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Pepper Tree Farm is excited to be partnering with Alabar for the stud future of these three world class young harness racing sires – Sportswriter, Rock N Roll Heaven and Roll With Joe. “Alabar has been keen to be involved with these exciting stallions and the timing was right for us to move forward together with our plans,” announced Pepper Tree Farm principal Rob Vandyke. “After 20 years of standing sires at Pepper Tree Farm, my wife Julie and I were looking to reduce our physical workload while maintaining our commitment to and financial investment in these great young sires.” “With our long standing and highly successful partnership with Alabar in Art Major, we knew this was the partnership we wanted for these young sires. With their outstanding reputation at the forefront of the Standardbred breeding industry, including their large client base and their farm in New Zealand, Alabar can value add to the careers of these young stallions.” Alabar will stand the stallions and they will be marketed under the Alabar umbrella. Alan Galloway, owner of Alabar, could not be more pleased. “We are always looking to increase the quality of the stallions we can offer to our clients,” stated Alan. “It is not often you get the opportunity to manage three quality young stallions such as Rock N Roll Heaven, Sportswriter and Roll With Joe. We are extremely thankful to Rob, Julie and the whole team at Pepper Tree Farm for this opportunity and we cannot wait to offer these stallions to our clients.” Pepper Tree Farm, who recently sold one of their properties as part of the planned stud reduction, will continue to operate as a smaller, boutique Standardbred stud farm with permanent resident mares. “We remain committed to the Standardbred breeding industry and to the future of these world class young sires and look forward to their progress and journey in partnership with Alabar,” said Rob. Rock N Roll Heaven p2, 1:50.4; 3, 1:47.6 - $2,748,818 2014/15 Australia’s Leading First Crop Sire and 2nd overall. Sire of 6 Group winners, incl two Group 1 winners, from his debut Australian crop. Sire of 2015 USTA 3yo Filly of the Year Divine Caroline from his debut North American crop. Sportswriter p2, 1:49.4; 3, 1:48.6 - $1,566,460 2015 Leading Ontario Sires Stakes Pacing Stallion. 2014/15 Leading Australian 2yo Sire by winners. 2014/15 Leading NSW Sire. Roll With Joe p2, 1:53.2; 3, 1:48.4 - $1,805,102 USTA 3yo Pacing Colt of the Year. Full brother to Bettor’s Delight. Debut crop of 2yos dominated New York Sires Stakes program – Leading money winning 2yo Pacing Sire in New York in 2015. For further details on these stallions please head to  

This writer is not a religious person by any means but I am a bit lost for an explanation for what happened to 53 harness racing horses over the weekend in at Durham Park Standardbreds. Situated on 400 acres of rolling countryside thirty minutes south east of Ballarat, Durham Park was established by Bruce Edwards in 2006 and has quickly become one of the pre-eminent standardbred nurseries in Victoria. Bruce had built up an outstanding band of North American, New Zealand and Australian mares and everything was on track for this years round of yearling sales when the fire struck late last week. The staff had to leave in such a hurry there was no time to grab any clothes or possessions and there was just no time to even think about moving the horses. When Bruce was let back in on Saturday afternoon, he was immediately confronted by evidence of the ferocity of the fire. What he saw left Bruce numb. " There was no fences, no sheds, no house, no water in the dams – just nothing." " There wasn't one blade of grass you could see on the property." " Unbelievably I came across the horses who seemed to have somehow survived the carnage." " However before we could do anything, we were kicked out again due to the danger from the fire," Bruce explained when talking to Harnesslink today. The next morning Bruce was allowed to go back onto his farm by authorities but he was quite nervous about what he might find. " The noise and smoke from the fire was huge and with the helicopters adding to that, I thought the horses would be spread far and wide over the property as we had no fences at all and I wasn't sure how many may have survived the inferno." " To my amazement they were still where they had been the day before." " I thought getting halters on them and loading them on to the floats would be fraught with problems but they stood there like lambs and walked straight on." "We had sixteen unbroken yearlings there but we caught them all with no problems and unbelievably they loaded onto Clayton Tonkin's truck as though they had been doing it all their life." "We moved the whole lot in four hours over to Clayton and Emma's property and after we did a headcount we found we hadn't  lost a single horse." " I didn't know some of the float people who turned up to help but I can't thank them enough." "Special thanks must go to Clayton and Emma who were just brilliant," Bruce said. Since the fire Bruce has been humbled by the offers of help from all over Australia. " I have had over 100 calls from all over Australia offering feed, agistment and help which is really quite humbling." " One call was from Alan Galloway and I was just gobsmacked by the offer he made to me"  " Alan offered to graze the whole 53 horses we took off Durham Park on Sunday for six months free of charge. "On top of that he gave us access to his barn complex so we now have somewhere to prepare our yearlings for the sales and there is accommodation included for my staff as well." " I grabbed the offer as my staff lost everything in the fire and this will help them get back on their feet." " The horses are being treated for smoke inhalation at the moment but will be moved to Alabar as soon as that has been completed." "I can't thank Alan Galloway enough, he has been a life saver," Bruce said Alan Galloway was also behind another initiative to help Bruce get back on his feet. "Bruce has been a great client of ours for many years and we were only to happy to step up and help out." " On top of the grazing and use of our facilities, Alabar Bloodstock has got together with Blue Chip Farms in New York, Pepper Tree Farm and Muscara Standardbreds to offer services to Art Major, He's Watching and Auckland Reactor. " We hope that Courage Under Fire will join the offer in the next few hours." All the money raised from the sale of the services will be forwarded to Bruce," Alan said. At the end of the day, we should be really thankful that no human or horse loss their life in this fire. Post fire we have been able to witness that great camaraderie that exists in the harness racing industry where industry participants will always reach out to those in need As to how to explain 53 horses going through a firestorm and coming out the other end unscathed, that one I can't answer Harnesslink Media

Do you want to send your mare to Pepper Tree Farm’s Roll With Joe this season? Are you looking for a way to jump the queue with a number of broodmare owners already waiting and hoping to get into him? Well here’s your chance, the Eugowra Harness Racing Club has secured a service to Roll With Joe for this breeding season. President Lex Crosby has announced the service will go to tender with all of the money going back to the Club. “Thanks to Pepper Tree Farm through the sponsorship of the Canola Cup meeting, the Club has a Roll With Joe service to put up for tender,” Crosby said. “The starting price is $4,500 and tenders can be sent via email to me at .” Crosby confirmed the tender would finish at 5pm on Monday November 30. “We have had some interest already and I would expect the tenders to come through very quickly." “People should remember he is booked out this season and I’m told 100 mares are already booked in for next year so this is a great way to send your mare to Roll With Joe right now.” Greg Hayes

Pepper Tree Farm has kindly donated a service to impressive harness racing stallion Roll With Joe to the Jim Webb fundraising effort. Roll With Joe's book for the upcoming breeding season has been closed for a number of months and there is a lengthy waitlist of broodmare owners waiting for an opportunity to send their mare to the Meadowlands Pace winner. Roll With Joe stands for $6,000, was the 2011 USA three-year old of the year and is a full brother to Bettors Delight. Pepper Tree Farm is hoping interested breeders will get involved with all money raised from the auction going directly to Jim Webb and his family. Jim suffered a spinal cord injury after a trackwork fall in June and has no movement in his legs and very little movement in his arms and hands. A fundraising night will be held at the Bankstown Club on Thursday to raise further funds. To bid on the Roll With Joe service please send an email through to HRNSW's Media Manager Greg Hayes confirming your bid and details. Greg's email address is The auction will close at 4pm on Friday September 4 2015. A daily auction update will be provided on the HRNSW website and various social media platforms. Please note the service is for mares based in Australia and must be used during the 2015/16 season. Greg Hayes

The finals of the $125,000 HRNSW Pepper Tree Farm Breeders Challange were dominated in a lot of cases by a prohibitive favourite today but that wasn't the case with the three year old colts and geldings final at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained Kept Under Wraps was the favourite but two defeats in his last two starts to horses involved in todays final meant no one was super confident of the outcome.   Nathan Jack sent the Amanda Turnbull trained Mouse In The House to the front early before handing up to Mark Purdon and Kept Under Wraps after 600 metres.   Mark Purdon was able to back the tempo off in the mid stages with a 61.9 first half of the last mile before upping the speed from the 800 metres mark.   Going down the back in 27.9 made it impossible for those back in the field to play a big part as the field turned for home.   Kept Under Wraps looked under siege half way up the straight with Mouse In The House challenging him hard on the inner and Pompidou and Robbie Morris flashing home wider on the track after having a lovely trip in the one by one the whole race.   Kept Under Wraps kept giving for Mark Purdon and at the line still had a half head to spare from Pompidou with Mouse In The House close up in third.   The son of Bettor's Delight paced the 2400 metres in 2:55.1, a mile rate of 1:57.4 with closing sectionals of 55.6 and 27.7.   Often the bridesmaid in big races, todays win was the seventh lifetime for Kept Under Wraps and took his earnings over the $200,000 mark.     It also completed a stellar day for the All Star Racing Stables with three of the six $125,000 Group 1 finals falling to the Kiwi training barn.   Harnesslink Media  

Harness racing three year filly Supersonic Miss has a lot of positive attributes but size is definitely not one of them. The diminutive daughter of Mach Three might be small in statue but she has a huge motor.   When she fronted up today for the $125,000 final of the NSW Pepper Tree Farm Breeders Challenge at Tabcorp Park Menangle for three year old fillies, she might have been the smallest filly in the race but it mattered not in the finish as she strode away for an effortless victory.   Allowed to settle back from barrier four, Supersonic Miss worked onto the back of Sally Fletcher in the one by one but some way off the leaders.   Somelovesomewhere lead early before handing up to the well supported Makes Every Scents after 800 metres.   Mark Purdon got a lovely run up with Supersonic Miss to the leader on the back of Sally Fletcher and when he peeled her three wide at the top of the straight, Supersonic Miss quickly sprinted to the lead and put the race beyond doubt half way up the long Menangle straight.   The Ashlee Siejka trained and driver Ameretto provided a minor highlight of the race by storming home late for second after an early gallop had cost her 10-12 lengths.   For the daughter of Million Dollar Cam it was a case of what might have been but for the early gallop.   Supersonic Miss paced the 2400 metres in a swift 2:54.6, a mile rate of 1:57.1 with closing sectionals of 57.1 and 27.1   It was the ninth lifetime win for the Mach Three filly and took her earnings to just shy of $300,000.     Harnesslink Media

The  harness racing $125,000 NSW Pepper Tree Farm Breeders Challenge finals at Tabcorp Park Menangle bring the best of the best together and the first big final to go today was the race for the two year old filliesl. Heavens Trend was a dominating favourite after four wins in a row, the last of them in an Australian record time of 1:52.1. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven had drawn nicely at barrier three while the main opposition in Our Golden Goddess had drawn wider at barrier six. As the gates folded, Mark Purdon driving Our Golden Goddeess threw caution to the wind and charged out to try to grab an early lead. Gavin Lang in the bike behind Heaven's Trend was having none of it and the two favourites charged through ther first quarter in 26.1 with Heavens Trend holding the front. When the half was reached in just over 55, a few were struggling with the pace but it was clear a long way out that Heavens Trend was in cruise control. As they straightened for home Gavin Lang gave her a bit of rein and Heavens Trend strode clear for an emphatic victory with Gavin sitting quite as in the bike. Hot Shot Woman dashed home late for second to continue her string of second placings with Boundtobemad edging out a game Our Golden Goddess for third. Heavens Trend paced the mile in 1:52.9 with closing sectionals of 57.1 and 28.9. Emma Stewart is the trainer. Heavens Trend is from the first Australian crop of Rock N Roll Heaven 1:47.6 ($2,774,478) and is a daughter of the former outstanding race filly Trend Setter 1:55.6 ($199,414). The second placegetter Hot Shot Woman is by Rocknroll Hanover and must be the biggest stake earning maiden in Australasia with todays placing taking her well over the $100,000 mark. The main aim now for Heavens Trend is the Breeders Crown at Melton at the end of August where she will meet the unbeaten New Zealand champion Dream About Me and that should be a race well worth going to see. Harnesslink Media

Two time Pepper Tree Farm NSW Breeders Challenge winner Lettucerockthem has joined the stables of Kerryann Turner. The son of Art Major is attempting to become the first horse to win the Breeders Challenge 'Grand Slam' after victories in the harness racing series as a two and three year old. Stable driver Robbie Morris is excited with the stable addition and believes the four year old can be a major player in the upcoming Gr. 1 series. "It is great news for Kerryann to be getting a horse to train like Lettucerockthem, I've driven him in work since he arrived and he gives you the feel that he is a good horse," said Morris. "His work has been good in the short time he has been with us, Paul Kahlefeldt did a great job with him however I think our proximity to the Menangle track is going to be a big bonus for him." Lettucerockthem has been purchased by John and Bill Green from Tex Services. "I think he is a great purchase, he is eligible for the Breeders Challenge and the Breeders Crown before the end of the season but the decision has already been made to bypass Queensland. "Tex Services own Iam Mr Brightside as well so they have added another nice four year old and I think both have what it takes to compete in some nice races later on in their careers." The gelding's first assignment will be Saturday night's Breeders Challenge semi final and has been installed the $2.10 fixed odds favourite with TAB. "Former owner and trainer Paul Kahlefeldt had him spot on when he arrived and the constant racing is going to help him, he should be at his peak for the final next weekend. "There are some very nice horses racing him this week including Mister Jay Cee, Image Of Courage and Handsome Major and the other semi final has My General Lee and Theartofconfusion in it so the final should be a great race." Kahlefeldt will continue to race a number of horses with the Kerryann Turner stable including talented two year old filly Lettuce Go Pippa. "I was really proud of her last week chasing home Heavens Trend because she was off the track turning for home and kept on trying the whole way. "Paul is a great supporter of Kerryann's and we hope that association continues for many years to come." Greg Hayes

The only stallion of any note to have his first crop hit the tracks down under this season is the son of Rocknroll Hanover, Rock N Roll Heaven. Standing at Pepper Tree Farm at a fee of $11,000, Rock N Roll Heaven served 214 mares in Australia in his first season at stud from which he produced 153 foals who are two year olds this season. While it is early days it has been a less than auspicious start for the young sire. As of today he has had fifteen starters for  three winners and currently sits eighth on the Australian two year old sires list which for a stallion with 153 two year olds is slow going. Last season Sportswriter had a similar number of two year olds and was vying for the lead on the sires table for most of the season before Bettors Delight and Art Major forged clear in July and August so to date you would have to say that Rock N Roll Heaven has started very slowly. The three two year olds that have won all look promising enough with the pick of them being the Michael Stanley trained Soho Lexington who was impressive winning in a 1:58.1 mile rate for 1690 metres at Kilmore recently. In North America, Rock N Roll Heaven had a great start to his siring career last year finishing a close sixth on the two year old sires list with over $1.7 million on his card and that was on the back of a string of impressive fillies. The best of them was Sassa Hanover 1:50.1 ($485,591) and his four $100,000 winners from his first crop were all fillies. One filly that has caught our eye in Australasia is MacKenzie, a daughter of the former outstanding racemare Kept For Pleasure 1:56 ($542,343) A member of the all conquering All Star barn of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, she was purchased out of the  Sydney APG sale last year for $82,000. She has looked very smart at trials and is being aimed at the APG races in Australia and will be a player going by her efforts at the trials. Rocknroll Hanover has a reputation for leaving difficult to handle horses and it looks like his son Rock N Roll Heaven has passed on the same traits. That won't stop them winning races as the record of Rocknroll Hanover shows but it does lead to a lot of trainers looking elsewhere for stock, especially at yearling sales. In New Zealand in his first season he served 52 mares which resulted in 37 horses who are two year olds this season. The only one that has shown up so far is the filly Killer Queen 1:59.2 who has been placed in the Young Gun Series at Alexandra Park and is held in high regard by trainer Ray Green. The record of Rock N Roll Heaven in North America would suggest that the winners will come at some point but if you are going to compete with the Art Majors and the Bettor's Delights in the Australasian market, then those winners need to come sooner rather than later. Harnesslink Media

For the 2013 breeding season WASBA is again running our Stallion Service Raffle, with support this year from Alabar Farms and Pepper Tree Farms.

The owners of world champion young sire, Rock N Roll Heaven, Mr Frank Bellino and his son Joe have shown their ongoing commitment to the harness racing industry in Australia with the purchase of a yearling at the Sydney Australian Pacing Gold sale.

2009 USA 2YO Pacing Colt of the Year, Sportswriter's first crop of yearlings are currently on offer at the Australian Pacing Gold yearling sales and are being snapped up by astute harness racing trainers and owners.

The long-awaited arrival of the first crop foals of a New Season harness racing sire is always an anxious time for any Studmaster, but especially so when that sire is your flagship stallion.

The first opportunity to buy yearlings by some of the world's leading harness racing sires is the incentive for purchasers at the Pepper Tree Farm Spring Sale being held at Cowra on Sunday, September 30.

Catalogues for the Pepper Tree Farm Spring Sale, to be held on their Cowra property on Sunday, September 30, are now available.

A major 'Down Under' breeding coup announced in Australia yesterday (Friday July 6) will have both good and bad ramifications for the Australasian breeding industry.

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