“Through the TSHA – John Singleton’s Strawberry Hill Stud is sponsoring the THOROUGHBRED classes at the AQUIS Champions Tour. There will be $16,000 of prize money dedicated to the Thoroughbred Classes on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th of May at Elysian Fields, Canungra. “Strawberry Hill Stud is our very first industry partner – I am super excited that John is backing this new concept – His involvement makes me confident that the TSHA is going to be a success. John’s business acumen and his passion for horses inspires me.” Krissy Harris, Director – Thoroughbred Sport Horse Association At Strawberry Hill Stud when a Thoroughbred’s career ends on the track another career begins. John Singleton is not your typical racehorse owner. As an animal lover who lives on his stud farm, John has a history of looking after his retired Thoroughbreds exceptionally well. Manager, Bridie Sparkes, explains: “Strawberry Hill Stud is a boutique broodmare and spelling farm.” “Periodically we end up with gelding retirees from our race team. I assess whether they could be ‘nanny’ prospects or are more suited to be rehomed. Because most have grown up here from foals, I am familiar with their temperaments and what they would be most suitable for.” She cited a few examples of those who were given new careers: “John’s always had a soft spot for Disney Dollars who turns 23 this year.” Sire: Dehere (USA) dam; Marskin (AUS)dam’s sire: Marscay (AUS) “Disney Dollars takes care of the racehorses out of work, he keeps them calm and guides them to their feed. If we put him with the newly weaned foals they follow him wherever he goes. He’s worth his weight in gold as a nanny. “As is Ironstein who’s also much loved. (Zabeel (NZ)/Gentle Genius). He had 64 starts, 8 wins, 4 stakes wins and won over $900,000. “Hoystar was owned by the Ingham family (Sire/Dam Danzero/Professionelle (NZ), has won three stakes races and nearly $400,000 in prize money. He wasn’t suited to be retrained for performance competition so we took him on as a nanny, too”. “Ab Initio (Spectacular Spy out of Zemelda) won five stakes races and nearly $800,000 in prize money, He was owned by a syndicate and trained by Pat Webster,” explained Bridie. “After racing he show-jumped for a long time with Krissy Harris. When she retired him he came over to Strawberry Hill Stud to live out the rest of his days looking after weanlings and yearlings. He died at the age of 24 in 2018.” Bridie, who’s been at the stud for twelve years, puts in a lot of energy finding the correct homes for the Thoroughbreds. “We don’t have many geldings here. Our system is to sell the colts and keep the fillies however we do generally re-home 2 to 3 geldings each year. “In the past we’ve placed horses in jumping, eventing and hacking stables and recently a More Than Ready gelding we bred has gone to Heath Harris to be trained as a movie horse. Heath now has two More Than Ready geldings who both have fabulous minds for Liberty training. Ab Initio, a terrific jumper for Krissy, was by Spectacular Spy – who was also the dam’s sire of Nic Carraro’s World Cup Horse “Columbo” (racing name ‘You Too’). “As more people use off-the-track Thoroughbreds an awareness of new age bloodlines will develop and hopefully become sought after as sport horses”. “I’m proud that Strawberry Hill Stud is playing its part in getting the impetus going to not only raise awareness, but actually have a plan and do something about horses post racing careers. Racing ownership has changed over the years – there are more syndicates in place making racehorse ownership more affordable for people, most of who are not in a position to be able to look after their horses post racing. The onus is now on the industry to step up to the plate with some new and innovative ideas and the Thoroughbred Sport Horse Association is a great idea”.