Yearlings of New Jersey sires lead sales at Kentucky auction


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Yearlings from New Jersey sire Walner led individual sales at the recent Lexington Selected Yearling Sale in Kentucky.

Walner led all stallions in gross sales at almost $7 million with 60 of his offspring sold. Two other New Jersey sires were among the gross sales leaders with Muscle Hill’s 38 offspring going for just over $4.7 million and Tactical Landing’s 54 offspring going for more than $3.5 million, according to an Oct. 11 press release from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.

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Walner, Muscle Hill and Tactical Landing each stand at Southwind Farms in Pennington, Mercer County.

“The yearlings for our New Jersey-bred horses are in high demand and the results at this prestigious sale continue to prove their value,” New Jersey Department of Agriculture Secretary Douglas Fisher said. “The thriving horse industry here supports many agriculture-related businesses.”

Muscle Hill led Day 1 of the sale with 17 yearlings going for a total of just over $3.5 million, while Walner was third with 16 yearlings at slightly more than $3 million.

Walner led Day 2 of the five-day event with 35 offspring going for almost $3.4 million. The Walner-sired Awaiting, out of Lonely Lady, and the Muscle Hill-sired Stardust Volo, out of Starling Volo, tied for the fourth highest selling price each at $525,000. The top seller from Tactical Landing was Fala, out of Swing it Cathy, for $375,000.

Overall, Muscle Hill offspring sold for the fourth highest average at $124,158, while Walner’s average was sixth at $115,817.

The totals for the week were 886 yearlings sold for a total of $65.29 million, an average of $73,690 per horse, according to the press release.

Concord Stud, based in Cream Ridge, Monmouth County, was third among consignors in average with $108,714 for 14 yearlings. Concord Stud Farm is operated by David and Robin Meirs and their family and is comprised of 249 acres.

Walner was the 2016 2-year-old Dan Patch Award Trotter of the Year, when he won nine of 10 starts, which included a win in the Breeders Crown. In 2017, Walner won the Stanley Dancer Memorial Division at the Meadowlands. Walner is out of Mission Brief, a daughter of Muscle Hill.

Muscle Hill, recognized around the world, sired 2020 Hambletonian winner Ramona Hill.

Muscle Hill was the 2009 Horse of the Year and was the Trotting World Champion as a 2-year-old and as a 3-year-old. Muscle Hill had a streak of 20 straight wins and set a single year winnings record at nearly $2.5 million, according to the press release.

Southwind Farms’ general manager is Laura Young and her husband, Chris Pazdan, is the farm manager. Along with 235 acres at the horse facility, they also farm about 800 acres in hay and grain in Hopewell Township. A second Southwind Farms equine facility is in Gilbertsville, N.Y.

The success of New Jersey race horses has led to an increase in the number of mares that are bred in the state each year. The number has risen by more than 500 since 2017, reaching nearly 800 in 2021, according to the press release.

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