Diane Cournane - Diamond Head Lodge


Farm/Stud location:

Grove Bush - Invercargill.

Farm size:

105 acres.

How did you get started in breeding?

Both my parents came from a racing background and raced McWay.

What is the name of your first broodmare:

McWay. We had to put her down at the age of 30. She had a great life.

Editor's note: McWay won one race from just eleven starts. Her best two foals were Christianheritage (4 wins) and He's My Type (Payson's Brother) two wins from 20 starts.

Is the priority to breed your horses for racing or to sell at the sales?

Selling at the sales.

What do you consider was the best horse you've bred and raced?

Christiansheritage (Christian Cullen - McWay) 21-4-4-3 $49,798 and 1-56.4), Fight For Glory (10-3-6-0 $101,796, All Star Man 26-8-5-2 $106,025, Whisper Jet 24-6-6-2 $84,436 and Breath Of Life (Village Jasper - My Name's Good) 52-7-4-8 $100,524 and 2-39.8 2200 metre mobile New Zealand Record.

Best priced yearling sold at the sales?

GI Joe (Bettor's Delight - Breath Of Life) for $82,500 at the Sale of the Stars 2014 and Anvils Top Gun. Sold as More Than Ready at the 2009 Sale of the Stars for $50,000 to Nigel McGrath.

Highest priced colt bred and sold?

GI Joe and Anvils Top Gun

What new season sires are you most excited about?

Changeover - Nevele R - A lovely racehorse with great manners and attitude.

How important do you feel it is to breed to a stallion that will possibly leave two year olds?

Very important. That's where the money is.  

How important do you feel research is in choosing a stallion for your mares?

Very important. 

How important is the stallion's size?

Depends on the type of mare.

Do you prefer to see your stallion choices in the flesh?

With AI it's hard to view them.

As a professional breeder, how often do you buy outside mares to broaden your breeding stock?

Not often. You're better to stick with your own breed if they are doing the job.

What feeding plan do you follow went rearing your foals?

As Sir Patrick Hogan says "Feed them well and you will get the results."

If you breed primarily pacers, would you ever consider breeding trotters?

I breed thoroughbreds as well so two horse types are enough.

What do you most enjoy about breeding horses?

Horses are my passion and the joy of seeing a foal you have bred on the racetrack is filfulling.

What do you consider to be the most challenging aspect about breeding horses today?

Everything is just getting expensive. It would make more sense to be like the thoroughbred breeders and the way they pay their service fee. But these working fees should be incorporated in the service fees. It will soon be only the top breeders breeding racehorses.


Diane Cournane's breeding list:


My Name's Good (Nero's BB - McWay) unraced mare

Best progeny: Breath Of Life (Village Jasper)  60 - 7 - 5 - 11 $109,034 and Anvils Top Gun (Christian Cullen) 36-7-5-2 $149,421.

Editor's note: Breath Of Life is a current New Zealand record holder. Her time of 2-39.8 for 2200 metres mobile was recorded at Alexandra Park in the 2009-2010 season.

Make Mine Roses (Washington VC - My Name's Good) 1 win.

Progeny: Ragamuffin Angel (Elsu).

Lady Of The Dawn (Christian Cullen - McWay) unraced mare.

Progeny: Peruvian Dawn (filly by Peruvian Hanover) and Double Impact (filly by P-Forty-Seven) 9-1-1-1 $4,783.

Tact Tracy (Soky's Atom - Tact Rein) 1 win.

Best progeny: Tact Pearl (Dream Away) 5-0-0-3 $1,475 

Modern Day Lady (Clever Innocence - McWay) unraced mare.

Progeny: Spirit Of Hope (Presidential Ball) 1-0-0-0 $73.

Nitouche Franco (Soky's Atom - Nitouche) unraced mare.

Best progeny: All Star Man (Real Desire) 26-8-5-2 $106,025, Franco Nick Nack (McArdle) 22-2-2-2 $14,721 and Whisper Jet (by Jereme's Jet) 24-6-6-2 $84,436.

Breath Of Life (Village Jasper) 60-7-5-11 $109,034

Best progeny: Fight For Glory (Art Major) 10-3-6-0 $101,796.

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