There is a new kid on the block…or creek perhaps…in the Victorian breeding scene.
Thompson Creek Thoroughbreds has been established by Wes and Sally Ballantine and is based out of Glentree South, a property south of Geelong near Modewarre.
The first horses stepped off the float at Glentree South late last year and ever since it has been a hive of activity. They have also purchased a number of well-bred yearling fillies at the sales recently including one out of Samarmeteors, a half sister to Blue Diamond winner Samaready.
“It’s just a beautiful property, with great infrastructure, enhanced pastures and high-quality fencing, that combines stable facilities, top security, and a 24-hour presence,” Wes Ballantine said.
The farm and the thoroughbred breeding and racing operation is a genuine family affair. As well as Wes and Sally, the new business includes brother-in-law Guyan and Marlo Stroud while Wes’s mother and father, Derek and Kaye who will reside at Glentree South full-time.
Although Thompson Creek is only in its start-up phase, the Ballantine family has significant experience – not to mention passion – in the thoroughbred breeding industry.
“Dad shared his love of thoroughbreds with me from an early age, as he was lucky enough to breed the ’79 Blue Diamond winner Star Shower, as well as being a recognised journalist, having published several books on thoroughbred pedigrees and mating analysis,” Wes explained.
The Ballantines, through Thompson Creek, are very focused on syndicating breeding stock through small shares providing an easy entry for new participants.
“We have twelve mares at the moment owned in part with family, friends, work colleagues and clients, and have set up breeding packages that, for example, may comprise of two mares and two weanlings,” Ballantine said.
“This allows diversity in the ownership as it is spread across four horses. We are a family business and only encourage a family-friendly investment with small 5% or 10% shares available. We don’t want anybody to over-invest.”
“We know our horses, and we will back our investments by retaining shares ourselves in the stock we breed and select. We want our clients to know we have skin in the game.”
Wes Ballanetine was also keen to stress that they aim to be transparent and provide ongoing, informative and detailed communications to all clients on a weekly basis.
“We can explain to those not familiar with breeding what is involved, from choosing a stallion, to walking on the mare, veterinary care, foaling down and raising a newborn foal.”
“We are also looking forward to holding open days on the farm that can include visits to local cellar doors, golf days and farmers markets and, being so close to the Great Ocean Road; you can make the most of a day out of town.”
“We love the social aspects of racing, and we not only want to share our success with our clients but also build friendships that share our passion.”
Being based in Victoria and encouraged by the millions of dollars of VOBIS incentives on offer, Thompson Creek will this year be supporting Victorian first season stallions including Tosen Stardom at Woodside, Swettenham’s Highland Reel and Sun Stud’s National Defense.