Introduce world class trotting bloodlines and with it take the standard of the trotting gait on the track in Australia to a whole new level.
This became a passion for Pat Driscoll after witnessing in person one of Europe’s biggest trotting races – the Prix d’Amerique.
Determined to make his dream a reality, he would establish his own little piece of Europe on Australian shores in 2015 – Haras des Trotteurs, predominantly offering the best French stallions to Australasian breeders, alongside his breeding and racing arm Yabby Dam Farms – at a state-of-the-art facility near Ballarat.
He’s delivered big time, with legendary French sire Love You anchoring ever-expanding stallion offerings.
Driscoll has not limited his focus on stallions though.
He’s taken every opportunity to purchase overseas-bred mares from Europe and North America as well as the best available from Australasia to build on his breeding stock and ultimately the quality of the racing product.
Success has followed in a big way, with many wins for him in age classics and open class features.
Up to a couple of years ago Driscoll raced most of the foals he bred, but now he is taking a different direction.
He is offering the vast majority of the yearlings he breeds to the greater harness racing population through the sale ring.
And in addition, to encourage and build on what has been a growing interest in the trotting gait across the harness racing industry, Driscoll’s Haras des Trotteurs has became the sponsor of a new race series linked to the Nutrien Equine standardbred yearling sales.
For the second year in a row, Yabby Dam Farms is offering the biggest consignment of trotters of any breeder at the Nutrien Equine Standardbred Yearling Sales, with 25 lots going to the Melbourne sale at Oaklands Junction on Sunday, April 3.
Yabby Dam Farms led the way at Nutrien Equine’s inaugural standardbred yearling sale in Melbourne last year.
They had 29 lots sell at an average of $40,931.
This included $170,000 for a Father Patrick colt out of multiple group one-winning mare Une Belle Allure – the highest price ever for a trotting yearling in Australia.
This year’s Yabby Dam Farms consignment includes 12 foals by US-bred Swedish group 1 winner Volstead, which has been part of the Haras des Trotteurs stallion roster.
Six other lots are by Love You and three by Quaker Jet Fra, a son of Love You and member of the Haras des Trotteurs stallion line-up.
There are also three by Father Patrick Us and one by What The Hill Ca.
The lots also include the progeny of an array of overseas-bred mares from France, Canada, United States and New Zealand, including daughters of champion French sires Ready Cash and Coktail Jet.
Lot 125: VOLSTEAD US-ANOTHER PLAYER NZ (Dr Ronerail US) filly. Another Player is the dam of multiple US-winner Majestic Player – the fastest ever Australasian-bred trotter.
Lot 159: FATHER PATRICK US-ELUSIVE JET Fra (Coktail Jet Fra) filly. Elusive Jet is a full sister to group 1 European Derby winner Dro de Jet Fra.
Lot 160: FATHER PATRICK US-ALDEBARAN EVE (Skyvalley NZ) filly. Aldebaran Eve was a multiple group 1 winner.
Lot 218: QUAKER JET Fra-PRETTY PEGGY SUE (Pegasus Spur US) filly. Half-sister to group 1 winners Kinvara Sue and Pretty Majestic.
In association with the sale, Yabby Dam Farms are offering a travel rebate of any YDF yearling purchase at the sale where the yearling is exported to New Zealand within 60 days after the sale.
The export rebate will be A$500 per A$10,000 spend or part thereof, to a maximum of A$5000, payable on receipt of a paid travel invoice.
With the sponsorship of Haras de Trotteurs, all trotting yearlings sold at this year’s Nutrien Equine sales, including Sydney on Sunday, February 20, will be eligible to contest a race series in Melbourne in 2023 and 2024.
The 2023 trotting series will carry an overall stake of $125,000 with separate $62,500 divisions for two-year-old colts and fillies.
Graduates of the 2022 sale will also be eligible to compete for a further $250,000 as three-year-olds in 2024.
Pat Driscoll has already made a massive mark on the trotting breed in Australia.
With his own breeding programs and continued drive to make world class stallions available to southern hemisphere breeders, his legacy is only going to get greater.
His involvement and partnerships with Nutrien Equine all point to even greater opportunities for the industry and more exciting times for the trotter in Australia.