Vale Western Winter
Lammerskraal Stud’s former champion sire, Western Winter, died on Thursday.
He was 21 years old and leaves behind a tremendous legacy of classy and courage.
At the time of writing, the stallion had sired 76 stakes winners, 20 Grade One winners, and over 140 black type performers.
To date, Western Winter’s offspring have won over R100 000 000 in prize money, and include numerous Equus Award winning champions. Among the official champions sired by Western Winter are Argonaut, Ice Cube, What A Winter and Lady Windermere. His sons, Yard-Arm and Winter Solstice, were both named Horse of the Year – in 2003 and 2005 respectively.
He topped the SA sires log three times: in 2002-2003, 2004-2005 and 2005-2006.
Western Winter had a number of superb crops. In 2002, from 73 registered foals, Western Winter produced a staggering 20 stakes horses! This crop included the likes of Gr1 winners Bad Girl Runs and Roxanne, as well as the gallant Silver Mist – a Gr3 winner in Dubai after running the mighty Pocket Power to a short head.
The stallion also had tremendous success in 2012-2013, with his offspring including champion What A Winter, and the magnificent Capetown Noir. The latter, an Equus Award nominee, became one of just a handful of colts to complete a rare Cape classic double, when the Dean Kannemeyer trained colt won both the Gr1 Cape Premier Yearling Sales Guineas and the Gr1 Investec Cape Derby. The sire also has tremendous classic prospects for this season – most notably Cape champion colt Red Ray and the talented Exelero.
An exceptionally versatile sire, Western Winter had Gr1 winners from 1000-3200m, and sired champions and Grade One winners of both sexes.
His tremendous success ensured his popularity in the sales ring. His stock sold up to R3 000 000, while a Western Winter colt, now named Exelero, was the joint sales topper at the inaugural Cape Ready To Run Sale. Two yearlings by Western Winter fetched R1 500 000 and R1 300 000 at the 2013 Cape Premier Yearling Sale.
At the time of writing, Western Winter has four sons at stud: Argonaut, Lion Tamer, Warm White Night and What A Winter. The former, a multiple Equus Award winning sprinter, stands his first season this year at the Drakenstein Stud where he is proving exceptionally popular.
Western Winter is also becoming an increasingly successful broodmare sire. To date, his daughters have produced the likes of Equus Award winner and Met hero Past Master, US Graded stakes winner Howe Great and Gr2 winning sprinter Polar Moon.
Bred in North America, by Richard Golden, Western Winter was a high-class performer himself, whose five wins included the Joseph M. O’Farrel S, and he was second in the Gr1 Metropolitan Handicap.
One of over 100 stakes winners produced by leading US sire Gone West, Western Winter was produced by the winning Vice Regent mare, Chilly Hostess. Chilly Hostess herself is a half-sister to 3 stakes winners, and is out of the high-class racemare Impressive Lady. Western Winter traced back directly to Nandi – dam of Canadian legend Windfields.
He was imported into South Africa by Form Bloodstock, and stood his whole career at Mike Rattray’s Lammerskraal Stud.
Fully booked this season, Western Winter stood his final season for a R150 000.
Condolences to Lammerskraal Stud and all connected with Western Winter, on the loss of this magnificent and unforgettable stallion.