Michelle Caig


Farm/Stud location:

Winton - Central Southland.

Farm size:

25 acres.

How did you get started in breeding?

We used to buy and sell show ponies which naturally lead to breeding ponies. We sold our best pony to pay the first standardbred service fee.

What is the name of your first broodmare:

Mistequila (Andrel - Trish Mist).

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

We definitely breed to sell. I know I'm considered to be a genuine seller. I don't think you can do both.

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

I have not raced any at all on my own account. I can't afford to. One day I'd like to race a nice trotting filly - win everything possible and retain her for breeding.

Best priced yearling sold at the sales?

I have sold five on my own account and have had two $30,000. sales and a $19,000. sale. It's not the sale price that's important - it's the profit margin.

Highest priced colt bred and sold?

Haymaker (2 yr old by Gotta Go Cullect - Equus Franco) $34,000.

Highest priced colt you have prepared for sale?

Franco Caesar (Falcon Seelster - Cherubic) 27-5-3-3 $30,115.

Highest priced filly you have prepared for sale?

Tiber Franco (Red River Hanover - Tantana) $100,000.

Editor's note: Tiber Franco was bought by John and Katrina Price also of Winton. She is unraced and is being bred from.

Biggest stake earner you have prepared for sale?

Report For Duty (55-13-4-8 $503,349.)

Editor's note: Report For Duty was passed in at the sales and was later sold for $8,000.

Favourite all time stallion?

Monarchy, Rock n Roll Heaven and Sundon.

What new season sires are you most excited about and why?

Auckland Reactor.

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

The key word there is possibly. How do you know? They come in all shapes and sizes but one key thing I believe is their willingness to please. A lot about being a good two year old is in their head.  

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

I go on gut feeling with most things. This is no exception. You are two years from the sales when you breed to your stallion. Temperament and conformation are everything. 

How important is the stallion's size?

It's only important when you compare it to your mares. You are always trying to refine your stock.

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


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

I am lucky (or unlucky). I was given 9 new mares and 5 were already in foal.

What current New Zealand family would you like to buy into?

You can't go past what is winning consistently at the moment.

What feeding plan do you follow when rearing your foals?

I stick to a basic plan every year; McMillans Rapid Gain, Barley, Oats, Chauff, lots of bulk and lots of oil.

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

I have 6 trotting mares and 7 pacing mares.

What do you most enjoy about breeding horses?

I was born with a love of the horse. That's what motivates me. My ex husband told me once I loved my horses more than him. 

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

Rising costs and your profit margins. Without a doubt the breeder pays!!


Michelle Caig's breeding list:

Merinai (Tuff Choice - Meriden) 27-19-0-1 $244,155

Best Progeny: Sunny Elegant (Sundon) 57-14-9-6 $102,330 and 1-57.2 (AUS), Miss Pegasus (Pegasus Spur) 54-9-13-10 $82,922, Wingsonhai (Pegasus Spur) 26-5-3-5 $53,332 and Classic Armbro (Armbro Invasion) 7-2-1-1 $10,010.

In foal to Monarchy.

Sun Mist (Sundon - Merinai) - unraced mare

Best Progeny: Sonofanearl (Earl) 81-22-7-7 $112,743 and Pretty Sunday (Earl) 50-12-8-3 $129,658 (including 2nd in the Group One 2014 Bill Collins Mile) and Rosemma (Monarchy) 41-6-10-5 $52,379. 

City Lane (Lindy Lane - Exotic Charm)
33-7-10-1 $31,290 dam of Saratoga (Muscle Yankee 21-7-4-2 $49,923)

My Party Doll (Falcon Seelster - Smooth Doll) 2 wins from just 12 starts

Best Progeny: Loaded (In The Pocket) 35-11-5-4 and 1-59.9 AUS.

Pat's Daughter (Gee Whiz 11 - Princess Pat) - unraced mare

Best Progeny: Pablo Bromac (Muscles Yankee) 18-2-1-2 $13,232, Patch Bromac (Continental Man) 30-4-1-4 $25,418 and Miss Middleton (Sundon) 54-4-9-7 $35,200.

Editor's note: Pat's Daughter is a half sister to White Horse Pride (92-9-8-4 $73,059). 

Western Legend (Western Hanover - Smooth Leyenda) - 2 win mare

Progeny: Western Jade (In the Pocket) 28-2-2-4 $19,581, Western Gold (Christian Cullen 67-19-11-10 $62,905).

U Legend (Holmes Hanover - Windshield Star) - 6 win mare $51,074

Progeny: Antares (Christian Cullen) 51-9-6-9 $116,393, Usain Bolt (Presidential Ball 55-14-10-8 $70,775)

Suzie Castleton (Sundon - Anna Castelton) unraced mare

Miss C S D (Christian Cullen - Ladybird)
1 win mare who finished third in the Group One 2005 Australasian Breeders Crown Two Year Old Fillies.

Progeny: Three unraced foals by Real Desire, Bettor's Delight and Grinfromeartoear (Harriet Price).

Smooth Leyenda (Golden Greek - Smooth Davita) 16 Australian wins and $215,087

Editor's note: Smooth Leyenda won the 1996 Oceania El Dorado No 6 (3 yr old fillies) Final.

Progeny: Western Legend (Western Hanover) 11-2-0-1 $7,665, The Holmes Legend (Holmes Hanover) 32-2-2-4 $17,162, The Falcon Legend (Falcon Seelster) 7-0-1-0 $2,133 and Jerry Garcia (Jereme's Jet) 31-7-4-6 $55,071.

Its All Luck (Falcon Seelster - Babe's Buddy) unraced mare.

Bred A Monster (Sundon - Calumny) 1 win mare

Chloe Finn (Grinfromeartoear - Chloe Hanover) 20-1-6-1 $12,791

Editor's note: Chloe Hanover won 11 races including the Great Northern Breeders Stakes and Methven Cup.

Zoe's Charm (Life Sign - Bella Ragazza) Unraced mare

Best progeny: Sonjador (Christian Cullen) 23-1-0-1 $4,492

Editor's note: This unraced mare is a half sister to Giovanetto (18 wins), Holmes DG (32 wins) and Hanover DG (4 wins)

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