Eugene Freeman’s Boland Stud is situated just outside of Ceres in the Western Cape. The farm, which was foundered in the late 1970’s, has bred a number of great racehorses and Boland regularly features prominently in the leading breeders logs at the country’s various yearling sales.
Eugene’s father Frank started the farm, which today is home to more than 40 broodmares. The band is made up of 50% boarding mares while the other half belong to the Freeman family.
Some of the great champions bred at Boland include legendary sprint champion Senor Santa, the ill-fated Gr1 Cape Guineas winner Flight Alert (whom Eugene feels could well have been the best bred at Boland but for his premature demise), champion filly Kiss Of Peace, Holidays Inn hero Welcome Boy and champion sprinters Rotterdam and Harry Hotspur. The latter went on to make his mark at stud, with his eight individual Gr1 winners including the likes of Agitator, Bold Speed, Harry’s Charm, Harry’s Echoes, and Super Magic.
Eugene still has mares from the Mexican Charm family, responsible for both Flight Alert and Senor Santa. They include the now 20 year old Model Guest, a three parts sister to Senor Santa and Street Cred.
Model Guest, whose seven winners include Gr3 winner London Guest , is currently in foal to Judpot, while Jallad daughter Street Cred carries to Dynasty.
Model Guest has a lovely Var colt whom Eugene is set to offer at this year’s National Sale if he is mature enough, otherwise this well bred youngster will go to the KZN Sale, a sale which Boland has enjoyed huge success over the past few years.
The Boland broodmare band includes the Argentinian mare Miss Pink, a Windrush half sister to Horse Of The Year Irish Flame (she is named Clockwinder and is said to resemble her famous half brother very closely), Monpazier (a Silvano half sister to Captain America who is currently in foal to the latter’s sire Captain Al), Miss Kiri and the beautifully bred Stormy Duel, to name a few.
Among the stallions patronised by the farm are Ashaawes, Captain Al, Dynasty, Jackson, Judpot, Mambo In Seattle, Master Of My Fate, Pathfork, Sail From Seattle, Seventh Rock, and What A Winter.
The Freeman family was recently extended when Eugene’s wife Hannelu gave birth to the couple’s second child, a daughter named Alexia. She joins brother Abie, and Eugene admits it has taken a while to catch up with his sleep!
Boland has a team of around about 14 permanent staff members, but this number changes through the year.
While a number of the farm’s more precocious yearlings will go to the National Sale, Eugene is a big supporter of the KZN Sale and he plans to send a large string of between 15-20 yearlings there this year.
The sale has certainly been good to Boland – the farm supplied a R500 000 Jet Master filly in 2013, while last year the farm was the fourth top vendor by aggregate in KZN.
Eugene admits there are plenty of benefits from breeding in the lush Ceres valley, where he says crime is still relatively light.
The valley, which was also was responsible for outstanding recent champions Legislate and What A Winter amongst others, is a basin of highly fertile land with excellent soil and fine weather conditions. The hard ground ensures yearlings grow up tough and hardy – a fine background for preparing them to face the competitive racing environment later on.
While Boland does not stand one, Eugene says he would definitely consider standing a stallion in the future – but he must tick all the boxes. While he would like to win any of the major races in the country, Eugene has a soft spot for the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, as the Weight-For-Age conditions makes it a fairer contest than some of the handicaps and gives the best horse in the race the best chance of winning.
With some exceptionally well bred mares on the farm and some cracking young stock to be offered at this year’s sales, Boland Stud looks well positioned to make more history in the not too distant future!