Some years ago the renowned New Zealand Bloodstock auctioneer, Joe Walls, then CEO of New Zealand Bloodstock, compared the great New Zealand stallion STAR WAY to Summerhill’s NORTHERN GUEST. There were many parallels in each of their stallion careers, with both horses being born in 1977. NORTHERN GUEST passed away in 2002, while STAR WAY died last Friday. New Zealand’s Windsor Park Stud, where he stood throughout his career, yesterday paid tribute to him.
Star Way, Windsor Park Stud’s champion sire died peacefully at age 31 last Friday afternoon at the stud where he had resided for the past 27 years.
Star Way was purchased by Nelson Schick as a 4YO and commenced his stud career at Windsor Park in 1981 at the completion of a successful racing career.
“Star Way was a very special character and his accomplishments at stud have been a life-changing event for those of us here at Windsor Park. His contribution to the overall success of our operation cannot be adequately measured, suffice to say that we owe Star Way the greatest debt of gratitude, as stallions of his standing are virtually irreplaceable”, commented Nelson Schick.
Champion Sire of 2YO’s with his first crop to race, Star Way also sired a then world record five Gr.1 winners in his first crop, a feat later to be equalled by Sadler’s Wells. His first crop included Champion 2YO Star Board, the great galloper Waverley Star, classic winners Shankhill Lass and Starjo and multiple Gr.1 winner Field Dancer.
Star Way later repeated this extraordinary achievement with his fifth crop which included no less than ten Group winning 3YO’s, five of whom won at Gr.1 level.
Winner of the prestigious Dewar Stallion Award, Star Way has to date sired 60 stakes winners including 18 Gr.1 winners. His latest Group winner Cog Hill is a member of Star Way’s 19th crop while his most recent group performer Shining Light, second in the Gr.2 Hawke’s Bay Gold Cup on Saturday, is a member of his 22nd crop.
Star Way has also excelled as a broodmare sire with his daughters producing no less than 45 stakes winners including this years Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks winner Boundless, as well as Australia’s current leading sire Encosta de Lago.
Star Way’s final crop, his 27th and sired at age 30, are due to be born this coming spring.