Image: Champers with her new filly

Cheveley Stud has just received a full sister to the 2014 Champion 3yo colt, Champion Middle Distance Horse and SA Horse of the Year, Legislate.

Vaughan Koster says that Champers delivered her filly at 8:40pm on Wednesday, 24 September 2014. Vaughan and Janine have recently celebrated the birth of their son Ralph and he says “I really appreciate Champers choosing such a civilised time and helping me get a good night’s sleep! It was a very routine foaling. Everything went well, there were no complications and mom and daughter both look very good. The filly is a lovely, quality specimen and weighed in at 55kgs, which is a good weight for a filly. She was on her feet in 20 minutes and is already quite strong minded, so she’s definitely displaying the family characteristics!”

Vaughan Koster

Vaughan Koster

“My father originally bought Classy Play from Alan Sutherland. She was a tiny little mare, but she was very well related being a full sister to Jungle Class (winner of the Golden Slipper, South African Fillies Sprint, Spring Fillies Stakes and 2nd in the Fillies Guineas and Tibouchina Stakes). We bought her in foal to Bog Trotter and were exceptionally lucky to get her at a reasonable price.”

“She was a wonderful mare. The Bog Trotter foal, named Black Skimmer, was a 10-time winner, including the KZN Merchants Handicap. Her next foal was a filly by Goldmark called Champagne ‘n Roses was a 6 time winner and also proved a good broodmare. Her 1999 colt by Restructure was Asprey, was a 10-time winner and the following year she produced Champers.”

“It’s a family we’ve always believed in and we’ve still got 3 of the family left, which accounts for 6% of our broodmare band. I think that pretty much says it all really!”

Cheveley Stud’s Champers has given birth to a full sister to Legislate

“When we did the mating that produced Legislate, there was no real excellence up top – Champers was a 4-time winner, but was no super star. We really liked the mating though, so we decided to take a chance and we felt that if we were going to give her a chance, then she deserved to go to a decent stallion. I must say that on the strength of Legislate as a foal, we sent Champers straight back to Dynasty and produced a filly the following year.”

“Legislate was going through a very awkward growth spurt at the time of the sale and was very well bought by John Freeman and the Snaiths for R100,000, but at the end of the day, we’re commercial breeders and we must sell. Plus we still had the filly to come. She went to Nationals this year and sold to Charles Laird and Alesh Naidoo for R550,000. Legislate had just won the Derby, so was a Gr1 winner, but we didn’t know just how good he was at that stage.”

“Now Champers has produced another filly and she is booked back to Dynasty again.”

“The year before Legislate came along we made quite a major change to how we do things on the farm. My father originally built a reputation for not overfeeding his horses and keeping them in big open spaces to run and grow up tough. When things started getting more commercial and prices were going crazy, I made the mistake of bringing my horses into camps and perhaps getting a little overprotective in trying to keep them from harm. Then I realised that by keeping them in smaller spaces, I was not allowing them sufficient space to run and exercise, so we’ve really just gone back to the old methods.”


This is the way Cheveley produce their horses (pic: Equine Edge)

This is the way Cheveley produce their horses (pic: Equine Edge)

“Being commercial breeders, there’s a fine balance between producing horses for the sales ring or for the racecourse and we did feel it for a bit initially as people felt our horses looked a bit backward and less prepared than others. However, first and foremost for us is that our horses have got to be able to run. That’s our view as a business. And we hope that results on the track will translate into results in the sales ring. People are learning that we produce horses for their racing potential, rather than for the sales ring and year by year, we’ve noticed that it’s becoming more accepted that this is simply the way Cheveley produce their horses. 2014 has been the most incredible year for us. We’ve had our first son, which is obviously a huge milestone and although horses like Legislate don’t come around too often, not only did we get Horse of the Year, but the Cheveley-bred Equina is also Zimbabwean Horse of the Year, so we feel the results speak for themselves.”