Yearlings from New Jersey sire Walner led individual sales at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale in Kentucky recently.
Walner led all stallions in gross sales at just over $7.7 million and average sales at $160,792 with three or more sold. The Walner filly Exile set the high mark for opening night going for $800,000, topping the previous record of $725,000 for a filly. Walner, along with famed sire Muscle Hill, each stand at Southwind Farms in Pennington in Mercer County.
“New Jersey-bred horses continue to be in high demand as yearlings from these sires bring premium prices at this prestigious sale,” said Douglas Fisher, New Jersey Department of Agriculture Secretary. “Many agriculture-related businesses in our state are supported by this thriving industry.”
On the second night of the five-day event, Walner colts had gross sales of more than $3.4 million for 25 yearlings. Most of Walner’s yearlings were sold in the first two nights, where the gross sales total was more than $7.2 million. Also from Walner, colt Earthquake Bi went for $620,000 on the opening night, Wall To Wall went for $525,000, filly Singeth With Joy went for $510,000, and Cyberspace went for $500,000.
Muscle Hill offspring also garnered their fair share of attention with gross sales at more than $5.2 million for an average of $119,682. That included colts Detroit City going for $500,000, Cypress Hanover going for $475,000, La Dolce Vita going for $450,000, and Shiney Sunday going for $360,000.
Also from Southwind Farms, yearlings sired by Tactical Landing went for nearly $3 million.
Concord Stud, based in Cream Ridge in Monmouth County, led all consignors in average with $186,429 for seven sold. Concord Stud Farm is operated by David and Robin Meirs and their family and is comprised of the 249 acres.
Walner was the 2016 two-year-old Dan Patch Award Trotter of the Year, when he won nine of 10 starts, which included a win in the Breeders Crown. In 2017, he won the Stanley Dancer Memorial Division at the Meadowlands. Walner is out of Mission Brief, a daughter of Muscle Hill.
Muscle Hill, recognized around the world, sired 2020 Hambletonian winner Ramona Hill. Muscle Hill was the 2009 Horse of the Year and was the trotting world champion as a two-year-old and a three-year-old. Muscle Hill also had a streak of 20 straight wins and set a single year winnings record at $2.5 million.
Southwind Farms’ General Manager is Laura Young and her husband, Chris Pazdan, is the Farm Manager. Along with the 235 acres at the horse facility, they also farm about 800 acres in hay and grain in Hopewell Township. A second Southwind Farms equine facility is in Gilbertsville, New York.
The success of New Jersey race horses has led to an increase in the amount of mares that are bred there each year. The number has risen by more than 500 since 2017, reaching nearly 800 in 2021.
(New Jersey Department of Agriculture)