Empire expands in NZ with Five Stallions

Empire expands in NZ with Five New Stallions

Empire Stallions (NZ) has reached an agreement with Noel Kennard and his experienced sales and management team to act as their New Zealand representatives effective immediately following the decision of Ron Burrell to retire.

Ron has served as general manager of Empire’s New Zealand operations for the past six years. After 47 years of racing, breeding and managing stallion careers, Ron has decided to relocate to the Gold Coast with his wife Lilian to be closer to their daughter and grandchildren and he is looking forward to enjoying their well-deserved retirement. “Ron has been a wonderful friend and asset to Empire” said David James, principle of Empire Stallions. “He is dedicated, loyal and his organizational and accounting skills are second to none. We wish to thank Ron for all his efforts on Empire’s behalf and while he will be greatly missed, we wish him and his family health and happiness in this new phase of their lives. Ron and Noel have agreed to work together during the next few months to ensure a smooth management transition.”

David James stated that “we have found the perfect solution to Ron’s retirement with Noel Kennard’s outstanding team. Noel has been a leading figure in all facets of the New Zealand Standardbred breeding industry for many years and with his experience and extensive knowledge of the business, this is a natural fit. We couldn’t be happier moving forward.”

With Noel in the supervisor’s chair, John Robinson will act as sales manager and Mel Johnson will handle all administrative duties from their Christchurch office. “It is very exciting to combine forces with Empire Stallions” said Noel Kennard. “Empire is the second largest breeding establishment in the Southern Hemisphere and their desire to expand into New Zealand this season is a great opportunity for New Zealand Breeders to have access to these exceptional world class stallions. We believe this is just the beginning of a very successful partnership.”

Empire will offer NZ breeders a choice of eight sensational stallions from its powerhouse line-up this season. Five new stallions (BETTING LINE, HESTON BLUE CHIP, PET ROCK, WELL SAID and WESTERN TERROR) will be available via fresh, chilled semen while three stallions (SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE, CAPTAINTREACHEROUS and ROCKNROLL HANOVER) will be available via frozen semen.

Double World Champion and first season sire BETTING LINE is the fastest 3YO colt and all-age stallion ever sired by Bettor’s Delight. This Little Brown Jug winner was voted the North American 3YO Colt and Canadian All-Age Horse of the Year in 2016. 

HESTON BLUE CHIP was a winner of 25 stakes at 2 & 3 including the Breeders Crown. He is American Ideal’s richest son and was voted the USA 3YO Colt Pacer of the Year over A Rocknroll Dance and Sweet Lou.

Triple World Champion PET ROCK has the distinction of being Rockroll Hanover’s fastest son with a record of 1:47 and $1.9 million in earnings. He is the Leading First Crop Sire in North America in 2017 with 66 starters, 23 winners and 15 in 2:00 from 99 foals after only 30 days of the North American 2YO season.

USA Pacer of the Year WELL SAID will now be available to NZ breeders via fresh, chilled semen as he will shuttle to Australia in August. WELL SAID has been a leading Top Ten U.S. Sire each year since his first crop raced in 2013 and he is currently one of NZ’s leading percentage sires from two small frozen semen crops to race. He has already sired both a Meadowlands Pace and Breeders Crown Champion and 13 faster than 1:50.

The sensational international sire WESTERN TERROR has crossed remarkably well with Australasian mares producing the winners of over $13.7 million from only 3 down under crops to race. He has many Group 1 performers to his credit including the twice NZ Horse of the Year Terror to Love p,1:51 ($2,429,978). WESTERN TERROR’s worldwide progeny earnings stand at over $90 million.

Empire will again offer the World’s Leading Sire SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE, USA Horse of the Year at Both 2 & 3 CAPTAINTREACHEROUS and the prolific ROCKNROLL HANOVER who has sired the winners of over $105 million all via frozen semen.