Monday, April 29, 2013

Stud Farms


Following are glimpses into who are the biggest players of breeding Thoroughbreds around the world.  They are not listed in any particular order, except the biggest players are in all caps.

Kenny Troutt (left) and co-owner Bill Casner celebrate
their horse Super Saver's Kentucky Derby victory in 2010
Image by Getty Images North America via @daylife
Godolphin Racing is the Maktoum family's private thoroughbred horseracing stable and was named in honour of the Godolphin Arabian, who came from the desert to become one of the three founding stallions of the modern thoroughbred.

UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the driving force behind Godolphin. He also owns the Darley Stud breeding operation. Godolphin's first runner and winner was Cutwater (GB) at Nad Al Sheba, Dubai on December 24, 1992 while Godolphin's international operation commenced in 1994. The stable has training facilities in both Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Newmarket, United Kingdom.

Sheikh Mohammed, or "Sheikh Mo" as he is affectionately known, is perhaps the best known billionaire in the world of thoroughbred horse breeding and racing. His presence at horse sales is met with hushed reverence (and an intimidating entourage including bodyguards). He is thought to be the biggest spender in the history of the sport, buying up stables in the Middle East, Europe and the US (including Bob McNair's, see previous slide). Four horses linked to the Sheikh's various stables have won the UK's Epsom Derby: Lammtarra, New Approach, High-Rise and Shaamit. He continues to chase his dream of winning the Kentucky Derby.

Recent scandal involving the administration of illegal drugs to several horses at the barn run by Al Zarooni has rocked the Thoroughbred world.  Disgraced trainer banned for 8 years by BHA  BBC report

Vanity Fair - 2012
Top owner/breeder in France

Juddmonte Farms consists of a variety of individual farms: three in England, two in Ireland, and three in Kentucky, United States. Established in 1977, Juddmonte in particular is highly regarded for their 300 plus broodmare band.

Founded in 1977, Juddmonte is based in Lexington, KY. Prince Khalid Abdullah, owner; John Chandler, president; Lord Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager. Web site

Coolmore Stud's wiki page
Coolmore web site
Coolmore Stud, in Fethard, South Tipperary in Ireland, is the world's largest breeding operation of thoroughbred racehorses.

It was originally a relatively small farm dedicated to general agriculture, but came into the Vigors family in 1945 when a training operation was established thereIt was inherited by Tim Vigors, famous fighter pilot in the Battle of Britain and in the Far East. Having left the air force, he firstly joined Goffs bloodstock auctioneers before setting up his own bloodstock agency in 1951. He moved to Coolmore in 1968 and began transforming it into the well known stud farm it is today.

Vigors went into partnership with his friend Vincent O'Brien, a leading racehorse trainer, and Robert Sangster, the Vernons pools magnate. He later sold his interest to O'Brien and his son-in-law, John Magnier. Eventually, Magnier became sole owner, and built the farm into a multi-national, multi-billion-euro operation. The original farm is now known as Coolmore Ireland, and has three branches—Ashford Stud, which operates as Coolmore America, near Versailles, Kentucky and Coolmore National Hunt (or Castle Hyde Stud) in Ireland, which specialises in breeding for National Hunt racing. Coolmore has many "shuttle stallions" that cover mares in either Ireland or Kentucky in the northern breeding season and are transported to Argentina and Australia for the southern breeding season.

Alain and Gerard Wertheimer
Wertheimer et Frere
France’s Alain Wertheimer and his brother Gerard, co-owners of fashion house Chanel, are third generation horse owners and breeders. Their thoroughbred business Wertheimer et Frere (meaning Wertheimer and Brother) has produced champs like Goldikova, the only horse ever to win three Breeders’ Cup Mile races. In 1993, their horse Kotashaan won American Horse of the Year, one of the sport’s highest accolades.

Jess Jackson/Barbara Banke - Stonestreet Farms
One of the most beloved figures in the U.S. horse racing scene passed away in April 2011. California billionaire winemaker Jess Jackson was a regular fixture at bloodstock auctions and racetracks. Forbes did a feature two years ago during the Saratoga Springs meet. Forbes feature.  It was clear he’d earned the respect of his peers as an owner and a breeder. His Stonestreet Farms stable is home to Curlin, the all-time top earning racehorse in North America with over $10.5 million winnings, and Rachel Alexandra, the first filly to win the Preakness Stakes in 85 years and 2009 Horse of the Year. His widow, Barbara Banke, continues to operate under the Stonestreet banner.

Gerald J. Ford
Texan banker Gerald J. Ford owns Diamond A Farms in Kentucky. His thoroughbred Pleasantly Perfect is the fourth richest American horse in terms of career earnings, bringing in over $7.8 million. Big wins included the 2003 Breeders' Cup Classic and the 2004 Dubai World Cup.

Charlotte Colket Weber
Like her cousin Mary Alice Dorrance Malone, Weber runs a stud farm: Live Oak, in the thoroughbred town of Ocala, Florida. Big winners include Miesque's Approval, winner of the $2-million Breeders’ Cup Mile at Churchill Downs in 2006. On her website, Weber notes that two of her top horses, half-brothers Solar Splendor and Sultry Song, both won races on the same day in 1992 at New York’s Belmont Park. 

Mary Alice Dorrance Malone, one of the heiresses to the Campbell Soup fortune, runs Pennsylvania’s Iron Spring Farm. Over the past three decades, she’s imported stallions from Germany, Poland and the Netherlands for breeding purposes, and it’s paid off: her horse Judgement is the most successful American-bred jumper ever, earning over $1.5 million in prize money.

Bradley Hughes
The billionaire founder of storage giant Public Storage owns Lexington, Kentucky's Spendthrift Farm. The stable has been home to winners of every Triple Crown race, including 9 Kentucky Derby victors. Hughes is a familiar and beloved figure on the thoroughbred circuit, attending many sales himself to bid on the best bloodstock.

Kenny Troutt
Last year was a big one for Excel Communications founder Kenny Troutt, who owns Winstar Farm in Versailles, Kentucky. He is the most high-profile billionaire in the horse racing game thanks to an incredible year in 2010. His colt Super Saver won the Kentucky Derby and his stallion Drosselmeyer nabbed the Belmont Stakes. Troutt owns Winstar Farm in Versailles, Kentucky.

Gerald Harvey
Australian retail magnate Gerald Harvey now owns 100% of Magic Millions, a thoroughbred auction house on Australia's Gold Coast, having bought out his business partners earlier this year. He personally owns some 1,000 horses at the Vinery, Baramul and Broombee stud farms in New South Wales and recently bought two New Zealand stud farms in an effort to break into the Kiwi thoroughbred business. 

Frank Stronach
Canadian billionaire Frank Stronach owns Magna International, North America's largest racetrack owner and operator. He's in the horse racing game himself: his Stronach Stables has produced winners of the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, and his horse Ghostzapper won the coveted Breeder's Cup Classic in 2004.  Adena Springs is the breeding side of Stronach's far flung interests.

His horses have won the Queen's Plate in 1994 and 1997, the Belmont Stakes in 1997, and the Preakness Stakes in 2000. His horse Ghostzapper won several major races including the 2004 Breeders' Cup Classic, was voted the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year, and named the World's Top Ranked Horse for 2004. In Canada, Stronach and/or his Stronach Stables has won the Sovereign Award for Outstanding Owner nine times. In the United States, he earned the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Owner in 1998, 1999, and 2000. In 2000, he won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Breeder. He subsequently established Adena Springs Farms which owns horse breeding farms in Kentucky, Florida and Canada and won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Breeder in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

Julio Bozano
Low-profile Brazilian banker Julio Bozano is a devout thoroughbred horse owner, and reportedly keeps 300 mares at several farms in Argentina, Florida and Kentucky. Some of his race-winning thoroughbreds include Quite a Bride, Pommes Frites, Palladio and Quelle Surprise.

Walter Haefner
Walter Haefner was one of Switzerland’s richest men, and the largest individual shareholder of IT giant CA (Computer Associates). His Moyglare Stud Farm in Ireland boasts a number of major race-winners, including Go And Go, who won the Belmont Stakes in 1990. Walter Haefner passed away in June 2012. At the time, he was the oldest billionaire in the world, at 101 years old. He had transferred ownership of Moyglare to his daughter prior to his death. 

Source material includes Forbes Magazine's  Top breeders of Thoroughbred racehorses in the world.

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