Alton Lodge Stud Dispersal Sale 1957

Alton Lodge Stud Dispersal Sale 1957

Featured Image: Alton Lodge Stud Dispersal Sale 1957 Catalogue Front Cover

This sale is of more than passing interest to me in an historical context. My original employer in NSW the late Murray Bain made his southern hemisphere debut as Manager/Veterinarian at Alton Lodge Stud between 1947 and 1950. His employer was leading New Zealand industrialist Sir James Fletcher. Murray spent six years in military conflict during WWII 1939 – 1946 mainly spent in Palestine and North Africa. He attained the high rank of acting Lt. Colonel before spending nine months ‘experiential sabbatical’ at Bull Hancock’s famous Claiborne Stud, Lexington, Kentucky, USA.

The dispersal of Alton Lodge by the Fleming family heralded the end of an era; and the beginning of a new epoch. It had been a highly successful venture but every story has a definitive ending. 93 mares were offered for sale mostly covered by resident stallions Fairs Fair, Balloch, Gold Nib and Chatsworth II. Khorassan (sire of Tulloch), Dogger Bank, Mainbrace and Targui were also represented. Chatsworth II was later to emerge as one of New Zealand’s very best and most successful sires. Ageing stallion Balloch and Gold Nib were on offer as well as 21 yearling fillies.

The auctioneers stressed the ‘absolute certainty’ of investment in these broodmares with assured future trans-Tasman racing success. Citations were adduced to support this premise for Windbag, Flight, Skipton, Amana, Talking, Cover Up (USA); and their daughters as progenitors of Shannon, Peter Pan, Manfred and Evening Peel (Melbourne Cup 1956).