"The Last Word" By Joanne Andersen
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
― Winston Churchill
Breeding standardbred race horses certainly needs optimism, enthusiasm and plenty of hard work. But when a horse you have been responsible for creating and nurturing salutes the judge, you will experience a feeling like no other.
Sure you can go out and buy one tomorrow, you will know how much ability it has and you will pay accordingly, but the excitement of the unknown, of just how good that weanling down in the paddock is going to become is something you will never experience, and believe me, the anticipation and excitement of getting a baby broken in and progressing onto the races is something truly special.
I am a relative newcomer to the breeding game, having bred my first horse in 2004. I was given a broodmare named Joyces Mistake and joined her with the amazing Panorama. The excitement of waiting for the foal to be born and it’s subsequent racing career was one that had me hooked forever. Never once did I think that the foal would not become a successful racehorse. Call me naïve or just plain stupid, but the prospect of failure never entered my mind.
And now after breeding quite a few horses since, in fact we have 10 mares in foal this year, the prospect of failure still never enters my mind. In fact I have never bred a mare thinking that the resultant progeny would be any less than successful, regardless of the price or reputation of the stallion or the prior deeds of the mare.
We do our best to make sure our mares are given every opportunity to succeed. Their suitors are matched according to bloodlines, temperament and conformation, their nutritional needs are met and they always in every circumstance have a supervised foaling. In turn the foals are given everything they need, be it specialist care, time to mature or handling. I am in no way claiming to be an expert, but I am and always will be a believer in “You certainly give yourself a better chance of succeeding if you put in 100% effort” Near enough will never be good enough. These animals are bred to be athletes and you are responsible for ensuring they have every opportunity to become the athlete you expect.
We all know there are no rules when it comes to breeding a star, sure there are some families that could produce a star mated with a donkey, but many a superstar has come from the clouds, and this will certainly continue until the end of time.
The breeders in NSW are undoubtedly some of the luckiest in the southern hemisphere – not only do we have the Breeders Challenge race series for 2,3 and now 4yo (which as a breeder in NSW is the race I most want to win), we have the Breeders Challenge Owners bonus for owners of horses bred under Breeders Challenge conditions, and we are about to have the Nominators bonus kick in for the babies about to turn 2yo. This bonus will be a $3000 cash bonus paid to the Nominator (or person who registered the foal) upon the first C class win of that horse as a 2 & 3yo and under some conditions 4yo. Now as the majority of breeders in NSW are owner/breeders, this could make your first C class win at 2yo and 3yo worth as much as $10,000. Now that has got your attention I bet!!
The quality & variety of stallions available in NSW is at an all time high and quite possibly there would be no other place on earth that can boast such a selection as NSW, there truly is something for everyone and every budget.
Prizemoney is also on the upward move in NSW. We have some wonderful opportunities for country horses to earn good money courtesy of the country series finals, and finally fillies and mares will have much more opportunity with better race programming and some exciting initiatives including the Go Girlfriend series promoted by Harness Breeders NSW amongst others.
Most racing precincts in NSW will be undergoing major facelifts, with new tracks being built at Bathurst, Wagga and in the near future Tamworth, and renovations being done at Penrith.
Integrity in NSW is second to none, and in fact we are world leaders in some aspects of this field. HRNSW is determined that all participants should have equal opportunity and a level playing field to achieve their goals.
I for one am excited about being involved in the evolution and rebirth of Harness Racing and breeding in NSW and am looking to the future with anticipation and expectation. I would be more than happy to have you join me for the ride, as they say the more the merrier and only fellow breeders truly understand the excitement of breeding a winner.
“It is the possibility that keeps me going, and though you may call me a dreamer or a fool or any other thing, I believe that anything is possible.”
― Nicholas Sparks