Updated: Jan 13
The National Stud was founded in 1916 when Lord Wavertree handed his bloodstock to the British government. We've been operating from Newmarket since 1963, and our five hundred acre land is owned by Jockey Club Estates. The stud had historically been operated by the Levy Board, but was sold to the Jockey Club in 2008. We provide the usual services of a stud, with foaling, consignment, sales prep and standing stallions. However, the National Stud differs in offering an education programme alongside, proactively recruiting and training the industry's future workforce. We also offer public tours with partners Discover Newmarket, and community engagement is a major part of us showcasing how breeding building blocks are laid.
Having Stradivarius - a modern racing icon - join the roster for 2023 has been really exciting, but it has also taken over our lives! To have a son of Sea The Stars here is amazing, and if he can put his talent into his progeny, that'll be great to see. Alongside Stradivarius, we have a further three stallions on our roster for 2023, and they're led by Time Test, who's a son of Dubawi, and was a G2 winner and G1 placed. He did exceptionally well with his first crop of two-year-olds, delivering a 25 per cent strike rate of black type performers to winners. Another fairly new addition to our roster was Lope Y Fernandez, the only son of Lope De Vega in the UK. Stradivarius is still owned by Bjorn Nielsen, and we own Lope Y Fernandez in partnership with Coolmore and Spring Manor Stud. We also have 2017 Coventry Stakes winner Rajasinghe, who had his first crop of two-year-olds in 2022.
The stud year is split into two parts. From January to June it's about covering and foaling (we foal between 100-120 mares a year). Then, from July to December, it's sales prep time, with the yearlings coming (grumpily!) in from their paddocks. We currently employ 38 full time staff, but we bring in more during the breeding season, with over 400 horses of all ages on site during that period. Our training programme sets us apart, though Ireland and France have their own national studs, and Turkey is creating one. Developing a national stud is also something we've been approached about in the past from countries such as Australia and New Zealand.