Breckon Farms invests in its continued success with new equine facility

Waikato-based equine facility Breckon Farms is preparing to embark on a significant chapter in its illustrious history. The brainchild of Ken and Karen Breckon, the 75-hectare farm has been a beacon of excellence in harness racing, and its upcoming equine facility is poised to elevate its standing in the industry.

Nigel Fahy, farm manager since mid-2019, says the project has been in the pipeline for around a decade arising from the farm’s exponential growth, especially in the yearling sales. “From sending 20 yearlings a year to now 36, the existing facilities could no longer accommodate the demand,” he says. “The new facility will boast 48 boxes, providing the much-needed space for the burgeoning number of horses.”

The farm’s strategic response to the changing landscape of the industry is evident in the context of the TAB’s acquisition by Entain from Australia. “It’s been a really positive step forward with an increase in stake money providing incentive for young horses to be raced,” says Nigel. “It’s also provided an incentive for us to breed more horses to meet demand. The signs are definitely positive and hopefully keep improving and snowballing.”

The upcoming infrastructure will also include a function room with a full kitchen and bar facilities suitable for events like weddings and conferences. Nigel says the addition reflects Breckon Farms’ commitment to creating a versatile space that extends beyond equine activities. The farm’s roots trace back to August 1, 2007, when Ken and Karen purchased Yarndley Farms from long-time friends Sandy and Jan Yarndley.

Renamed Breckon Farms, it quickly became synonymous with success in harness racing, due to the investment of the Breckons which saw contouring improvements to the land, widening of laneways, and the addition of post and rail fencing transforming it into a first-class nursery for Standardbred bloodstock.

Ken, driven by a lifelong passion for the sport, actively entered the harness racing scene in 1995 alongside his late brother Peter. Their initial purchase, Megaera, marked the beginning of a legacy that would see the Breckon name associated with numerous champion horses.

The new facility will boast 48 boxes, providing the much-needed space for the burgeoning number of horses.

“It’s always exciting every year to have top quality mares foaling and seeing the results when they eventually perform on the race track.”

Ken and Karen’s dedication to the industry goes beyond ownership. Both commit significant hours to the administration of the sport through club and kindred body committees. Their success reached new heights with the retired champion trotter, I Can Doosit, thrusting them into the spotlight as prominent owners and breeders.

Their commitment to excellence earned them the title of New Zealand Breeder of the Year in 2021, with accolades including breeding New Zealand Pacing Horse of the Year, Bettor Twist, and Australasian Horse of the Year, King of Swing with Breckon Farms securing leading vendor status at the NZB Standardbred Sales in both 2022 and 2023, a testament to its investment in quality broodmares and proven performers.

Over 20 Group 1 victories with Breckon Farms Syndicates underscore their dominance in the industry. The Breckon Farms Syndicates were established by Ken and Karen in 2013 with the syndicate taking racing leases out on six to ten of New Zealand’s best-bred fillies and hopefully enjoying a wave of success.

Breckon Farms offers a range of professional services, including foaling, weaning, yearling preparation, broodmare care and agistment facilities. The foaling night watch service, led by well-trained staff and supported by Nigel, ensures that each foal gets the best start in life, says Nigel.

AI-breeding services are offered in collaboration with the Waikato Equine Veterinary Centre. The farm has a proud legacy of having been a nurturing ground for many champions including I Can Doosit, Elle Mac, Bettor Twist, High Gait and Luby Lou, Breckon-bred winners of group races.

“We have some nice young mares coming off the race track who have performed really well and are now embarking on their new careers as mothers, with the likes of Bettor Twist producing her first foal this past spring,” says Nigel. “It’s always exciting every year to have top quality mares foaling and seeing the results when they eventually perform on the race track.”

© Waterford Press Ltd 2024 – Independent Print Media New Zealand

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