Spendthrift Australia taking care of small breeders

April 19, 2020

B Wayne Hughes established Spendthrift in Kentucky with strong principles anchoring his decision-making processes. Never one to shy away from new ideas and innovations, Hughes formulated an approach aimed at keeping costs down and looking after the broodmare owner.

“With his experiences early on in the game, Mr Hughes learned a lot as a small breeder,” Spendthrift Australian General Manager Garry Cuddy explained. “He might’ve had a few difficulties along the way which helped open his eyes to these game-changing moves.”

Following on from this first-hand experience and putting his money where his mouth is, Hughes initiated two innovative breeding schemes: Breed Secure and Share The Upside.

Spendthrift Australia have also implemented the same bold strategies, which become even more important as we look toward the 2020 breeding season in a world of COVID-19 which is presenting enormous economic challenges to businesses.

“We have to take care of the breeders, and I think sometimes that is overlooked,” said Mr Hughes. “If we don’t have a breeder, then we can’t get a mare, so we don’t have a foal, and our stallion is worthless. You have to think about that.”

Hughes views his programs as creative ways to try and improve the industry across the board while also helping his stallions get better books.

“We are going to do what is best for ourselves and for the industry,” he said. “It’s not something we are doing as a favour. The reality is for us it is good, and for the breeders it is good.”

“If we lose the breeders, we won’t have any farms or stallions. We are all in this together. The whole industry needs each other. Nobody is standing alone in this business, and that’s something we all need to bear in mind.”

One of Hughes’ first bold strategies is called Breed Secure, in which the service fee of a stallion is taken out of the proceeds once the foal sells at auction, with protections for the broodmare owner.

This risk-free option provides breeders with a mechanism to continue breeding their mares, even in times when cash-flow is a major challenge.

“I have long believed that if one of our stallions does not produce a profitable foal in a particular mating, we should bear our fair share of the responsibility for it – not just the mare owner,” commented Hughes.

“The focus of the Breed Secure program is on relieving breeders of risk and cashflow issues. All while still allowing them to realise the upside we all hope for when breeding.”