Posts Tagged ‘isa lodge’

It’s that time again, getting the mares sorted and sent to stud.

Last weekend saw Kym’s two trotting mares (half sisters Sun Isa and maiden mare Toggle) off to Alabar, joined on the Majestic float by The Blue Lotus.

Sun Isa 2014

Sun Isa is in foal to Pegasus Spur and will be going to Angus Hall.

Toggle 2014

Toggle is in foal to Majestic Son and will then have a year off.

The Blue Lotus 2014

The Blue Lotus is in foal to Shadow Play, and will be going to A Rocknroll Dance.

Next Wednesday, The Blue Lotus’s dam Zenterfold will be heading to Breckon Farms – she’s in foal to Rock N Roll Heaven for me, and will be going back in foal to whichever sire Geoffrey and Aria Small choose. We take alternate foals. Zenterfold is currently in our home paddock, and looking beautiful.

Apart from Toggle, most of them will be foaling in October.

The other mare heading to Breckon Farms is Sophie’s Choice, the leased mare I have in foal to Tintin In America. She’s looked after by Hayley and Tony Shaw, only 5 minutes from here, and they have done a great job. I have the opportunity to put her back in foal again, thanks to Lynda Mellsop who owns her, and I am still looking at that option.

We love our mares, and are very grateful for having such characters and wonderful producers.

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It’s a beautiful cool, sunny Spring morning and “the boys” aka Thephantomtollbooth (Real Desire-Zenterfold) and Isputtingonmytophat (Pegasus Spur-Sun Isa) are sprawled out in the paddock loving the fine weather and warmth of the sun, looking like two logs!  They are great mates. Both are heading to the yearling sales at Karaka in February.

Isa lodge colts

View from my balcony – the boys sunbathing

They are not always so quiet! Here a photo of them having a real hoon around:

Isa Lodge colts

“The boys” having a hoon around the paddock.

Last night a horse Kym bought as a weanling from Alabar had her second start at Alexandra Park and got a very good second after being parked most of the way. She’s a lovely type of mare, stamped strongly by her sire Sutter Hanover. Named Driving The Dragon (from Shark Alert), she qualified as a 2yo but Kym and trainer Barry Cullen have been patient with her, allowing her time to grow into her big frame, and she is now a 4yo.  She comes from one of those families that now and then throws a real good horse, but otherwise struggles. Her grandam Alert Sue produced the very good Napolean (67 starts, 18 wins) and the handy Alert Motoring (36 starts, 8 wins) and a branch of the family (Disco Girl) produced the great Christopher Vance. But overall it has been hard going for the breeders. We like to think Driving The Dragon will be another one ‘out of the box” for the family! Here’s a recent photo of her winning a workout at Cambridge:

Driving The Dragon mare

Workouts winner Driving The Dragon

Another weanling purchase from Alabar is Elect To Go (Gotta Go Cullect-Innsbruck), now a 3yo filly that Kym and I  co-own. She has qualified and is having a spell, hanging out with Kym’s third weanling purchase, Souvenir Glory, now 4yo, who had a few races last season and is a competitive little Elsu mare. Like many of the Gotta Go Cullects I have seen, Elect To Go is not a big type – neither was Gotta Go Cullect. They seem slighter, speedy types. This filly is a very willing horse, doing everything right, and should strengthen up for her next time in.

Kym Kearns with Elect To Go, August 2013

Kym Kearns with Elect To Go, August 2013

But back to the breeding side of things, which is Isa Lodge’s main focus.

  • I’ve booked Zenterfold to Rock N Roll Heaven. She will be foaling this year (McArdle) at Patumahoe for co-owners Geoff and Aria Small.  She’s our “shuttle mare”, moving year by year between Cambridge and south Auckland and taking it all in stride.
  • I’ve booked The Blue Lotus (daughter of Zenterfold) to Shadow Play and will be off to stud in a couple of weeks (see my blog earlier in August about this match).
  • Kym’s trotting mares – Sun Isa is booked to Pegasus Spur and her half sister Toggle is booked to Majestic Son, and they will also be off to stud shortly.
  • And Sophie’s Choice is booked to Tintin In America. She’s the mare I’ve leased from Lynda Mellsop who is currently having such a great run as owner of Carpenters Daughter in Australia.

Other news – It appears Destination Moon’s injury is not the hairline fracture it was first thought to be and he could be back racing sooner than expected. He’s the full brother to The Blue Lotus (Grinfromeartoear-Zenterfold) and showed a heap of promise in his first few races as a 2yo for owner Kerry Hoggard and trainer Steven Reid.

And final bit of news: I have bought a half share in a Tintin In America yearling from a half sister to Bit Of A Legend. More about that next time.

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Manicure, shower and massage for two of our mares yesterday as we moved them from one of our “virtual farm” paddocks to another.

Who is this rather handsome looking mare getting a hoof trim and wash by owner Kym Kearns?

It’s 26 year-old Isa Countessa (Krissy) the much loved dam of Sun Isa and so  grandam of Flying Isa (the colt who won the Australasian 2yo Trotters Breeders Crown in 2011).

The bottom two photos are of my mare The Blue Lotus, whose pedigree was shown in the last blog.  Her first foal took a lot out of her, and it has been a work-in-progress to get her condition and confidence back up. She’s feeling a lot better now that she’s got her figure back!

Isa Countessa

26yo Isa Countessa gets a manicure

Isa Countessa mare

Isa Countessa at Isa Lodge

The Blue Lotus mare

6yo mare The Blue Lotus enjoying the TLC at Isa Lodge

The Blue Lotus mare

The Blue Lotus aka Lottie wants a bit more attention please!

Looking after your mares is such an important part of breeding. You cannot expect them to deliver unless you put the time, effort and nutrients into them – or make sure good people are doing so on your behalf.

Our mares have been very good to us, and in return we are good to them.

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Here’s a photo that captures the joie de vivre of young horses, given a bit of sunshine in the middle of winter.

The happy chappy is a weanling colt from bred by Kym Kearns at Isa Lodge, and a full brother to Flying Isa (Pegasus Spur x Sun Isa), and is aptly named Isaputtingonmytophat, after the song “Top hat, white tie and tails” made famous by the likes of Fred Astaire, Tony Bennett and Ella Fitzgerald, but originally written by Irving Berlin.

The full lyrics are below the photo. But I love the line “And I trust that you’ll excuse my dust when I step on the gas…”


Top Hat, White Tie and Tails

I just got an invitation through the mails:
“Your presence requested this evening, it’s formal
A top hat, a white tie and tails”
Nothing now could take the wind out of my sails
Because I’m invited to step out this evening
With top hat, white tie and tails

I’m putting on my top hat
Tying up my white tie
Brushing off my tails

I’m dudeing up my shirt front
Putting in the shirt studs
Polishing my nails

I’m stepping out, my dear
To breathe an atmosphere that simply reeks with class
And I trust that you’ll excuse my dust when I step on the gas

For I’ll be there
Putting down my top hat
Mussing up my white tie
Dancing in my tails.

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A recent article in Breeding Matters, the magazine of the New Zealand Standardbred Breeders Assn, talks about the skills and understanding that Kym Kearns brings to her work with horses. I’ve reproduced that article so more people can get to read it.

I’m lucky to have Kym’s involvement in raising and preparing the horses I breed. I see first hand the added value I get from this.

One story she’s told me that wasn’t included in the article, is the time when a young Kym led her horse up the steps of her family’s home, on to the verandah and in the front door. (Needless to say no-one else was home at the time!) After letting the horse have a good look around, she backed him out again – no damage done. This wasn’t an old horse with no energy and perfect manners. This was a relatively young horse she had broken in and educated herself, if I recall right it was a Arabian thoroughbred called Blue.  Her

Kym Kearns allows Tintin's yearling half brother Destination Moon to inspect the float

reasoning, as a teenager, was that she was familiar with where he lived, his paddock, his home. So she wanted to reciprocate and give him a look at where she lived.  It’s an insight into the mutual respect she builds with a horse that enabled them both to walk such a risky line!

Much later, 2006 it would be, I watched her walking yearling Tintin in America around the Cambridge Raceway and quietly letting him inspect and get familiar with all the surroundings, including the  “trainers tote” box where in future many dollars were passed over the counter and placed on Tintin the very successful racehorse! 

Kym has the patience to build a horse’s confidence within clear boundaries. Their curiosity is all part of their mental development, and her curiosity about what makes them tick, individually, helps her ‘read’ a horse and develop its character and potential.

That lays a foundation that asute trainers can – and do – build on.

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It is with tremendous relief that I’ve learned the treatment of Tintin’s soreness problem has been successful, in that he is now much more comfortable and is possibly heading for a career at stud (now confirmed he will be standing at Nevele R stud).

I look over what he did as a racehorse –
p2, 1:55.9; p3, 1:53.2 $934,305 16 wins. At 2, wnr G1 Sires’ Stakes 2yo Final, 2nd Listed NZ Yrlg SS Open, 3rd G1 NZ Welcome Stakes, Listed 2YO Emerald. 2YO NZ record holder over 1950m. At 3, wnr G1 3YO Emerald, G1 Australasian Breeders Crown Final, NRM Sires’ Stks heat, 2nd G1 NZ Derby, 2nd G1 Sires’ Stks Final. At 4, wnr G1 4YO Emerald, G1 NZ Messenger Championship, G2 4YO Futurity Stks, G3 Kumeu Stks, 2nd G1 Akld Cup. NZ record holder over 2700m.


And also the excitment he brought to racing.

Tintin with Zenterfold and Kym Kearns

A young Tintin with Zenterfold and Kym Kearns

But what I remember most is the young Tintin full of character, cheeky, assertive, tough minded from an early age. He radiated determination and energy as potent as a coiled spring. Thanks to Kym’s ability to educate a young horse without supressing their spirit, he could bring all that energy with him to the trainer, and Geoffrey Small knew the family and recognised the talent, and could channel that energy and assertiveness into remarkable performances on the track.

What could he be as a sire? People will look to him for speed – we need another Bettors Delight, a sire that can add speed and is forgiven for not necessarily adding size. Of course speed on the track doesn’t necessarily convert into leaving speed as a sire. But in Tintin’s favour, he has a remarkable family behind him, and both a dam and sire who were speedy. As well as genotype, he has phenotype on his side – those quick flex muscles and the body type that can certainly express speed more easily than bigger, heavy types.

In a future blog, I’ll dig into this in more detail. But for now, I’m celebrating Tintin – a neat horse, a thrill to be part of – and wishing him, above all, comfort and freedom from pain.

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