What is now Empire Stud has long been one of my favorite equine properties in upstate New York. Located in Hudson, the picturesque farm is set atop a hill that shows off its bluegrass-style barns and elegant paddock design.
I remember visiting the farm as little girl, and it made an indelible impression on me -- the big stalls, high ceilings, miles of fencing, and the long tree-lined drive leading up to the stables were remarkable; it set a standard in my mind, which I have appreciatively held onto as a professional.
On this past Saturday, January 16th, Empire Stud held an Open House to show off their 2010 roster of stallions, and give an opportunity for clients and associates to mingle. It was a bright, beautiful day as the lauded horses paraded by, each one standing for observation and photos. The atmosphere overall was fun and relaxed, including a projector screen running video clips of the in-house studs’ memorable wins, tasteful catering, and plenty of available staff for conversation and questions.
The occasion displayed a successful break with the past; over the previous 25 years, many different outfits have tried their hand at NY breeding on the property, but none could get a foothold--even with the support of the state’s lucrative incentive program. Year after year, driving past the farm at the intersection of routes 9H and 23, the name on the entranceway would rotate like a billboard on the Northway.
Since Jamie LaMonica took over the estate, the facility has consistently been improved and a solid management team is in place, led by farm manager Bertrand deBrevedent.
I began doing business with Empire in 2007, when we sent UR mare Austin Runner to the farm to deliver her Catienus baby, now known as Desenfrenado. We then bred back to Midas Eyes, whose fiery temperament was in play for the crowds yesterday, when during his walk outside he reared onto his back feet with impatience. Truly her sire’s daughter, our girl Goldie is a mischievous, blazing Chestnut filly, who seemed ready to race the moment she was born.
A man with a vision, LaMonica has now stocked the farm with both proven sires and hot young prospects, a mix that certainly drew a large turnout for this week’s event. The vibrant spirit among NY Breeders suggested optimism for the future, and an eagerness to take advantage of the pro-business climate in racing; the imminent VLT program, high purses, and small foal crop are all excellent reasons to get involved in NY thoroughbred ownership at this time.
Unbridled Racing is proud to recommend Empire Stud, and wishes them a victorious 2010.
Frost Giant ~ Regally bred G1 Winner by Giant's Causeway
Posse ~ Champion Sire of Eclipse contender Kodiak Kowboy (G1)