Burghley. I finished top 10 at Burghley, that was pretty cool. I was with the New Zealand team and it was a pretty amazing experience.
“Olly represented England in polo. He played in France for an English team and they won the European Championship. He is still playing a bit over here, but it’s more for fun these days.
“We have got a young family, with two boys and one on the way, so things have changed a bit.
“It works pretty well, and Olly is good with the young horses.”
Before deciding to come home to New Zealand, Wigley decided to invest in bloodstock while she was in England, and the first yearlings from those initial purchases will go through the sales ring later this month.
“At the end I spelled my eventers and Olly and I went to Tattersalls and bought our first two mares and sent them back to New Zealand,” Wigley said.
“These will be our first yearlings out of the mares we imported.
“One of them is a Street Cry mare called Fiendish, we have got an Iffraaj filly (lot 399) out of her. The other one is called Highly Valued, who is a High Chaparral mare, and we are offering a Per Incanto filly (lot 442) out of her.
“It’s pretty exciting we are offering the first foals out of them and they are lovely fillies, and we are really happy with the mares.”
Wigley is also buoyant about the quality of the rest of her draft.
“We bought a few of the mares in Australia and we left them over there to get in-foal, so some of our draft are by Australian stallions,” she said.
“We have got a Lonhro colt (lot 498) out of an Exceed and Excel winning mare. He is a nicely put together colt and he is the first foal out of her. We are pretty excited about him, he is just a ball of muscle really.
“We have got a lovely So You Think filly (lot 344), and we sold a half-sister to her last year. This one is a really nice filly.
“The No Nay Never (lot 395) is a really nice filly as well. We are really happy with all our draft heading up to Karaka.”
Beaufort Downs has been in operation for just a couple of years and Wigley, cousin of Inglewood Stud’s Gus Wigley, said it is nice to continue the family legacy.
“We work pretty closely with Gus,” she said. “We are cousins and Dad has always been keen on the races. They did a few yearlings when we were younger, so we helped Dad out when we were at school.
“Olly and I were living overseas and we came back and got stuck into it. We have tried to buy a few mares every year and keep the quality up, we are loving it.
“We have got eight yearlings of our own, which we have in partnership with Mum and Dad, they are the Book 1s. We have also got a couple of outside yearlings in Book 2 for some local people down here.”
Based in Canterbury, their yearlings have a long trek up to Karaka for the sales, but Wigley said they tend to bounce through the trip relatively easily.
“We try and get them a bit further ahead because they have got the trip up to Karaka,” she said.
“We go up pretty early. Our horses are leaving next Thursday morning, so they will get up there on Friday, and then we will give them the weekend to relax and get over the trip.
“We always allow for a few days, just in case something happens like ferry cancellations. It is a fairly big trip for them, so we have to do all the preparations like blood testing before they go to make sure they are 100 percent.
“They pick up so quickly once they get there.”
Wigley and Tuthill are excited about their draft heading into the Sales and they look forward to growing their boutique operation over the coming years.