Canterbury Industry Forum - Tuesday 13th October 2015
September 28, 2015
Prodigal Seelster CSBA Summer of Speed Series
December 5, 2014
2015 NZSBA Cup Eve Function
November 25, 2015
Breeder Profile - Keith and Bevan Grice
May 1, 2013
Nestled amongst the lush pastures in mid-Canterbury, lives farmers and brothers Keith and Bevan Grice. In the first of the breeder profiles to be featured in our newsletters and on the website, we find out a bit more about the secret to the Grice’s success.
Keith and Bevan were born into the industry, their father, uncles and grandfather all owning or training standardbreds. Their grandfather won the first wagered race from Tinwald to Winslow Railway stations in the late 1800’s.
Their foundation broodmare was Mavis Wood who left daughters Agent and Lady Dimp. From these two mares countless generations of winning horses have been produced, recent NZ Trotting Derby winner Ima Gold Digger traces back to Agent and promising two-year-old pacer El Nino traces back to Lady Dimp.
It is with Ima Gold Diggers’ dam Lauretta’s Pride that the brothers have enjoyed much recent success, she is also the dam of other NZ Trotting Derby winners’ Shirley Temple and Dependable plus is the granddam of another Derby winner, Doctor Mickey.
When quizzed about their amazing success with the mare, Keith and Bevan put it down to “luck, never owning their own stallion and large fertile paddocks”. They usually have 25 acre paddocks for two broodmares to graze.
Bevan and Keith currently have around 100 horses, foals, yearlings, racehorses and broodmares. The majority of the horses they breed are leased out around the country, the good mares come back to them in retirement for breeding.
In the 64 years the brothers have been breeding horses they jovially stated that;
“They’ve never had an argument but had a million laughs”
Bevan is a committee member on the Canterbury Standardbred Breeders’ Association and makes the trip up from Ashburton to attend the meetings. He is quite happy with the way the industry is progressing, having lived through a number of economic downturns, he is not too worried about the current economic climate and how it will affect our industry.
One thing Bevan would like to see change in the breeding industry is for stallions that have raced overseas on drugs such as Lasix to be declared to breeders. The brothers both believe that bleeders breed bleeders and therefore one should know the exact history of the stallion you are sending your mare to.
Both Keith and Bevan praised the New Zealand-bred stallions such as Christian Cullen, Sundon, Courage Under Fire and more recently Elsu. They believe our home-grown stallions can compete with the best in the world and we should be proud that our NZ-bred horses race drug-free.
When asked what advice they could give new breeders, Keith said:
“never be afraid to ask questions and keep an open mind on everything, when you are wrong and make a mistake, admit it”
The one bit of advice that they received as youngsters was:
“there is something about a good horse you just can’t see” a truer word has never been spoken.