Waikato Stud’s achievements honoured
The New Zealand thoroughbred breeding fraternity came together on Saturday night to celebrate a
stellar season of elite-level achievements at the National Breeding Awards at Karapiro.
New Zealand breeders produced 35 individual Group 1 winners across Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand over the past 12 months and Waikato Stud was awarded the Sir Patrick and Justine Lady Hogan New Zealand Breeder of the Year title for a phenomenal tenth time.
The Matamata farm’s mighty Savabeel claimed his eighth Centaine Award for worldwide progeny earnings and seventh Dewar Award for combined Australian and New Zealand progeny earnings.
The headline act for Savabeel this season was outstanding sprinter I Wish I Win, who sports the colours of Waikato Stud and typified the underdog theme of the night.
The four-year-old gelding was born with a well-documented severe knock-kneed deformity that meant he was never a candidate for the commercial sales ring, but he has gone on to be judged by his deeds on the racetrack.
Major Beel, Atishu and Icebath were other top-flight winners this season bred by the Matamata nursery and Waikato Stud’s Mark Chittick acknowledged it was the result of a massive team effort while flanked by members of his family on stage.
“Waikato Stud is a big family and a big group. It takes a whole community to run it and to get the results like we do. I’d love to have everyone (from the stud) up here on stage. It is such an incredible night,” he said.
“Everybody puts in a huge effort and we appreciate it immensely.
“It has been a great year and a great night and when we see the outstanding results of these horses on the big screen, and there are horses from all over the country and breeders from all over the country, it is very heartening.
“I know how much we enjoy and get carried away about winning any race, let alone Group 1 races and I hope everybody else is as proud breeding horses like that as we certainly are.
“Seeing New Zealand-breds winning Doncasters, Derbys and Oaks as well as Group 1 winning two-year-olds and sprints, man New Zealand is bloody good at it (breeding thoroughbred racehorses) and we should be really, really proud.
“I reckon the equivalent night in Australia might be a pretty short night, because all of the Australian Group 1 races are up on that big screen.”
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