The star of the champion sire Christian Cullen has started to dim a bit in recent years. The son of In The Pocket is having his 20th birthday shortly and many have started to look elsewhere for their brood mares next consort.
Issues around fertility also having affected him more in the last few years, his fertility rate hovering around the 60% mark for the last three years.
That and his age have seen a drop off in support for Christian Cullen who served just 83 mares last year, his smallest book in over twelve years.
The naysayers are out in force at the moment but anyone having an objective look at the current season will soon realise Christian Cullen still has a lot to offer.
In the 5 year old+ age group we have the brilliant Christen Me who has won $547,549 this season on his way to becoming the grand circuit champion in Australasia.
In the 4 year old age group we have Franco Nelson who has won $200,905 this season including the 4 year old Harness Jewels Diamond.
In the 3 year old age group we have the outstanding Lochaburn who has won $256,067 and looks a shoe in for 3 year old colt/gelding of the year.
Christian Cullen currently sits third overall on the sires list for 2013/2014 with earnings to date of $1,847,008
His overall numbers are mind boggling.
His winners in Australasia number 930 with 145 of those have won in excess of $100,000.
And his daughters are roaring up the brood mare charts in both Australia and New Zealand.
Many astute judges rate Christian Cullen as the greatest stallion to have stood in the Southern hemisphere
Anyone who has been around the industry long term will know that champion sires usually taper off slowly in their latter years but most seem able to produce one outstanding crop late in their siring careers.
It should therefore surprise no one if one of Christian Cullen's last crops turns out to be one of his best.