Pay­ing div­i­dends for new breed­ers

Waipa Post - - The Country -

A de­ci­sion taken just on 18 months ago to try and es­tab­lish them­selves in the com­pet­i­tive world of thor­ough­bred breed­ing is about to pay some se­ri­ous div­i­dends for Cam­bridge cou­ple Craig and Steph Dun­phy.

Orig­i­nally from King Coun­try, and both with a farm­ing back­ground, the Dun­phys had spent 14 years in the dairy in­dus­try on fam­ily-owned prop­er­ties in South­land be­fore de­cid­ing to re­turn north with their two chil­dren in 2015.

While still ac­tively in­volved in manag­ing their farms in the South Is­land, the Dun­phys pur­chased the Kara¯piro prop­erty formerly known as Dar­ley Park, now re­branded Oakfield Farm. Set on 20ha of fer­tile grass­land, the Dun­phys run a beef fat­ten­ing op­er­a­tion along with a thriv­ing farm-stay ac­com­mo­da­tion busi­ness and now a bou­tique thor­ough­bred nurs­ery.

An in­ter­est in thor­ough­breds that was sparked by Craig Dun­phy’s fa­ther, who had co-owned use­ful sprinter Spring Easy who ran third in the 1988 Gr.1 Rail­way Hand­i­cap (1200m), went to a new level when the cou­ple de­cided they would be­gin to as­sem­ble a small brood­mare band.

“When we shifted back here from South­land it pro­vided the op­por­tu­nity to move in a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion,” said Craig Dun­phy.

“We are still heav­ily in­volved in the three farms in South­land that we co-own with an un­cle but we have long-term man­agers and staff in place that run the op­er­a­tions on a day-to-day ba­sis.

“It was al­ways in the back of my mind to get in­volved in the breed­ing side of things, par­tic­u­larly hav­ing the set-up we’ve got, as thor­ough­bred breed­ing has al­ways been my in­ter­est.”

The de­ci­sion was made to at­tend the an­nual New Zealand Blood­stock Brood­mare Sale in May last year to get the ball rolling.

“I went there ba­si­cally just look­ing,” he said.

“I had a dozen or so high­lighted in the cat­a­logue in­clud­ing a No Ex­cuse Needed mare who had a good pedi­gree and was a nice enough look­ing mare with a great na­ture, so we bought her out of the Waikato Stud draft for $1000.

Photo / Race Im­ages

Matt Cameron salutes as he guides Madi­son County to vic­tory in Sat­ur­day’s Group 1, Al Basti Equi­world Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Ric­car­ton.

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