Christmas Newsletter 2023

As 2023 draws to a close, we have taken a little time to look back on the year at West Kington Stud. Despite some interesting challenges from the British weather, the breeding season proved to be our busiest yet, with the safe arrival of 50 beautiful foals onsite. In addition to the foalings, we had a good number of both maiden and experienced mares through for successful insemination with Fresh, Chilled & Frozen semen & for Embryo Transfer, and we look forward to hearing about their progress in the coming months.

Our stallion line-up for 2023 saw the welcome return of our wonderful old friend, Billy Congo from The Billy Stud. Congo was used on some high class mares, with breeders recognising his exceptional performance record and the success of his progeny. The Billy Stud also sent us a very exciting 3yo stallion named Billy Reflection. This son of Grandorado TN is a striking, modern stamp of a sport horse who we are sure will be very popular as a sire in the future.

We were also joined by John Chambers’ lovely Thoroughbred, Ansiei, for the first time. With his progeny already competing internationally up to 4* level in Ireland, Ansiei is an exciting choice for eventing breeders and was a very welcome addition to our line-up.

It was very exciting to see the first foals on the ground from Fred Powell’s Just Chillin. All were lovely types with bold, friendly characters. He had another good book of quality mares this year, so we eagerly await next year’s crop.

Deborah Cox’s Chacco Volo visited us again, around his jumping commitments. Chacco was recently a member of a Winning Nations’ Cup squad for Team GB, and continues to breed top quality foals alongside his impressive competitive career, so the future looks very bright for this popular stallion!

Nick and Amanda Gauntlett’s The After Party continues to attract a good number of mares each season. A four year old gelding from his first crop won a Burghley Young Event Horse qualifier in the Spring, proving the quality of the stock that he is throwing.

We have recently backed the first youngsters from our own TB stallion Jamhoori. True to form, they have all impressed with their uncomplicated, straightforward characters and have taken everything in their stride. We look forward to getting them out and about under saddle next year.

Our Connemara stallion Hearnesbrook New Moon has had another busy season with a mix of horse and pony mares. We were e won the ridden class at Badminton Show on his only outing, once his stud duties were quietening down. Several of his foals have been born this year in Australia and Kenya so we are delighted to see that he is appreciated around the globe!

A late addition to the 2023 stallion line-up was Pennie Wallace’s lovely 5 year old, Pencos Arctic King. This stallion has an exceptional eventing pedigree, being by Badminton Winner Chilli Morning and out of the same dam as Ros Canter’s ride Lordships Graffalo (Winner of Badminton and the European Championships in 2023). Despite only being made available very late in the season, he has several mares in foal for 2024, who all conceived on first service.

We are thrilled that the late Cevin Z’s progeny continue to make their mark in the eventing world. His daughter Zaragoza II placed 8th at a very wet European Championships in Haras Du Pin with Gaspard Maksud before Barrington Alice, another daughter, Won the 6yo World Championships at Mondial Du Lion with Izzy Taylor. These results have contributed to Cevin’s 11th place ranking in the WBFSH Eventing Sire World Rankings for 2023 – the same position which he held in 2022. He remains available by great quality frozen semen.

Not to be forgotten was Keith Lovelock’s super looking Masterclass (‘Mitch’), another very successful, up and coming sire. Masterclass had a fantastic season’s eventing and show jumping, and completed his first 3*with a double clear. He also excelled in the 7 year old Young Horse Championships, placing an impressive 10th at Mondial de Lion and 6th at Cornbury. Mitch is currently available by frozen semen only, as he will be aiming for Blenheim (8-9 year olds) in 2024.

Since the conclusion of another busy season, we have turned our attention to updating some of our systems at WKS. We are very excited to announce that our website will be fully revamped over the winter, allowing for a much easier customer experience as well as an all new online ordering system. We will bring you all up to date with further news in the spring.

We would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Let’s hope it brings some drier weather!