Armidale Stud in Tasmania has a long and distinguished history of standing successful stallions. In the 1960′s the late David Whishaw first established Armidale with the French import SANDASTE as the foundation stallion. Sandastre went on to become the State’s leading sire and a successful sire of broodmares.
After this initial success David then went into partnership with friend Robert Fergusson with the aim of importing high class stallions to improve Armidale’s bloodlines. SWALLOWTAIL II, SWANEE RIVER, POACHER’S MOON and ST BRIAVELS followed in the 70′s and 80′s and all proved highly successful as stud. ST BRIAVELS sired Champion Racehorse SYDESTON, a multiple Group 1 winner.
When Denis Whishaw took over the management of the stud from his father David, he continued to look overseas for well bred and performed sires. ALIOCHA (Miswaki) and LADONI (Danehill) both proved to be valuable imports. It is interesting to note that Denis had the foresight to realize that DANEHILL was going to make the grade as a sire of sires, as LADONI was the second son of DANEHILL to go to stud in Australia, DANZERO being the first. Like so many of the Danehill sons, LADONI has been a great success as stud, and more recently has been represented by his very talented daughter LADY LYNETTE (winner of 12 races and $831,000).
Locally bred sire WEASEL CLAUSE (by Marscay) proved to be a great Armidale SIENNA and HIDDEN STRINGS.
More recently SAVOIRE VIVRE, TOUGH SPEED, TELESTRO and HELIKE have been imported to stand in Tasmania by Armidale. With his first crop of racehorses SAVOIRE VIVRE finished 3rd on the first season sires premiership in Australia behind SHOW A HEART and GALILEO. A remarkable achievement when you consider the quality of mares and lower prizemoney in Tasmania.
Nearly 50 years on and Armidale continues to breed horses that are competitive anywhere in Australia. This season Armidale is currently the 9th leading Australian breeder of stakes winning horses (above studs as Coolmore, Arrowfield, Blue Gum, Eliza Park and others) – a remarkable achievement for such a small stud in Australia’s island state, Tasmania.