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Blyth Tait - successful breeder of Nashville

Nashville - Photo: NZTM website

Photo: NZTM website

International equestrian Blyth Tait is no stranger to success. He has won four medals including a gold at the Olympics and won four World Championships and now he is enjoying success as the breeder of Canterbury Racing's Coupland's Mile(Gr 2) winner Nashville (Darci Brahma – Royal Kiss [IRE]).

"I am thrilled to bits - it was a great result," said Tait who is back in New Zealand for the summer to hold riding clinics and prepare a couple of yearlings for Karaka.

"He was a lovely foal, and grew into a lovely quality athletic horse. I am so pleased with the success he has had, I am delighted that Adrian Bull has given him the time he has needed and that he has been rewarded for that.

"When you breed a horse, all that you can hope for is that when you sell it, it goes to the right place and that it is looked after and goes on."

In the past decade Tait has dabbled in thoroughbred breeding and had a property at Karaka known as Chesterfields, named after the horse he won a team Bronze medal on at the 1996 Olympics. His late father Bob was a noted owner and breeder of racehorses and it seemed a natural transition to follow him into that field.

At Chesterfields he combined his equestrian activities with breeding, agistment, pre-training and sales prep. He surrounded himself with some quality bloodstock and Nashville was sold at the 2010 Ready to Run Sale for $40,000.

That was the last sale Chesterfields consigned horses at before Tait decided to concentrate his efforts on his equestrian career in Europe.

Tait bred Nashville from the Royal Academy (USA) mare Royal Kiss, whom he bought out of Australia. She was placed in Great Britain and is the daughter of the group two Goodwood Nasau Stakes winner Hawajiss (GB) (Kris [GB] – Canadian Mill [USA]) who was placed in both the English and Irish Oaks. At stud in Australia she produced two winners including the stakes placed China's Causeway (Giant's Causeway [USA]).

She was in foal to Al Maher(AUS) and that colt sold at the NZB sale in 2008 for $140,000 and subsequently won a race in Hong Kong. Her first New Zealand mating was to Darci Brahma.

"I liked Darci Brahma, obviously based on his performance as a racehorse and his bloodlines. It was a fairly nice match on paper and physically he suited her as she is a big sort of mare. Then I sent her to Pins(AUS) and sold that filly as a yearling. Her next mating was to Stravinsky(IRE) and at that stage I decided to concentrate on re-establishing my career in Europe so I took her to the sales in Sydney, and Bruce Perry bought her and back she came to New Zealand," he said.

According to Bruce Perry he bought the mare for Lib Patagna's JML Bloodstock , and they sold the Stravinsky filly foal for $110,000 at last year's Premier Sale to another of Perry's clients John Gilbert.

"She was a lovely filly, she has been named Coco Chanel and is in work with the Kelsos. She has been placed in a trial and will probably be put aside now until the Autumn. The Gilberts also race Xanadu out of the Kelso stable.

'Royal Kiss is resident at Little Avondale in the Wairarapa, and has a positive to Darci Brahma to a nice early service. Unfortunately she missed last year to Savabeel. Besides being a full sibling to Nashville, and Lib is a bit of a fan of Darci Brahma, having raced the group three Manawatu Classic winner Malandrino before he was sold to Hong Kong, so it was a logical commercial mating for the mare."

Coincidently the couple of mares that Tait has kept are also at Little Avondale.

"I still have a couple of mares and I have leased them to Sam Williams. When I do return to New Zealand permanently I will concentrate on breeding again. In the meantime I will continue to ride in Europe in their summer and teach down here in our summer. I am also preparing two colts for the sale this year. One is in Select and the other is in the Festival Sale. They are currently at a friend's property in Karaka and they should keep me out of trouble over the summer," added Tait as he sat in the Koru Lounge reviewing the Coupland's Mile on his lap top before boarding a plane to the Hawkes Bay to hold a coaching clinic.

- Michelle Saba


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