Hallmark Stud: Breeding Excellence Backed By Decades Of Experience
Hallmark Stud is a historic part of New Zealand’s thoroughbred industry. Recently owner Mark Baker secured five weanlings for a combined price of A$196,000, making Hallmark Stud the leading purchaser of the Karaka May Sale by aggregate.
The Impact speaks to the owner of the celebrated stud farm about his purchases:
Q: Firstly, what are you plans for the weanlings you purchased recently?
A: Get them home, mated up with other weanlings of similar age and size. Get them happy & thriving & grow them out.
Q: What do you look for when your purchase a horse? What is your buying process?
A: Confirmation comes first, followed by the page & what sale they might fit into.
Q: What are your highlight purchases this year?
A: I’ll tell you when we re-sell them!
Q: Which sale will you be going to next as a buyer?
A: Gavelhouse NZ online auction.
Q: Have you ever looked back on your career and thought that you should have continued to work at those farms and racing operations you were associated with?
A: No, I have no regrets
Q: What is on your bucket list of records to break for Hallmark Stud? What’s your vision for the farm?
A: To continue to produce sound, tough racehorses.
Q: Do you see your children continuing this legacy?
A: Possibly, too soon to tell
Q: What are the factors you keep in mind when planning matings?
A: Physical makeup first & then what might provide commercial appeal & lastly, hopefully, strike a nick that has worked previously.
Q: Which young NZ sires are you happy to see rising in esteem and which ones do you consider still underrated? And why?
A: Any young NZ sire that can kick big goals especially in our biggest market, Australia.
Q: When preparing a horse for sales, what elements do you have to consider? Is this a standard process or is it something you agree with the owners or something unique to Hallmark?
A: Every horse is an individual & given their physical & mental makeup, will require a specific diet & handling.
Q: What do you do enjoy doing away from the ‘horse’ world? What is the best book you’ve read recently or the best movie you’ve watched recently?
A: Hunting & fishing
Best book – The Operator, the story of Robert O’Neill – the navy seal that captured & killed Bin Laden.