Day At The Track

Great white hope an equine enigma

04:24 AM 31 Oct 2012 NZDT
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One-in-a-million white standardbred foal
One-in-a-million white standardbred foal

Alabar Bloodstock is today celebrating the birth of what pundits believe may be the first white standardbred foal ever born in Australia. The progeny of Alabar's champion harness racing reputed sire Courage Under Fire, the only horse to ever win six derbies, and well bred mare Telern Hilda, the one-in-a-million colt is being treated like a Hollywood star at the Goulburn Valley farm where he was foaled.

Alabar principal Alan Galloway said the snowy standardbred, who was conceived through artificial insemination, drew gasps upon his arrival but that his ideal conformation and attitude were now as noticeable as his flawless neutral coat.

"There's nothing average about this guy, he's a magnificent type, a perfect little man and we're just so proud to have him," the studmaster said.

"He's not an albino and he's not a grey, because grey's are born black and then become grey. He just popped out white and that is extremely unusual, in fact I've never heard of it before in this country.

"To put it into perspective, Alabar Stallions served 3,240 mares last season and are on track to do the same this year, we're the biggest breeders in the world and we've never seen anything like it."

In an interesting twist of fate the only other white standardbred foal recorded since 2000 was born in New Jersey to one of Alabar's shuttle stallions Art Major last year, although not at one of their farms.

Galloway said the congenital curiosity should be celebrated for his rarity and the charisma he will bring to the racetrack when his career begins.

He also noted the role artificial insemination played in the young colt's conception, with a long-running court case over the use of AI in thoroughbred racing set to be resolved in coming days.

"It's exciting for the industry; it would be fantastic if one day he became a successful stallion. That would just change the breed," he said.

"Hopefully there will be more opportunities for another bright white galloper to emerge now as well, with AI on the agenda in Sydney this week."

In a terrific gesture, the owner of harness racing's newest star, Terry Wait, has welcomed a contest to name the idiosyncratic foal which will be run through Harness Racing Victoria's social media channels.

Simply submit your suggestion via @HRVnews on Twitter or on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/#!/harnessracingvictoria .

Alternatively, you can email info@hrv.org.au  for your chance at a slice of harness racing history.

For Further Information & photo opportunities:

Jason Bonnington - Communications Manager

P: (03) 8378 0241, E: jbonnington@hrv.org.au  

Twitter:@HRVnews & @ jasonbonnington

Facebook: www.facebook.com/harnessracingvictoria  

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