Posts Tagged ‘Bob McArdle’

On the same day as the Interdominion Final and Chariots of Fire was run, I also checked out the harness racing at Addington for the Cheviot Club and spotted two well regarded Falcon Seelster youngsters going around. The first was Free Falling, a 3yo colt who blitzed his field by over 12 lengths and a 57 last half, and then there was a 2yo Falcon Seelster filly who went out favourite and got 3rd, but looks a nice sort indeed. As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog, there are still a few hitting the racetracks each year, even though the sire himself has passed away in 2011.

Falcon Seelster is available via frozen semen.

So if you have a mare or can lease a mare that is a good potential cross with this sire, this coming season will be one of the last opportunities.

Bob McArdle says he has about 50  straws here and 50 in Australia – the details/contacts are available here on the Bromac Lodge/Stallions web page. Or talk with Bob direct, his phone number is on that website.



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A bonus from my trip to the NZSBA breeders conference in Christchurch was the opportunity to visit Nevele R Stud and see Tintin In America, whom I bred, and some of his weanlings.

My visit was a lovely echo of my only other trip to Nevele R, which happened the year I decided to put Zenterfold to McArdle, which resulted in Tintin In America being born.

That day was just the same – raining, and the array of famous racehorses/sires standing in their paddocks with their covers on, looking just like any horse. I particularly recall Courage Under Fire (standing at Nevele R at that stage) who looked almost lost under his cover, being the small horse he is, as the rain poured down around us.

Tintin In America, Sire

Breeder Bee Pears with Tintin In America at Nevele R Stud, May 2013

That was about 8 years ago. Kym and I were shown around personally by Bob McArdle;  it was a fascinating tour with plenty of commentary by Bob, followed by a fairly robust discussion as we all sheltered in our Hilux ute and debated the merits of putting my mare Zenterfold to Falcon Seelster (which Bob advocated) or McArdle (which I was more interested in doing).

As history shows us, I stuck with McArdle.

So it was lovely last Saturday to come full circle and be standing alongside Tintin In America the sire, in the rain, at Nevele R all these years later.

Tintin retired very sore in one leg joint after super seasons as one of our top racehorses from 2yo to 4yo, and almost reaching a million dollars of earnings.

The good news is: he is very well in himself and full of attitude in the paddock, and very fertile in the barn. Thanks to Nevele R in doing such a good job in settling him in to his new career.

There’s no doubt what sticks in people’s mind about Tintin is his incredible acceleration and speed.  As he grew older he developed the strength to hold that sprint longer. At times, he appeared to be low flying down the home straight. That sort of acceleration is hard to come by.

He was a medium sized horse, but a first foal from a medium sized mare. From what I have seen, his foals are quite striking types of good size. I saw two at Nevele R and both had white blazes which could be their own family influences but I have also noted the blaze/snip influence in Tintin’s family. Interesting.

I’d love to hear from people who have foals/weanlings by Tintin. Email me at bee.raglan@xtra.co.nz and tell me about them.

Personally, I am negotiating a share in a well bred weanling filly by Tintin In America, and have leased another mare to put to him with a very interesting pedigree match. But more about those  at a later date.

I’m a careful and thoughtful breeder and I believe he’s worth a good punt as a sire.

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Falcon Seelster

Stamping "gait speed"

(Stamp of success Part 2 of 6)  As New Zealand breeding guru Bob McArdle puts it, while pedigree is extremely important, the breeder is also “looking to create an architecturally designed individual.”

Bob McArdle believes a key factor in Falcon Seelster’s success was his gait.  “You can see that in many of his foals – they are designed to get yardage in their gait.” It’s a case where the overall size of the progeny is less important than their ability to get maximum  speed and reach. The same could be said about Courage Under Fire, where his reputation for leaving a high percentage of foals with naturally good gait gives him an advantage – “gait speed” (excuse the pun) – that offsets the size of many of his foals.

Bob McArdle also sees Falcon Seelster ‘stamping’ his progeny with the distinctive “Falcon head”, and soundness. Soundness, whether from good genetic bone density or less wear and tear thanks to an excellent conformation and gait, is a hugely valuable asset to pass on to foals.

When he talks about two of Nevele R’s most durable sires, Holmes Hanover and Live or Die, you can hear the admiration in Bob McArdle’s voice. “Some sires throw more to their size, some not. With Holmes he left a more heavy boned, bigger type of horse. With Live or Die, he can leave them all over the park, some little, some big.”

Both these sires have built a reputation for consistent, tough and genuine progeny, whether colts or fillies. “Live or Die and Holmes both pass on their mental toughness,” he says. “Look at the way Live or Die sat in the death in the Woodrow Wilson. He didn’t win, he came second – but I admired him for that run as much as if he had won.”

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