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World famous shuttle stallions arrive for Australian breeding season

World famous shuttle stallions arrive for Australian breeding season

Shuttle stallions are highly valuable, male thoroughbred and standardbred horses who are ‘shuttled’ between the Northern and Southern hemisphere to mate and produce valuable offspring for the racing industry.

​Renowned for their race-track performance and historic pedigrees, these stallions will mate with some of Australia’s top broodmares.

The shuttle stallions who have arrived this season have a total value of $450m and will mate with up to 150 to 200 mares each, with stud fees up to $93 000.

Deputy Secretary Biosecurity and Compliance, Dr Chris Locke said despite their value and fame, the horses must complete testing, treatments, and quarantine to protect against biosecurity risks, just like any another animal imported to Australia.

“We have now released the first intake of shuttle stallions from their mandatory minimum stay of 14 days in our Post Entry Quarantine facility in Victoria—where we ensure they are healthy and don’t present a biosecurity risk, before they go out to stud,” Dr Locke said.

​“We are particularly focused on equine viral arteritis (EVA), which is a viral disease that can be carried and transmitted by stallions. EVA is a serious, economically important disease which can cause abortions, severe disease in affected animals and can cause death of young foals.

​“We scrutinize the shuttle stallions’ preparations to ensure they meet import conditions for EVA and other diseases of biosecurity concern and monitor them closely post-entry.”

​The progeny from these stallions and high-quality mares could be worth millions at future Australian bloodstock sales.

​The department is supporting industry with their aim to further improve the quality of Australian horses competing in Australia and the world’s most high-profile races, and ensure Australian horses continue to be highly sought-after for export markets.

​The official Australian breeding season begins on 1 September every year. From this time, mares can be mated to or ‘covered by’ stallions.

Fast Facts

​The first intake of thoroughbred stallions released from post-arrival quarantine (PAQ) on 1 August 2023 were from the USA, UK, Ireland and Japan and included:

  • Triple Crown (the three biggest races in the USA in the same year) winner Justify (USA) who will stand for $77,000 and Wootton Bassett (GB) whose 2023 stud fee is $93,500.
  • Other notable stallions who have arrived include:
    • 2021 Cox Plate winner State of Rest (IRE)
    • Churchill (IRE), St Mark’s Basilica (FR)
    • Starspangledbanner (AUS)
    • Zoustar (AUS)
    • Wooded (IRE)
    • Lucky Vega (IRE)
    • Maurice (JPN)
    • Admire Mars (JPN)
    • Artorius (AUS)
    • Satono Aladdin (JPN).

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