• Fran Cleland

Standardbred breeders love Lucy - and she's the real deal


ABOVE: Lucy the coloured standardbred. Picture: LISA CLARK (Wai Eyre Farm)

IT HAS happened with Thoroughbreds, now Wai Eyre Farm Standardbred breeders in New Zealand have found a horse of a different colour.


The filly known at home as Lucy is a full Standardbred by the very bay stallion Sky Major out of the very black mare Myex.


Understandably her arrival in December caused much excitement and more than a little disbelief at Wai Eyre, with them wondering if it was this a foal swap, a throwback or a case of the wrong semen used.


A foal swap was ruled out straight away, so there was some frantic record searching to see what else was bred at the same time as Myex the previous season.


Luckily the stud keeps very robust records and pin-pointed two sport horse stallions – one that was on the farm at the time, and the other whose semen was shipped there to breed with. Although seemingly unlikely to be either of them, they both needed ruling out.


The filly was DNA tested by Harness Racing New Zealand (HRNZ) and although the results come back as a match to Sky Major and Myex, because of her very unusual colouring, HRNZ wanted to investigate further and rule out any other possible sires before she was registered.


The two sport horse stallions consequently came back as no match, which everyone expected, but it was nice to definitely rule them out.


At this point, HRNZ and Massey were still unsure and sent a sample away to be colour tested.

Now verified as being an exact match to Sky Major and Myex, the filly is now able to be registered with HRNZ.


There are still two questions to be answered – can she run fast and will she breed the colour on?


Only time will tell!