Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday On My Mind - 14 - our lovely lad

On my mind this Friday, is our lovely lovely lad, Gatto (nickname), the 2010 foal from our mare.
Gatto's mum, fat as a fool 8 months pregnant
I took Gatto's mum for her 'date' back on 8th October 2009, when she was covered by the stallion, I nervously waited 3 agonising days with fingers & toes crossed until the vet confirmed she had ovulated.  Then waited 11 months, until 20 September 2010, when she produced our magnificent Gatto. We were so happy to have a colt, as in the Thoroughbred world, unfortunately, colts are generally of much higher value than fillies.
Gatto at 4 hours
I kept Gatto company when he was weaned from his mum, and reassured him that he was ok on his own.  I taught him that a headcollar, and lead, and brushes weren't scary monsters to be fearful of. I taught him that walking with me, nice and calm, was a lovely place to be.
Gatto at 8 days
I visited him out with his mates and singled him out for a bit of extra TLC and scratches.
Gatto at 6 months
I picked the brand he would have (6 for good luck), and held him while he was branded and microchipped. Then taught him that a rug was his best friend to keep him warm and clean, not to devour him whole!

This week I spent from Sunday to Thursday midday with him at least 12 hours a day, showing him off to interested buyers, we were hoping for around 60 inspections, we ended up with 87!
Gatto at the sales complex
I asked industry experts to come and have a look at him and give me their opinions, they loved him, and he showed himself off like an old pro.
Gatto showing himself off a treat
We got him ready for his salesring appearance, I'm not sure if I will put the butterflies down to nerves, or sadness, as I knew it meant the end of our story together.  Gatto paraded beautifully in the sales ring, I video taped his sale, through tears of pride, joy and sadness.  Pride that we had helped produce and raise such a special colt, joy that he was showing himself off to his best ability, and sadness that I was losing him.

In the end, our trading business, is just that a business, but I'm a horse lover through and through, I know some in the industry can just treat their horses as an asset, but I can't, and I'm not ashamed to say so.

We got a terrific price for him, much more than we were hoping, and a hell of alot more than we were expecting, in the current depressed market.  But goes to show, the cream will always rise to the top!

Gatto you were a joy to know, own, and educate, we will follow your career with much interest.  Good luck big boy!

Till we next meet, when I visit you in NZ in 2012, take care sweetpea.

Thanks to Rhonda from the Down To Earth blog for her 'Friday On My Mind' idea, it's a gem, I've clicked through comments on numerous blogs on Rhonda's list, and on my own, and found some great blogs which I'm now following, and looking forward to discovering many more!


  1. Hi Mel! Gosh, it's a small world, isn't it? Even the blogiverse isn't as big as I'd imagined. I remember you from Simple Savers. I was watching how your plans were going for your wedding and was it you that created the Hunter Valley tourist newsletter? It was great! I let my membership expire with SS as I didn't feel I was getting anything out of it. (I was Mazza.)

    So nice of you to stop by my blog and comment. Those cupcakes (and the NFFC) is so super easy. Hope you enjoy! Oh, and Gatto is absolutely gorgeous!!!

    Anne @ Domesblissity

  2. He's a beautiful boy Mel and that's a lovely post.

  3. That was a very lovely post - I can "hear" the love in your words.

  4. Lol, it is a small world as my husband breaks and trains horses and rides trackwork almost every morning at the local course. I'm interested in knowing the names of Gatto's sire and dam and if you sold him as an entire. We 'follow' the careers of a few racehorses that showed promise while they were here, and are sad for those that don't achieve because of the people they encounter. Racehorses that my husband has owned have been retired here to be used on the farm and died of old age.

  5. Hi Anne - definitely is a small world! Yes wedding & Valley news is me! You have a new follower :) Thanks, Gatto sure is gorgeous, such a pleasure to have raised him.

  6. Thanks Rose, he sure is a beautiful boy!

  7. Thanks Becky, it was a sad day amongst the joy, pride & happiness, and I had a bit of a tear writing the post.

  8. Stitchin' time - Thanks for dropping by. My dad trained racehorses and was a jockey, so have been a racing baby since birth! Agree that it's a crying shame when humans get in the way of a horse with ability and potential, I hope Gatto gets every chance to shine! I'm hoping we'll have our farm by the time he's ready to retire from racing and I can get back to spoiling him :)



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