New arrivals feel the bug
THE breeding of thoroughbred horses, which descend from the Godolphin Arabian (1700); the Byerley Turk (1724) and the Darley Arabian (c.1680) lures enthusiasts from all walks of life.
In Central Queensland the breeding industry is very much alive and well and this week is its “show and sell”.
On Friday a milestone will be achieved when for the first time in Rockhampton the high-profile Magic Millions Sales Company will conduct the Capricornia Yearling Sale starting at 2pm in the Robert Schwarten Pavilion at the showgrounds.
The sale will have special significance for Rockhampton's Kerry Gittins, who, with her partner Mark Withers, will be vendors for the first time.
Operating under the banner of Devil's Elbow Thoroughbreds, they will be represented firstly by Lot 15 – a Court Command colt from the Palace Music mare Glyde Court.
Some 12 lots later, their Get Square-La Vita Ebella filly will step into the ring.
Kerry became smitten by the concept of breeding thoroughbreds two years ago and decided to pursue her passion in a ready-made way.
“We went off to a Magic Millions broodmare sale at the Gold Coast and bought a few well-bred and related mares in foal. The two we are selling are a result of that. Naturally, we are very excited about the sales on Friday,” Ms Gittins said.
She said the pleasure derived from and watching the foals grow into weanlings and now maturing into yearlings had been very satisfying.
“It's hard to put into words really. It may sound stupid, but they become like family.”
The couple are developing their property adjacent the Fitzroy River near Devil's Elbow bend in the river to house a small boutique band of mares.
Not surprisingly, the breeding bug has bitten Ms Gittins and she now has four mares – some with foals and weanlings on the ground.
“It is fascinating breeding thoroughbreds and is a world within itself. I was involved with cattle previously at Cawarral, but I am deriving so much more fun out of the horses,” she said.
Last year the partners bought the well-bred mare Klairity – in foal to Merlo Downs-based stallion Changeintheweather (US).
“A yearling from Klairity sold through the Magic Millions Sale for $110,000 so we have high hopes for her foals when we eventually sell them in Rockhampton.”