They say teamwork is the key to success and Woodside Park Stud and the Victorian Equine Group are an outstanding example.
Together they ensure the stallions, mares and foals all receive the highest level of veterinary expertise, excellent attention to detail and an outstanding commitment and dedication to care.
Partners in the Victorian Equine Group include equine veterinarian Mick Whiteford. Specialising in racetrack and respiratory medicine, lameness and stud work, Mike originates from Scotland. On moving to Australia, he completed an internship at Goulburn Valley Equine Hospital in Shepparton, before honing his skills in all aspects of equine medicine with Dr John Brown.
Sarah Jalim, a registered specialist in Equine Surgery, developed a sound knowledge of the Victorian breeding industry through seven years in residency under Dr Jim Vasey at Goulburn Valley Equine Hospital and Simon Robinson, a registered specialist in Equine Reproduction, also gained a wealth of experience when based at Goulburn Valley. Simon is a one of only two in vets in Victoria holding a Diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists, a specialist qualification in reproduction.
“It’s a great team, as we all have our specialised areas of equine medicine. We combine these skills with our long and trusted relationships within the Victorian breeding community to provide the complete stud package,” Mike Whiteford said.
“We are a vital link to managing the stallions, the reproductive success of the mares, and the health and growth of the foals in their significant early months.”
With Whiteford looking after all the scanning of the mares at Woodside’s Tyden nursery, he is complemented by Robinson, who is a Stallion fertility management expert.
“Sarah and I are based out of the Bendigo hospital, while Simon is based from our Seymour location. Together, we strive to ensure every cover has the optimal chance of conception.”
“The season starts with a bang, so we have all the mares ready to go as close as possible to the first of September, giving their clients the best chance to achieve those valuable early foals.”
“Because of the intensity, with the number of mares, the number of stallions and the number of covers per stallion per day, it is essential that we have the mares timed perfectly. We strive for one cover, one foal,” Whiteford said.
Whiteford compliments Stud Manager Ben Gunn and the entire stallion team on the vital role they play in the high fertility of the stallions.
“They do a brilliant job ensuring they are happy, physically fit, and well in themselves to have a great spring in the barn. They tend to the horses every need, they know what makes them tick, and can quickly identify changes in behaviour and attitude. The stallion team ensure they can cope comfortably with the workload over the entire season.”
“This year Tosen Stardom will have bloomed, having had time to develop from a racehorse into a stallion. He knows his job in the barn and is ready for a big season ahead,” Whiteford said.
“Cable Bay will no doubt again arrive in brilliant condition from the Northern Hemisphere and will hit the ground running in time for the start of the season, whilst Written Tycoon has outstanding fertility, he knows his job and is the ultimate professional.”
While on the mare side, the stud’s broodmare unit are working hard to help the mare’s cycle and optimise their overall health and wellbeing.
“All the dry mares are fitted with an Equilume, have an increasing plane of nutrition and are warmly rugged to simulate the beginning of spring. This combination has a brilliant response as it encourages them to come into season a little earlier than they normally would. The majority of mares already have had an ovulation before the season begins.”
Together, Woodside Park Stud and the Victorian Equine Group, maintain excellent stallion fertility rates to achieve the largest crops achievable, conceived as early as possible, which translates for clients and breeders into lucrative sales results and successful early runners on the track.