Death of Haunui Farm stallion a loss for breeding industry

The local thoroughbred breeding industry suffered a major loss this weekend when the Haunui Farm based Gr. 1 Australian Guineas winner Ferlax was euthanized after sustaining a paddock injury on Thursday afternoon.  

On the eve of transporting his first crop of yearlings to the annual National Yearling Sales series at Karaka, the death is a bitter pill for his connections to swallow.

"We are quite devastated,” said Haunui Farm’s Managing Director, Mark Chitty.  "We were privileged to have had the opportunity to stand Ferlax on behalf of his owner, Jonathan Munz, and have worked closely with him and his Bloodstock Manager Dean Hawthorne to give Ferlax the best possible opportunity at stud.  For something like this to happen before he’s even had a yearling go through the ring, let alone a runner on the track, is pretty tough.

"I’d like to thank everyone involved with giving their advice in regard to the injury Ferlax sustained.  We certainly explored all of the options and there are vets all around the world who have been providing their thoughts and opinions over the past few days which we very much appreciate.  In the end, the difficult decision was taken to euthanize Ferlax yesterday (Saturday) morning.

"I’d like to personally thank Jonathan and Dean for giving Haunui the opportunity to stand Ferlax and there’s no doubt in my mind that from the quality of the two crops we have on the ground and the one left to come, we will see some very good racehorses in the years ahead.  Jonathan put his full support behind the New Zealand industry by choosing to stand Ferlax here and to lose him at this early stage is certainly a blow not only to Haunui, but to our entire breeding industry as we can ill afford to lose promising young stallions like this.”

A son of Pentire, Ferlax won his first four starts on the racetrack including the Gr. 1 Australian Guineas where he defeated You’re So Good and Sheer Talent. Retired to stud after suffering an injury during a brief four-year-old campaign that included a runner-up finish to outstanding mare Atlantic Jewel in the Gr. 1 Memsie Stakes, Ferlax served his first book of mares at Haunui Farm in the 2014 breeding season. 

He will be represented at the 2017 National Yearling Sale by 23 individuals including three in the Premier Sale which commences on Monday January 30.

Ferlax has been laid to rest overseeing the Haunui Farm parade ring. – NZ Racing Desk

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