In the early hours of last Friday morning, Swettenham Stud received a visitor ahead of the breeding season. The visitor was the CEO of Racing Victoria, Giles Thompson.

Giles had been at the Seymour races on Thursday and then continued onto Nagambie to call out to Adam Sangster and his team.

CEO of Racing Victoria Giles Thompson at Seymour races on Thursday

In the quiet of the night, Giles saw Adam’s team tend to a mare who foaled down a filly. This was one of three foals born that night, with the second born at 2:00am and the third born at 4:00am.

It was then onto the covering shed, to see the processes that are in place in the barn. Michael Flannery of Springmount, who had been up since 4:00am that morning, to have his mare covered by Toronado at 6:00am, was introduced to Giles in the covering shed.

“It is very positive for the breeding industry, to see Giles out in force at a very unsavoury hour in the morning. He had already seen a foaling before my mare’s 6:00 am cover.” Michael Flannery commented.

This cover was one of four covers, which Giles got to witness, the next being by Highland Reel, then Akeed Mofeed and finally Sioux Nation.

Mid-morning arrived, and Giles saw Dr. John Hurley, Swettenham’s resident reproductive vet at work, to see how a mare was tracking with her cycle.

“It was interesting to see the behind the scenes of the breeding industry. Breeding is a 24/7 industry and you are on call at all times, you never know when a mare will foal, and you have to manage the day-to-day operations of a farm.” Giles remarked.

Dr. John Hurley, Swettenham’s resident reproductive vet at work.

Racing Victoria have had a strong relationship with the Victorian breeding industry for some time and this visit reaffirms the strength of that relationship.

“A strong breeding industry is crucial to the success of racing in Victoria. We are seeing strong overseas investment in the Victorian breeding industry, with farms such as Aquis and Yulong setting up base in Victoria. With record levels of prizemoney, the ideal climate and strong support from the Government, it is easy to see why there has been increased investment.” Giles commented.

TBV Executive Officer, Charmein Bukovec remarked, “It is estimated that at least 80% of Victorian owned horses are either owned by their breeder or the breeder has remained within the ownership of the horse. It is encouraging to see Giles pay a visit to Swettenham, I know that Racing Victoria value our participants and our contributions to the Victorian Racing industry.”

TBV will be arranging for others within the racing industry to see the behind the scenes of our industry, in the coming weeks.

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