When the highly successful stallion Artie Schiller returned to Stockwell Thoroughbreds in Diggers Rest last year, there was an unassuming, hardworking and talented horsewoman on the farm that no one expected to be his future handler.
Bec Drylie has broken the mould and proved them all wrong and with her patient and gentle manner, she has tamed the lion.
Drylie is a handy acquisition to the Stockwell Thoroughbred operation and now a vital part of the stallion team.
“I didn’t come to Stockwell with the intention to handle the stallions, but when Brodie (Becker) let me start working with them, it started from there. I actually do everything with them now.”
“One day, when I was doing Artie’s box, I hugged him and I swear he held his breath until I let him go. I don’t think he had ever been given a hug like that before. So, I just started slowly giving him more pats and he really enjoyed them. He now even loves having his ears scratched.”
Artie Schiller has developed quite the reputation over his breeding years as a particularly dominate horse to handle.
“I have heard all the stories, and he has a dreadful history. I heard he took off his last handlers’ thumb.” Drylie remarked
“I don’t see that in him. I don’t see that dominant side in him at all. I’m sure it is there, and I am careful, he has a kind, soft eye. It’s a compromise; a partnership.”
“Artie is an alpha male, so he does not see me as a threat. He does not dominate me, and I do not need to try to dominate him.”
Drylie gained experience having covered with Artie last season, but this season will really give her the chance to gain knowledge and improve her skills in the breeding barn.
“I am excited and eager to learn, and Brodie was great helping me and showing me the ropes. This year, I am looking forward to assisting with more serves, and honing my craft.”
“I love learning something new and working with Artie has been amazing. Who knows, maybe one day I will travel abroad and work with other stallions all over the world.”
“I love looking after my boys, and I am so thankful that Brodie, Mike and all the Stockwell family have given me the opportunity to really shine.”
Artie Schiller is a proven Group 1 racehorse and sire of four Group 1 winners, including World Champion three-year-old sprinter Flying Artie. There is no doubt that Artie Schiller is like a good wine, he gets better with age. Maybe he has even mellowed a bit too.
Brodie Becker, Director of Stockwell, is proud to stand a stallion who had been so closely linked to the property and the Victorian breeding industry.
“We have been with Artie since he first came to stud in this country and have obviously followed his rise more than most. It was a sad day when the commercial pressures of his success saw him move to NSW, but the reality is that he has been given a great chance in those two seasons to continue his outstanding strike rate.”
“Artie’s yearlings have always been strongly received in the market by trainers and again this year have sold for better than $200,000.
“We are thrilled to have him back and getting support in his home state, and he is not slowing down with 53 winners already this season including the stakes winner Reykjavik.”
A top-class Group 1 sire that has left the likes of Champion three-year-old Flying Artie, Artie Schiller stands at a fee of $13,200.
Artie Schiller will have a solid book of mares visiting him this season, along with Stockwell’s other resident stallions, Al Maher and Rock Sturdy.
“It’s a great photo of Al Maher. I was laughing, as he acts like a two-year-old kid. It’s great to see him expressing himself and having fun. He is feeling so well, ready and rearing, literally, to go for the season.”