In an act of generosity, Valachi Downs principals Kevin and Jo Hickman have gifted a regally bred filly to the CatWalk Spinal Cord Injury Research Trust, founded by Little Avondale Stud’s Catriona Williams.
The weanling filly is by Darley stallion Brazen Beau, who will stand at a fee of $A49,500 this coming season. She is out of Stepanova, a Danehill Dancer mare whose dam, Dance On By, is a full-sister to six-time Group 1 winner and champion sire High Chaparral.
“It’s a beautiful, strong family,” Valachi Downs Stud Manager Jonathan Scully said.
“Hopefully Kevin gets another filly (out of the mare), because he loves to keep his fillies and sell his colts.
“Not only is it a massive gesture giving her away, but how Kevin operates, to give this one away is pretty substantial.”
In a double dose of generosity towards the charity, the Hickmans also purchased the Brazen Beau service at a CatWalk Trust charity event a few of years ago.
The service fee was donated by Godolphin’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who has been a great supporter of the CatWalk Trust for more than a decade.
“Godolphin has had a reasonably long association with the CatWalk Trust. It is a foundation that we have taken seriously and appreciate the work they do,” Godolphin Head of Sales Alastair Pulford said.
Hickman selected Stepanova for the mating with Brazen Beau and at New Zealand Bloodstock’s Yearling Sales earlier this year he decided to gift the resulting filly back to the CatWalk Trust.
“Kevin has always wanted to do something for CatWalk and for Catriona with all the work she has done,” Scully said.
“Kevin came to me at Karaka this year and said he had come up with a cunning plan.
“We went around to see Catriona. I left Kevin to it to tell her (that he was gifting her charity the filly) and when I went back she was crying, she couldn’t believe what he was doing.”
The filly is earmarked to go through Valachi Downs’ draft at Karaka next January and Scully is over the moon with the amount of support this incentive is receiving from a number of people.
“We are hoping to put her through Karaka next year in Book 1,” Scully said.
“New Zealand Bloodstock have confirmed that they will waive the entry and commission fees, which is great, so all proceeds will go directly to the CatWalk Trust.
“Hopefully we might get someone prepared to stump up and pay top dollar for a quality horse and hopefully we can get them to go a bit further because it’s all going to a charity.
“Our vets and farriers are all coming onboard and everything they do for the horse is going to be at no charge, as a donation from them. We have got the full support across the board, so that is a great asset.”