Empire State: Equine Support Businesses Booming
August 16, 2015
Empire State: Equine Support Businesses Booming,
But Still Room For Growth
By Natalie Voss
Part of the purpose behind any state’s Thoroughbred development fund is to bring new commerce into the area,
and of course, a horse’s economic impact doesn’t stop at
its board bill. Everything from the trailer that hauls horses
into the state to the nails that hold their shoes on helps
drive small businesses.
In New York, where the breeding industry has been on
the upswing for several seasons in a row, some parts of
its Thoroughbred infrastructure is growing faster than
Veterinary services in New York have expanded rapidly
in the past few years. Rood and Riddle partner Dr. Scott
Ahlschwede moved to Saratoga Springs in 2012. In three
short years, Rood and Riddle has gone from a two-person
New York branch to a full-service hospital with nine physicians that is this year undergoing an “extreme makeover.”
Ahlschwede reported that the renovation, set to be finished later this year, will quadruple the practice’s square
footage and include a new surgery facility modeled after
Rood and Riddle’s Central Kentucky facility, a radiology
laboratory, an ambulatory garage, and a nuclear scintigraphy building with four climate-controlled stalls. Podiatrist Dr. Bob Agne shifted from Central Kentucky to New
York full-time in early July, adding to the clinic’s roster of
“It’s a huge commitment we’re making to the spot we
have here,” said Ahlschwede. “I came up here by myself
and got my foot in the door … my business doubled the
first year and probably doubled again when we bought the
clinic and added some veterinarians.”
This expansion comes even as the Ruffian Equine Medical
Center reopened at Belmont Park through Cornell a year
ago. The center includes five veterinarians that served an
QUESTION: Was there ever a better field than
the Whitney, with seven Grade 1 winners?
ANSWER: Yes. The 1998 Breeders’ Cup Classic, won by Awesome Again, when nine of the 10 starters
were Grade/Group 1 winners. Combined they won 32
Grade/Group 1 races and $37.6 million in their careers.
estimated 1,000 horses in its first year, both Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds, as well as a few sport horses.
The Ruffian Center also boasts a nuclear scintigraphy
machine plus a standing MRI. There are plans to install a
CT scanner and aquatread system.
If it seems like that’s a lot of technology in a limited geographic area, Dr. Steven Sedrish of Upstate Equine Medical Center, located just a few miles east of the Rood and
Riddle facility, said there’s plenty of room in the New York
pool for everyone when it comes to veterinary care.
“When Rood and Riddle opened up we actually saw our
business increase. I think there’s a different clientele that
they’re drawing from. There’s a really good working relationship between the two hospitals,” said Sedrish.
Continued on Page 5
By Frank Mitchell
In the no holds barred arena of stallion competition, there
is little fantasizing about what it takes to make a significant
sire: winners. Lots of them and the higher the class the
Among proven stallions in New York, Freud stands clear.
He is an honorable representative of the powerful Storm
Cat line, known for its speed, and is a full brother to leading
international sire Giant’s Causeway.
In the continuing flux of Thoroughbred breeding, however, the king of the mountain in
Kentucky these days is Tapit. There has been
a changing of the guard, especially in American breeding, with a continuing shift toward
the A.P. Indy line of horses. As a grandson
of A.P. Indy, Tapit stands at the head of the
class, along with other important sires like
Malibu Moon, Bernardini, Flatter, Stroll, and
Tapit, however, is the leading sire, and he has
proven that as his books improve, his gross
earnings and race results have too. And
sons of Tapit are horses that breeders want to use.
Not surprisingly, enterprising breeders brought the Tapit
son Honorable Dillon to New York and stood him at Rockridge Farm near Hudson, N.Y. They sent him to stud in
2015 with a fee of $5,000 stand and nurse, and breeders
nearly trampled the place getting to the stallion.
One of the reasons for the interest in Honorable Dillon is
the growing impact of Tapit, who has made himself the leading sire in America with champion juveniles like Stardom
Bound and Hansen; classic stock like Tonalist (Belmont),
Frosted (Wood Memorial), Careless Jewel (Alabama), and
Untapable (Kentucky Oaks); and high-class winners like Con-
stitution (Florida Derby), Joyful Victory (Santa Margarita),
Tapizar (Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile), and Zazu (Lady’s Secret).
Rockridge’s owner-manager Lere Visagie said, “Honorable
Dillon was so fertile that you could count on one hand all
the mares who weren’t in foal after his first 60 days at
stud. So we kept adding mares.”
The horse’s appeal is not limited to the strength of his
sire. Honorable Dillon is a good-looking horse
standing 16 hands. He has the balance and
quality we have come to expect from the
stock by Tapit, and he is a gray, mimicking
his famous sire in color and deportment.
Honorable Dillon is out of the Argentine
mare Shy Greeting (by Shy Tom), who was
stakes-placed in her homeland. In Argentina,
Shy Greeting produced Forty Greeta (Roar),
a champion 2-year-old filly and twice winner
at the G1 level, including the Estrellas Juvenile Fillies.
Brought to the States, Shy Greeting produced Honorable Dillon, who won the G2
Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream.
The family, although based in Argentina, has some familiar
names. The young stallion’s second dam is by top American sprinter Groovy and produced a sibling to Shy Greeting
who is the dam of Greco Tom, winner of the G1 Estrellas
Juniors Sprint. Honorable Dillon’s third dam is G1 winner
Gioconda (Good Manners), the dam of Fayette Handicap
winner Good Command.
This is the family of Argentine star racehorse and stallion
Farnesio, who was produced by Honorable Dillon’s fifth
Nationwide offers INSURANCE DISCOUNTS.
Confidence Turns Dayatthespa Into Champion
By Scott Jagow
Dayatthespa ran over her competition first out at Saratoga, airing by four lengths. Brown stepped her up to graded
stakes, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf that
fall, but she wasn’t quite ready for that level of competition. In 2012, he took a more patient approach, putting her
in some softer spots and giving her time off. The strategy
produced a campaign in which Dayatthespa won five of six,
including a Grade 1 at Keeneland. The next two seasons,
Brown used New York-bred stakes as preps for tougher
races and Dayatthespa capped off her 11-for-18, $2.2 million career with a pair of G1 victories, becoming the first
New York-bred to win a G1 Breeders’ Cup race. She was
named champion Female Turf Horse for 2014.
2009 CH M, City Zip – M’Lady Doc, by Doc’s Leader.
Consigned by Stone Bridge Farm, agt., to 2010 FasigTipton NY Bred Yearling Sale, purchased by Sarazen
Stable for $50,000.
“The fact that she was a New York-bred allowed Chad to
pick some lucrative spots that still allowed her to develop
and give her confidence. That’s so important,” said Brennan.
Sometimes it only takes one person believing in a horse’s
potential to start them on a champion’s path.
The filly that Brennan took a chance on for $50,000 was
consigned by Lane’s End, agent, to the Fasig-Tipton November sale. She was purchased by Stonestreet Thoroughbred
Holdings for $2.1 million and is currently in foal to Curlin. PRS
When consignor Niall Brennan saw Dayatthespa at the
2010 Fasig-Tipton New York Bred Yearling Sale, he knew
she’d probably get passed over due to an unappealing conformation. Her sire, City Zip, was a multiple graded stakes
winner but was offset through the knees, and so was this
“I loved her movement. I loved her head and eye,” said Brennan. “She was just an athlete, but I thought people would
fault her because of the way she walked.”
Brennan bought Dayatthespa for $50,000 under the name
Sarazen Stable and took her home to Florida for breaking
and training. At the following spring’s OBS March Sale, buyers indeed showed little interest but Brennan convinced
bloodstock agent Pete Bradley that she could run through
her physical flaws. They struck a private deal, and she was
sold to a partnership that included trainer Chad Brown.
“She looked great on the track, and they don’t have any
walking races,” Bradley quipped at the time.
by Ray Paulick
Over five years, from 2010 to 2014, the
Fasig-Tipton New York-Bred Preferred
Sale has enjoyed steady growth. The sale
is up 283 percent in gross revenue (from
$3,676,000 to $14,099,000). Average price gained
105 percent ($39,106 to $80,108) and median is
141 percent ($27,000 to $65,000)
For advertising inquiries please
call Emily at 859.913.9633
Ray Paulick - Publisher [email protected]
Emily Alberti - Director of Advertising [email protected]
Scott Jagow - Editor-in-Chief [email protected]
Mary Schweitzer - News Editor [email protected]
Natalie Voss - Features Writer [email protected]
Emily White - Weekend Editor [email protected]
Frank Mitchell - Contributing Writer
COPYRIGHT © 2015, BLENHEIM PUBLISHING LLC
Continued from Page 1
Upstate was established in Schuylerville in 2008 and
Sedrish said the clinic still sees patients hauling in from as
far away as Finger Lakes and Belmont Park (both about 3
½ hours away) on a routine basis.
The Perfect Trip
“People are funny—if they have good luck with someone,
they tend to stick with them,” said Sedrish. “You’re only as
good as your last episode.”
Other types of equine support services have seen rapid
growth in the past couple of years, too. Bart Stark, owner
of Stark Equine Transportation, said he’s making a lot
more runs between New York and Kentucky or Florida,
and that there’s a lot of intrastate business, as well.
* DEPART FOR EUROPE
“There has always been a lot of back-and-forth for broodmares and stallions, but just in the last two years, it’s
coming full circle—there are a lot more people racing, and
a lot of people who are returning horses from racetrack
to farm,” said Stark. “I just can’t keep up with [all the
interstate travel]. I just take a small piece of the pie, and it
keeps getting bigger and bigger even for me.”
* Arrive Dublin
Goffs Orby Yearling Sale
Unlike Central Kentucky’s Thoroughbred business, which
is largely localized around Lexington, New York’s Thoroughbreds are scattered all over the state, which complicates matters for veterinarians and other practitioners
trying to care for them.
“My personal practice is really big. I drive a lot of miles.
Logistically, it’s way more challenging,,” said Ahlschwede,
who noted Rood and Riddle’s podiatrist treks to Long
Island periodically to see clients. “It’s a fact of life up here
that you have to go farther, or people have to bring their
horses a little farther.”
Becky Thomas of Sequel New York in Hudson said there
are still a few equine support services in New York that
could benefit from growth. In particular, she hopes some
more experienced farriers find their way north in the coming years. Although the quality of available care in New
York is strong, Thomas believes the state needs professionals with more Thoroughbred-focused experience to
keep up with the increasing demand for work.
“The biggest problem in New York right now is education,” said Thomas. “We are so highly tuned toward going
towards sales … a lot of the breeders in New York have
never been exposed to that, so they don’t know to ask
their blacksmiths about [that work.]
“Usually the better blacksmiths in New York … they’re
booked. Just like in Lexington, if you have just four or five
horses, you’re not going to get the Bobby Langleys of the
world. That’s absolutely an area that’s growing and we do
need. And a lot of it, I think, is people in outside areas don’t
understand there’s a need for quality blacksmiths there.”
* Arrive Paris
Arqana ‘Arc’ Sale
* Arc meeting
* Arrive London
Tatts Oct Yearling
Sale - Book 1
Five to Watch
A look at some of the sale’s top hips
By Frank Mitchell
Hip 444 Colt by Smart Strike x C C’s Pal, by Alex’s Pal:
By leading sire Smart Strike, this colt is a March foal and
is out of Grade 2 stakes winner C C’s Pal. An earner of
$799,420, C C’s Pal produced this colt as her first foal,
and she is the best of five winners from six starters out of
the second dam, one of only two foals from the G2-placed
stakes winner C.C.’s Return (Conquistador Cielo).
Hip 471 Filly by Mineshaft x Fahamore, by Gulch: A halfsister to four winners, each with earnings in six figures, this
filly is a half-sister to stakes winner Akilina and to stakesplaced Kitty Panda. Akilina’s yearling of 2015 by Speightstown sold on Monday at the Saratoga select sale for
$250,000, and each of this yearling’s winning siblings is a
filly. The third dam is G1 winner Classy Cathy, winner of the
Alabama, Ashland, and Gazelle.
Hip 479 Colt by First Samurai x Flame Trick, by Mt. Livermore: A G1 winner at 2, sire First Samurai has sired top
performers at all ages, including G1 winner Lea (Donn). This
April 7 foal is out of Flame Trick, the dam of two stakes winners, Legal Consent and Fuzzy Britches. Both are stakes
winners in New York, like First Samurai.
Hip 509 Colt by Congrats x Intentional Fever, by Stormin
Fever: Leading sire Congrats, one of the most important
stallion sons of A.P. Indy, has already gotten three G1 winners, Turbulent Descent, Wickedly Perfect, and Emma’s Encore, and more than a dozen other stakes winners. This colt
is out of stakes winner Intentional Fever, a winner of open
stakes and earner of $219,266. She has three black-type
siblings, and all are out of stakes winner Dance Teacher
(Smarten), winner of the G1 Ladies Handicap.
Hip 564 Colt by Scat Daddy x Morning Gallop, by Victory
Gallop: The sire of nearly 50 stakes winners, including two
G1 winners, Scat Daddy is the top stallion son of Johannesburg, representing the Hennessy branch of the Storm
Cat line. This grand-looking colt is out of Morning Gallop, a
stakes-placed daughter of Belmont Stakes winner Victory
Gallop. The mare has produced stakes-placed John’s Island
(Posse), and she is a half-sister to stakes winner Wake Up
Kiss (Cure the Blues), the dam of Japanese G1 winner A
Shin Forward. PRS