Horse Racing

Stonehaven Steadings Faith Rewarded at Keeneland in September

Five years ago, Aidan O’Meara left his post at Hill ‘n’ Dale Ranch, where he served as the Stallion Division Manager for 20 years, to run Stonehaven Steadings with his wife Leah and family.

The decision is not an easy one. As Leah O’Meara recounts, John Sikura saw something in Aidan when the Irishman had just graduated from college. For many years, O’Meara worked his way up to manage Curlin, Medaglia d’Oro and Candy Ride. O’Mearas lived on the Hill ‘n’ Dale campus for many years at its former location on North Yarnalton Pike in Lexington and the ranch was the first home of the couple’s three children.

Now just a few years after O’Meara joined Stonehaven Steadings as Director of Bloodstock and Client Development, the fruits of his increased presence on the farm are becoming more and more evident as the operation progresses. This family-run business is doing great through Keeneland’s Forgotten September Sale. .

On the first day of the auction, Stonehaven Steadings sold what will likely be the sale of the day. Quality Sugar colt out True Feelings (Latent Heat). Their success doesn’t stop at that $2.5 million achievement. Also in Book 1, they sent $825,000 to Into Mischief and $775,000 Gunman colt through the ring. In Book 2, they sold four yearbook books including a $900,000 Into Mischief and $800,000 Street Sense dirty.

“Honestly, “It’s almost like the twilight zone stuff right now,” O’Meara said in Book 2 after returning to the warehouse from selling the sixth item for over half a million. “The first year after I moved from Hill ‘n’ Dale, we had some good ones in Book 1 and we’ve been able to build those ever since. We came here this year thinking we were going to have the biggest sale, but this is unbelievable.”

“We are very proud of all the horses,” he continued. “You might like them at home when they act like they’re there, but to get out here and walk up and down 200, 250 times for people, you quickly figure out the mentality of a horse. We are very fortunate that everyone has acted very well. “

O’Meara said, no desire in their shipment handled themselves better Quality Sugar colt continues to be the best-selling product in North America so far this year.

O’Meara explained: “He progressed through each show and never faltered at anything he was asked to do. “He’s almost gone over two legs and is just a locomotive with the way he uses his shoulders and the way he lifts his hind legs. I have never seen so many people fascinated with a horse with the way it moves in sales. We started to get a little excited when we got 25 or 30 vet shots from all the right players. “

Last year, in a similar sale, Stonehaven Steadings celebrated their first million dollars when this pony’s half-brother with Evenly sold for $1.55 million to West Point Thoroughbreds and Talla Racing. Now named Nuclear, the juvenile is doing steady work at Del Mar for John Sadler.

“We were blown out of the water at that stage,” O’Meara said. “We pretty much envisioned that we had reached the pinnacle of life selling stallions, but his brother at home was always someone we had in mind that might have the potential to be that quality horse again next year . “

Throughout the winter, the Stonehaven Steadings crew hesitated to get too excited, knowing that May-foaled’s foal might not be up to his brother’s level at auction time, but this foal has hatched. flourished as an aspirant and was considered enthusiastic by all. Keeneland’s sales inspection team when the auction is coming up.

When it was time for the pony to prepare to enter the sales round, he was led by an atmosphere of anticipation. O’Meara turned to his wife to celebrate as the bid stalled at $1.3 million, then froze as the number continued to grow.

Similar to his brother with the addition of Woodford Racing, this foal will also be trained under the direction of John Sadler. As they did with Nuclear, Stonehaven Steadings stayed with a small portion of the young players.

“We are very fortunate that West Point has let us stay on some of these fine horses,” said O’Meara. “We’ve had two with them last year and then three with them so far this year, so we’re pretty excited to see what the future brings.”

Aidan O’Meara and the $2.5 million horse in True Feelings | Keeneland

Stonehaven Steadings has earned a reputation for breeding champions in its relatively short history. The list includes the 2012 GI Breeders’ Juvenile Cup champion, Shanghai Bobby (Harlan’s Holiday) and most recently, ‘Rising star TDN’ and the junior champion Corniche (Quality Sugar).

The ranch was founded by Leah’s parents Jeff and Chiquita Reddoch. The Louisiana couple became interested in the industry when Leah moved to Lexington for college. Starting with just a small amount of $30,000, they eventually bought the property in Old Frankfort Pike.

The name Stonehaven Steadings is easy to come across. During his time in the oil industry, the Reddochs traveled all over Europe on business. Their favorite village in Scotland is called Stonehaven. There, a farm can be considered a prop.

Chiquita Reddoch quickly recognized the merits of her daughter and son-in-law for their many achievements in activities.

“Leah and Aidan have a really good talent for working together and doing this,” she said. “Aidan is such a good knight. When they first met and he worked at Hill ‘n’ Dale, I was always amazed at how he could talk about horses and their race, shape and pedigree. Leah was also always interested in it. They are together every day and they live and breathe the farm. It’s not something I can do. We passed this on to Leah and Aidan and now we have to do what dads and dads do behind the scenes. “

While Aidan is on the farm every day, Leah focuses on marketing their business, organizing sales and shopping trips year-round to add potential to their broodmare band.

When asked what makes this pair such a good team, Leah laughs.

“His patience,” she replied, but then answered more clearly as she explained, “I think the reality is that everything happens for a reason and it’s about faith. when something seems like a terrible thing. That will calm you down in no time. There is nothing to worry about when you already have such beliefs. “

O’Mearas also credits their longtime ranch manager Colby Marks for their recent accomplishments. Marks was the one who chose their star as True Feelings in 2012. Latent Heat’s daughter finished second in GIII Schuylerville S. 2011 and comes from a family of Wait a While (Maria’s Mon) champions. Marks picked up the mare for $210,000 at Keeneland in November.

Farm Manager Colby Marks and True Emotions | Photo courtesy of Stonehaven Steadings

“I think a lot of mother hens are like these top-notch stallions at some point, either with or without,” says O’Meara. “You just have to try and pick the right kind of boar and match them to the pedigree, but you never know what you’ll get. We wanted to give these young mares the best possible chance as we bred them with these better, proven males. That helps build mares résumés, and you hope that you’ll have a resume that comes out on the right track with a few half-siblings who are already stallions. “

Their $2.5 million figure is a prime example of this game plan. His dam has had three winners in her production record including the Royal Act (American pharoah), the aspirational $500,000 goes on to come in second in GIII 2020 Robert B. Lewis S., as does stake winner Feel Naughty (Into Mischief).

“True Feelings is a really classy mare to mess with, but she also has a bit of guts with her when she wants to,” says O’Meara. “Everything about her is a great motivator. She threw all sorts of different types, but they all had that class and that big move for them. We call her our Leslie’s Lady now. To get a desired million dollars from any mare is unbelievable, don’t bother to get two. It’s just crazy.”

Just a few years ago, Stonehaven Steadings was aiming to sell a few fingerlings for $300,000 or maybe $400,000. Now after breeding and raising one for $2.5 million, what do they hope to do next?

“I just want to be here,” Leah said with a small shrug and a smile. “I want to live on a farm and have a thriving farm. I want employees who are like family that you can rely on and trust. We just want to enjoy it because horses are what we love. If we can do that for the rest of our days, I think we’ll be pretty happy people. “

Source link


News7F: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button