Leading Cape stud farm Cheveley Stud enjoyed a tremendous season in 2013-2014. The farm ended the year sixth on the Breeders List – despite having far fewer runners than the farms above Cheveley.
Cheveley’s star for the season was undoubtedly Legislate, whose remarkable season saw the son of Dynasty named South African Horse Of The Year for 2014. The 3yo, who picked up a total of three Equus Awards for the season, reeled off four graded wins in a row, culminating in an historic triumph in the Vodacom Durban July.
Out of the Restructure mare Champers, Legislate has already grossed over R4.7 million in stakes – a fine return on the R100 000 spent on the colt to acquire him at the 2012 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale. Trained by Justin Snaith, Legislate’s connections are hoping to send their star colt overseas at some stage, before he eventually retires to stud.
Remarkably, Legislate was one of two Cheveley bred horses named Horse Of The Year in 2014. The other being Silvano filly Equina, who was named Zimbabwe’s HOY last year following a season which saw her victorious in two of the country’s biggest races, the Castle Tankard (ZIM G1) and OK Grand Challenge (ZIM G2). Vaughan was given Equina’s dam, the Al Mufti mare Winning Touch, as a 21st birthday present, but the mare has sadly died in 2012.
Cheveley was foundered in 1980 when Wilfred Koster, who moved from the family farm in Beaufort West. Wilfred, in partnership with his father Ralf, bred a number of outstanding horses during his time in Beaufort West including Jerez (Met, Gold Cup), Mazarin (Champion), Savonarola (Cape Guineas – beating Sea Cottage), and Black Bishop (SA Derby, St Leger) – to name a few. Many of the original Koster bred fillies returned to the farm, to add their own chapters in the farm’s successes.
The Kosters’ impressive tally of big race winners continued to grow following Wilfred’s relocation to Ceres. The modern day farm has seen the likes of London News (Horse Of The Year, QE II Cup), National Emblem (Champion older male, successful sire), Goldmark (Champion Sprinter), Vesta (Champion), Rabiya (Champion, Cape Guineas, Cape Derby), and former Equus Champion 2YO Argonaut. The latter is currently the sole stallion standing at Cheveley, and is the sire of this season’s impressive juvenile winner Beat The Retreat, as well as a host of black type performers from his first crop.
One of the farm’s greatest broodmares has been the unplaced Royal Academy mare Mystic Spring, and Vaughan well remembers the first impression he had of this blue hen. ““Mystic Spring arrived a small, light, narrow mare with a fierce temperament. Not your ideal broodmare! However, she has settled down well tremendously. Her first foal by Jallad was the most crooked individual who didn’t score more than 2/10 by the inspection panel. He didn’t ever see a sale. He ended up being Rabiya who won the Daily News and the Cape Derby.”
Success followed success for Mystic Spring, who to date, has produced four other stakes winners, including the top sprinter Secret Of Victoria. The latter is one of two daughters of Mystic Spring to have produced stakes winners, with Secret Of Victoria the dam of former Equus Champion All Is Secret. Remarkably, Mystic Spring’s five stakes winners are by four different stallions – a real tribute to her greatness as a broodmare!
However, Mystic Spring is not the only Cheveley Stud mare to have bred five stakes winners. She replicated the feat of Del Sarto matron Aquasarto, the dam of five black type winners – including Equus Champion Argonaut and Gr1 SA Fillies Guineas heroine Finest View.
Nestled among the Ceres mountains, Cheveley not only ranks as one of the Cape’s most successful stud farms, but also among the most picturesque.
The farm is currently managed by Shirley and Vaughan Koster, who are ably assisted by a very capable team.
Vaughan, whose wife Janine gave birth to the couple’s first child, Ralph, last year, is very pleased with his draft of yearlings he is set to sell in 2015 – and hopefully the Cheveley Stud’s remarkable run of success can continue unabated this year.