Limelight shines on small breeder Stewart and his Toronado colt
Wellsummers Stud make a nice return in the ring
So often the most sought-after lots at a sale are the produce of industrial-scale breeders, but the action in the Tattersalls ring on Thursday gave someone much further down the pecking order cause to celebrate.
James Stewart runs Wellsummers Stud in Wiltshire, and with the help of the stallion Toronado, mare Raskutani and vendor the Castlebridge Consignment, the breeder was the joint-session topper of Thursday’s December Foal Sale session with a 190,000gns sale.
“I know a lot of small breeders and these kind of results show what a small breeder can do,” Stewart said. “In a world where the big battalions with their racing, breeding and financial empires account for so much of the bloodstock market, small farms like ours can still flourish. I’d like people to take note of what can be done with a couple of nice families.”
The Toronado colt is from a very nice family indeed. The colt’s granddam Oshiponga, a daughter of Barathea, has served Stewart well since being purchased as a foundation mare by Geoffrey Howson for 65,000gns in 2004. She has produced the likes of Group 2 winner Hatta Fort and Blue Bayou, who carried the colours of Marie Dominique Stewart to success in the 2015 Sweet Solera Stakes. This colt's dam, Raskutani, has already produced Group 3 winner Agent Murphy.
“We’re retaining two daughters of Oshiponga including Blue Bayou, for whom I turned down huge offers last year,” Stewart explained. "Small farms have to have the financial guts to turn down offers for their fillies. If you sell everything, what have you got?
"We’re also keeping a Champs Elysees filly who’s a wonderful athlete, we’re going to race her and try and turn her into a real star. We’ve got Oshiponga, who’s a young 18, and her two daughters, and we’ll put our best foot forward with those. We’ve cut our numbers back to six or seven mares. It’s quality and not quantity, everyone always say that but how many actually go through with it?”
With such strong principles and successful producers, it seems entirely possible that there will be more reason for Wellsummers Stud to celebrate in the not too distant future.