Reproduced from Bluebloods

Garry Cuddy thanks his lucky stars for having an uncle who introduced him to the world of the thoroughbred at a very young age. This exposure, and encouragement from his first employer Vin Cox, set him on his life path and today the 27 year-old is general manager of Spenthrift Australia.

For nearly half a century, Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky was an undisputed leader in the world of thoroughbred breeding. The farm’s reputation soared to great heights in 1955 when Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner Nashua was syndicated for a then unprecedented $US1.2m to stand at Spendthrift.

A dominant force in the yearling sales market Spendthrift later stood such distinguished performers as Triple Crown winners Seattle Slew and Affirmed.

Going public in 1983, the empire began to lose traction, until Spendthrift was purchased by billionaire B. Wayne Hughes in 2004, rebuilding the farm into one of America’s top stallion stations.

Three years ago, in a tribute to the appeal of the Australian thoroughbred industry, B. Wayne Hughes took on the challenge of expanding “down under” after testing the waters at the 2014 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale.

This led to the foundation of Spendthrift Australia and the appointment of 27 year-old Garry Cuddy as general manager.

Despite his youthfulness Garry, by then, had many years of experience. His learning curve began under the tutelage of his uncle Peter Boyle, who took him racing and taught him the rudiments of stud work, before being employed by Vin Cox in his bloodstock agency.

With Vin having become Keeneland’s Australasian representative in 2003 arrangements were made for Garry, then just 19, to attend the 2007 summer sale in Kentucky.

Subsequently, when B. Wayne Hughes was seeking a spearhead for his Australian venture, Chauncey Morris, the executive director of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, and Vin both recommended Garry and the position became his.

“It all happened very quickly and it was all very exciting to have such an opportunity at such a young age,” he said. “It came about through the contacts we had made and the work we had done in America in the previous years. Being in a position to be able to establish a farm and to be putting everything together with a brand as big as Spendthrift was obviously a great thrill, it was unbelievable really.”

Originally the Spendthrift’s intentions were to send stallions to stand during the Australian breeding season but this then segued into the idea of establishing a farm and by April of 2015 Spendthrift had acquired the 138ha Yallambee Stud at Kerrie about 50km north west of Melbourne.

“We have pulled out all the old fencing and have brand new Kentucky style four board post and rail fencing along the road and the driveways. We don’t have all the infrastructure in place yet but it is on its way to becoming a world class facility.”

With the farm operational, Spendthrift stood the Into Mischief horse Can The Man (USA), Hampton Court, Jimmy Creed (USA), who is by Distorted Humour, and the Gr.1-winning Medaglia d’Oro horse Warrior’s Reward in 2015 and again last year.

“We found 2015 a tough year because we were trying to do too much too quickly but last year was completely different,” Garry said. “By then we had the right team in place with Grant Burrill coming in as farm manager and there are plenty of people to share the work load so it all went pretty well.”

Spendthrift’s first Group winner was the Redoute’s Choice Swear, a $725,000 purchase. Winning the Tattersalls Club (NSW) Ming Dynasty Quality-Gr.3, he placed second ATC Spring Champion Stakes-Gr.1 and fifth in the VRC Victoria Derby-Gr.1. He will be standing his first season at Spendthrift in 2017 for $8,250.

New Spendthrift stallion Swear wins the Group 3 Ming Dynasty (Pic-Racing and Sports)

“This is an exciting time at Spendthrift Australia. We have a lot of big things on the horizon as we continue to grow our brand. We are particularly looking forward to standing our first colonial stallion Swear, who was a stand-out yearling at the sales for us.”

“Swear lived up to his looks as a Group winner on the racetrack, and we invite everyone to come out and take a look at him. You won’t be disappointed,” said Cuddy.

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