Scenic Lodge named after Western Australia’s champion stallion, has planned a large draft for the Perth Yearling Sale 2019. They will be bringing the maximum number of horses to the sale and they were also one of the top five vendors who sold the most expensive lots at last year’s sale.
The Impact spoke to Smith about his 2019 draft, the farm and much more.
Q: Last year you sold the most expensive horse in this sale. Could you tell us a bit more about your draft yearling highlights and which one do you think people should be taking a closer look at?
A: We have a nice mix of yearlings to offers buyers, they include two really nice colts by Snippetson that were accepted for the main sales in February but suffered minor hiccups that forced them to be withdrawn also a big rangy colt by Blackfriars a nice compact running type by boom local sire Universal Ruler and lovely classy filly by Alfred Nobel.
Q: What happened to the record-breaking horse from last year?
A: He hasn’t raced as yet but reports are positive.
Q: How many horses are you planning to bring into this draft?
A: We have 8 –in total (5 yearlings, 2 weanlings and a racehorse)
Q: What are the factors you consider when you plan matings and how far in advance do you plan them?
A: We look at our matings a few months prior. We do send a few to others stallions but the majorities are bred to our own stallions which all offer some different options. We obviously bred commercially so the type the mating will produce is a big factor.
Q: Do you consider breeding for specific races or do you breed for athleticism?
A: We breed commercially so you need the right type with the right pedigree. Speed and producing early running types is quite a big factor as owners want that quick return
Q: What were your 2018/2019 successes?
A: Our stallions have enjoyed a fantastic year with Snippetson and Universal Ruler currently locked in a battle to see who will be champion active sire in WA. Snippetson first crop in WA has started with a bang while Universal Ruler as produced stakes horses on the East coast this season. Blackfriars will also be crowned again champion sire. It will be the 15th year straight a stallion standing at Scenic Lodge will be crowned champion sire quite an amazing feat.
Q: Please tell us more about your Farm and your journey thus far?
A: We are based about 50 mins North of Perth. Our first stallion we stood was Scenic who went on to become the best stallion ever to stand in WA. One year he finished 3rd on the national sire's table behind Danehill and Encosta De lago. This really set us up and enabled us to invest in other stallions and mares which have seen us develop into one of the leading studs in WA. We have bred numerous great horses from here our favourite though would have to be Scenic Blast who won at Royal Ascot
Q: Is this the end of the sales season for you, or do you have any more sales we will be seeing you at?
A: This is it for us our attention turns to the breeding season now.
Q: Which are the sales you attend during the year?
A: I am quite often at a few of the major broodmare sales throughout Australia during the year. This year we purchased at the Sydney and Gold Coast sales. We're continually looking to improve and bring in better quality mares.
Q: What’s on the bucket list for Scenic Lodge?
A: We would love to see either Universal Ruler or Snippetson develop into the champion sire in the state once Blackfriars starts to have fewer runners and keep this sires title in our hands for a bit longer.
Q: What are the factors you take into account when planning to buy Stallions?
A: They have had to perform at a high level and be the right type with a stallion's pedigree. It’s important if you get a new stallion you have to be prepared to back them yourself by sending a lot of your own mares. Too many stallions go to stud with little support which makes it near on impossible for them to succeed.
Q: How did you plan the perfect succession to Blackfriars? Was it a long time in planning?
A: You always have to think about what we do if we didn’t have him. You need options and we were very lucky to have two outstanding stallions in Snippetson and Universal Ruler here when we lost him.