Monday, February 3rd, 2014
by Sarah Mace
As bitter cold and snow yielded to kinder weather on the first weekend in February, seven major New York farms conducted stallion shows and open houses over three successive weekends. Visitors not only made annual pilgrimages to familiar territory but were also able to inspect new operations, new facilities and, of course, new stallions.
Holding their inaugural open houses were Saratoga Stud LLC and Rockridge Stud. Saratoga Stud, which opened its doors in December just east of Saratoga Springs, is a new entity headed by a partnership of C. Lynwood “Doc” O’Cain, DVM, his wife Suzie and Rick Burke. Dr. O’Cain brings to Saratoga Stud 23 years of experience as Resident Veterinarian at Highcliff Farm in Delanson, while Mrs. O’Cain was in charge of Highcliff’s stallion promotion and development. Located on part of the 300-acre Irish Hill Century Farm, which is owned by Burke, Saratoga Stud opened with a brand new stallion complex.
Lere Visagie’s Rockridge Stud near Hudson also held its first open house in 2014. Home to six of the Vinery stallions from Sugar Maple Farm near Poughquag, Rockridge also had the chance to show off two new additions to its roster: Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup winner and Eclipse Award winning Sprinter Trinniberg, and graded stakes winner San Pablo.
Unveiling a new stallion complex and sporting two new stallions was Sequel Stallions New York in Hudson. Joining the Sequel roster for 2014 is Grade 1 winner Emcee for Darley and multiple graded stakes winner Forty Tales. Forty Tales stands as a joint venture between Dennis Narlinger and Becky Thomas of Sequel New York, and Joe McMahon of McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds.
Holding its second annual stallion show and open house was Questroyal North, which opened on the 265-acre Sez Who North property in Stillwater in 2012. Questroyal also had the opportunity to show off a pair of new stallions. Multiple graded stakes winner Bridgetown was announced in November for the 2014 breeding season. More recently Lewis Michael was added to the roster, relocating from Three Chimneys Farm and standing as the property of owner Frank Calabrese.
Keane Stud in Amenia, which was the first farm to hold its stallion show (January 18), added a stallion for 2014 who, for most, needed little introduction: Grade 1 winner and last year’s New York-bred Horse of the Year The Lumber Guy, who stands as the property of Spendthrift Farm.
Those who completed the round of all seven shows also braved some cold and snow on the weekend of January 25-26 to visit McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds on Fitch Road in Saratoga, whose roster is six strong, and Mill Creek Farm in Stillwater, who stands Sir Whimsey and Simmard, whose first foal arrived on January 30.