Posts Tagged ‘Graeme Henley’

I haven’t visited him yet, but thanks to Graeme Henley at Alabar I can see what he’s like- good size, athletic type, lovely head.

By Shadow Play (check the match here). The Blue Lotus is the daughter of Zenterfold.

Now The Blue Lotus is getting served by A Rocknroll Dance, thanks to the competition I ran for blog followers earlier this year to choose her next match.

The Blue Lotus

The Blue Lotus with her Shadow Play colt foal, 15 November 2014

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(Stamp of success Part 3 of 6)  When I ask Graeme Henley of Alabar Stud, which New Zealand sire is most known for ‘stamping’ his foals, he hardly hesitates before citing Christian Cullen’s colour and head as one of the best examples. A “Christian Cullen type”, bay, big and bold, with that head, is likely to add tens of thousands onto a price in the sales ring compared to a yearling less obviously stamped by his sire. Buyers will see these physical attributes as a hopeful sign that the sire has also passed on his less visible qualities (heart, talent, strength and speed).

Graeme Henley believes breeders are becoming more aware of what qualities and attributes different lines offer, and why some lines that didn’t fire here before with our mares (such as Abercrombie with his reputation for heart and temperament, and Western Hanover line for speed and gait) but may click better with the pool of mares we have now.

So what are some of the physical attributes some of the Alabar stallions might ‘stamp’ on their foals?  “The Grin head – longish, narrowish. It’s quite plain, not classic,” he says. “but it is distinctive.” The Elsus are often strong in the body, almost heavy boned, but they are not always dark in colour.”
In temperament, he’s noticed Art Major foals “can be tough, even be a bit kicky when young, but they come to it. Elsus also have a bit of fight in them, but are intelligent types.”

He reckons you can always tell an Earl foal because they make a little squealing noise – “You hear that outside the barn and when you look, sure enough it’s an Earl.”

These are general observations, and there are a heap of exceptions running around in the paddocks of New Zealand. “Nothing is a certainty,” Graeme says. “Grin has plenty of size and scope about him – and then he leaves a little one like Smiling Shard!”

It’s clear the mare still has a say in all of this!

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