INTENSE, nerve-racking, difficult, rewarding and satisfying.
Those are the various stages of Kath McIntosh’s yearling operation.
A Kyabram-based vet who is also the secretary of Harness Breeders Vic, McIntosh has prepared 12 youngsters for Sunday’s Australian Pacing Gold Yearling Sale in Melbourne, with the crew consisting of eight fillies and four colts.
With several born on McIntosh’s property, the intense moments have been part of the journey from the outset.
“When the mare is foaling it can get quite intense as you want to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible for mum and bub,” McIntosh said.
“Then as you interact more with the foals you soon learn of their different personalities and quirks which is always interesting.”
As the hours countdown to the Sale, McIntosh admits she has entered the nerve-racking stage…which ultimately equates to restless nights.
McIntosh’s frame of mind stems from her desire to see the yearlings fetch good prices for their breeders.
“We are getting picked up at 6am tomorrow morning and heading down to the sales complex,” McIntosh said. “I’m that nervous I have barely slept all week.
“This is the first time we’ve done yearlings of this quantity. During the off season we built a big barn to increase our operation.
“We’ve been very fortunate to have some top quality on paper and I hope that’s the way buyers see them.
“Buyers are welcome to come and inspect them at any stage once we are settled in at the sales complex.”
McIntosh will then enter the rewarding and difficult zones.
“The rewarding part of what we do is seeing them from foals to the sale and fetching a good price,” McIntosh said. “But it will be difficult seeing them go.
“I’m looking forward to seeing them develop into the athletes they can be.
“That’s what I love about what I do…care for them as a vet or breeder, foaling down, preparing them for their new homes and helping them along their journey to be the best they can.
“Seeing them fulfil their potential and winning is very satisfying.”
Reluctant to select her favourite of the dozen yearlings, McIntosh finally admitted one was her ‘pet’ after being coerced into an answer.
“The Sugarland colt was foaled on farm and has always been a standout,” McIntosh said.
By Art Major, the colt – which is a half-brother to Hurricane Harley – will enter the ring as Lot 230
Successful in the 2018 Group One Breeders’ Crown, Hurricane Harley boasts 17 wins and six placings from 30 starts for earnings of $388,590.