Having heard about Meadow Stud over the years from friends who have used their services and stallions, I was delighted when they agreed to an interview for the magazine.
I started by asking Sharon about the history of Meadow Stud,
The stud was founded in the early 1990’s. At that time, in comparison to those available on the continent, the relatively small number of purpose-bred sporthorse stallions available here for our small herd of broodmares sparked the idea of importing and standing stallions that would be of equal quality to the ones available in Europe.
How did you first become involved in horse breeding, and what made you decide to start breeding your own horses?
We have always had some broodmares (even from when I was still in ponies) and have always bred some foals in order to breed the next generation of sporthorses. So, the interest in breeding has always been there.
Your Studfarm has had some excellent results over the last few years, and stand at stud some remarkable stallions. What do you think are the most important aspects to running a successful Studfarm and what makes your stallions stand out from the rest?
We pride ourselves on giving clients a very professional and personal service, as well as an exceptionally high standard of care for our own as well as any visiting horses. Our motto on the yard has always been: ‘The impossible we’ll do straight away. Miracles may take a little longer.’ A stud farm needs to be well equipped and staffed with knowledgeable and caring staff in order to live up to the expectations of clients.
Our stallions stand out for their exceptional temperaments, manners and ability.
What was the first stallion you stood at stud, and how did you find him? What contributions do you feel he made to your breeding programme?
The first two stallions I stood publicly at stud were Ideal Centre, an Irish Sport Horse stallion by King of Diamonds and Viscount Royale, a Belgian bred stallion by Prince Royal, with whom I won two major Show-Jumping Championships at the Royal Bath and West show. Both stallions were from very good jumping lines, the discipline I am most passionate about. The Irish and the Belgians were at the top of their game and introducing some of these lines to my breeding programme was very important to me. I believe they influenced me in the way of thinking to use more foreign blood to improve my own stock.
As a stallion owner/stallion station, what do you think is important to standing a potential top class stallion?
As a stallion station, it is very important to have the relevant facilities in order to be able to provide semen to mare owners. Also, it is important to have the right team around the stallion, being able to handle him professionally and correctly as well as taking utmost care for the stallion’s well-being. Furthermore, for a potential top class stallion, it is important to have the right rider in order for the stallion to be produced to his full potential. Sporting results are a very valuable tool to the marketing of a stallion.