For John and Rachel Doherty, it was hard to believe the results they achieved for Booker when she went through ring at the Chairman’s sale in Sydney. She has been part of their lives since they moved to Yarran in 2017. ‘Booker came into our life as a racehorse when we moved to Yarran. She would come to the farm to spell and she was a lovely natured horse with a great temperament. She was just a lovely horse and thank goodness she was a good racehorse as well.’
In 2018 it was Heatherley that put Yarran on the map as a notable farm in the breeding industry when the broodmare sold for $1.6 million. ‘We had Heatherley a couple of years ago and she sold for the same price as Booker at the Magic Millions on the Gold Coast. Until then Yarran was working away with not many people outside of Victoria knowing who we were. As soon as you sell a big horse, people are asking the questions about us. It is huge for the farm.’
The following year after Heatherley was sold at the Gold Coast, Yarran took three broodmares to the Gold Coast who all sold well with their top lot selling for $300,000. Everyone at the sale was asking about Heatherly and people now knew about Yarran from Victoria.
‘It was harder this year with COVID 19 restrictions as we couldn’t go to Sydney. We are hugely thankful to Fairview Park who looked after Booker for inspections and the sale. They really helped out a lot. For Yarran and getting our name out there, it really is very special.’
The impact that a good sale result can have for a farm can be significant and that is no truer for Yarran. ‘As a result, we have had made new contacts and have more broodmares coming to the farm during the breeding season, including some from New Zealand. We have a Group 1 winning mare coming to the farm this season, in foal to Justify.
Booker achieved the highest price for all the Victorian lots sold at the sale with Rachel and John Doherty celebrating the result from the comfort of the farm in Victoria. ‘It is bittersweet as we weren’t there with her. Her owners, Barrie and Midge Griffiths, came over to Yarran and we watched it with them and had a little celebration. They were delighted that she has gone to such a good home. John and I have been in the industry for a long time so to be dealing with horses like this is pretty special.’