If I had to list one of the most quaint places in the world. Eureka would certainly feature among the top 5. Situated within this scenic wonder is the Brighthill Farm. The family-run business is a top name among the vendors in this line. There is simply so much passion and love for the horses in the DNA of Brighthill Farms that it is impossible to catch some of that yourself while you are at the farm or simply talking to anyone working there.
Nick King, the owner and the founder of Brighthill lives here with his Anne-Marie and their 4 amazing kids. Nick has quire literally built this farm piece by piece from scratch and made it a resounding success that it is today.
Now it has almost become an unsaid agreement that Brighthill with be bringing the biggest draft in the Karaka yearling sale every year. We were quite intrigued and decided to dig deep in the mind of Nick Hill. We asked for a little time with Nick and ever the gracious gentleman that he is, he granted us the wish.
Q: Could you tell us a bit more about your highlight Lots from the 2020 Karaka Yearling Sale draft?
A: Brighthill Farm has been in operation here in the Waikato for 22 years we are a family run business of a medium scale. We stand three to four stallions at any one time and breed around 25 mares of our own. The rest of the horses are owned by fantastic clients many of whom have been with us from the very beginning and many are international owners from around the world who recognise NZ as an amazing environment to breed horses.
Q: Could you please tell us a bit more about your association with this sale? How long have you been showing at the sale?
A: Notable stallions we have stood in the past Champion Racehorse and Aus Horse of the Year Beau Zam and Champion Racehorse and successful stallion Azamour (first stallion to shuttle for the Aga Khan Studs). This year we have added the first son of Frankel to go to stud in Australasia in Eminent.
Q: Although you have probably sold some very expensive horses in your lifetime, please tell us about the most expensive horse you ever sold at this sale and where he/ she is right now?
A: Our yearling draft is there to represent the farm sell our yearlings and offer the opportunity for our clients to sell under our banner.
Our main focus this year with our yearlings is our first season sire Preferment. Preferment was a Champion racehorse, Derby winner 4 time Aus G1 winning son of Zabeel who of course is NZ’s greatest sire. Preferment is the last multiple G1 winners by Zabeel to go to stud he has left some fantastic types and should be well sought after particularly by the Australian buyers.
Q: How did you get involved with horses? What is your history with Brighthill Farm?
A: Highlights in our draft would be Lot 244 colt by Ifraaj ex Sabia he is a half brother to dual G1 winner Lizzie L’Amour and is a lovely type. Lot 214 filly by Preferment ex Rattle and Lot 314 colt by Preferment ex Stocktake are both cracking types by Preferment and have there sire's good looks.
Book 2 Lot 1036 colt by Burgandy ex Celtic Dream he is half brother to Aus stakes winner One One Two and a full brother to recent 2-year-old stakes winner of the Welcome Stakes La Romanee one of the early favourites for the Karaka Millions. Lot 812 filly by Preferment ex Rave Review she is an athletic running type and half-sister to group placed Fire Jet. Lot 815 filly by Preferment ex Ready or Not is again a lovely type and a half-sister to two very promising gallopers in Glendalough and I’m a Ready.
Some notable horses of the farm inc Champion South African filly dual G1 winner Rumya (Red Ransom) and three-year-old G1 winners in Aus two years ago in Hiyaam (High Chaparaal )and 1000 Guineas winner Aloisia (Azamour). We also produced the inaugural Karaka Millions Classic winner in Scott Base by our resident sire Dalghar.
Q: How do you decide on your matings? How long does it take you and what does the process involve? With the top-end Australian market slowly shifting away from 'just' 2YOs with speed to more mile-2000m racehorses, what do you feel the future holds for New Zealand breeders whose forte is breeding stayers?
A: Our matings revolve around mares that will best suit our stallions to create the opportunity for them but we always have one eye on breeding horses that suit the Australian market as they are our most important buying bench and where NZ breds have their greatest success.
Our stallion choices and types that we are breeding are very much focused on producing middle distance Guineas and Derby types it’s what we are good at here in NZ and where we traditionally have had a lot of success particularly in Australia. Preferment is a great representation of that.
Q: With 2020 fast approaching, what are the top two things on your bucket list to achieve by 2030?
A: Our plan for the next number of years is to continue to produce quality horses and upgrade our broodmare band and to stand a champion stallion.