(Photo : Greig Muir)
“If you’re not part of the process itself,
you’re going to be left behind.”
(Summerhill CEO)There are not too many of us left who remember the Great Depression of the late 20s and early 30s, so the financial turmoil the world has landed itself in the last five years is, for most people, a unique phenomenon. In business talk, not so long ago we used to plan in 3-5 year cycles; these days, the rate of change is such that if you’re not part of the process itself, you’re going to be left behind.
It’s understandable in times like these, that horsemen should bet on the tried and tested. Which means that when it comes to stallions and their progeny, buyers look with greater comfort at the stock of the proven sire, rather than those of the up-and-coming.
At the same time, it’s a fact that all of Northern Guest, Foveros, Western Winter, Fort Wood and Jet Master, had first crops, and those with the enterprise to follow their intuitions, were the ones that cashed in. By the very nature of things, renewal is part of the process by which the world works, and whatever the state of the nation’s stallion play, we need to remind ourselves that there’s always a new generation waiting in the wings. Those that rely more on memory than on vision, are driving in the rear view mirror.
It’s been our observation over more than three decades in the horse business, that in good economic times, players are more inclined towards adventure; they’re more likely to gamble on unfamiliar territory than when austerity is the watchword. It’s our guess that we’re in the in-between faze right now, where financial indicators are telling us that the planet is slowly getting back on its feet, and for those who are in the breeding business, this may be a signal to revise our strategies.
Talking of vision, just yesterday, our new signing, Visionaire, delivered up his first runner and at the same time his first winner, the filly She Is Tango, by a scorching five lengths. And if the odd reports we’re getting from elsewhere in the United States of others from his first small crop are anything to go by, it seems we may be in for a bit of cooking.
None of us should be surprised though. Visionaire was one of the very best winners in recent years of America’s premier stallion-maker, the King’s Bishop Stakes (G1) at historic Saratoga, his last-to-first destruction of the fastest 3-year-olds of his year, stamping him a generation leader. Among America’s contemporary stallion luminaries, are the names of Distorted Humor, More Than Ready and Hard Spun, all of whom distinguished themselves in the King’s Bishop, and if they haven’t already claimed a championship, they’re bang in line for one.
So, if you’re still of a conservative disposition and believe the tried-and-tested route is your preference, Visionaire’s just given you the “heads-up” for a hell of a lot less than you’d have to pay for those of the older generation.