A Stronghold Cover
(Grant Norval)

Move your mouse over the photo above to see THE FUTURE”


greig muirGreig Muir Summerhill Stallion Manager

September 1 saw the opening of the 2008 Breeding Season throughout the Southern Hemisphere; however for the new arrivals, Mullins Bay, Stronghold and Ravishing, or “the Tsvanguri’s” as they have been nicknamed in the Summerhill Stallion Barn, the opening of the 2008 Breeding Season for the new kids on the block began several months ago.

Among free running horses, reproductive behavior in stallions involves several complex mechanisms of courtship and mating, and there are many natural sequences to establish and maintain a broodmare “harem”, which traditionally takes several years as the stallion matures. Domestically the transition from athlete to “Super Stud” may consist of a mere few months, during which time stallions remain separated, and social interaction with “harem’s” and reproductive behavior is restricted. Psychologically, the training of the breeding stallion requires careful management in order to avoid the development of aberrant behavior, which might induce unpredictable aggressiveness, inconsistent performance and other vices, and at the end of the day, we try to ensure that life in the breeding shed is safe and fun for all.

As a break from creating his own “harem”, a daily routine consisting of hand walks around Summerhill and Hartford, amongst paddocks accommodating the latest foals with their mothers, or quietly introducing himself to the prospective mares over the railings of their Rye grass paddocks, Danehill “Tsvanguri” and Timeform’s Champion Handicapper of 2006, Stronghold, broke his maiden, the lucky lady being Deceptive Charm, a Fort Wood daughter of multiple stakes winner, School For Chefs early Monday morning. The never ending hours of input from the staff over the last few months, ensured the mature approach of Stronghold to the mare, and in less than a few days, he’ll be one of “the professionals”; although as a “Tsvanguri” it is likely he’ll be wanting to take the mantle from another’s head…….. and perhaps we should not be missing out?