Saturday, April 19, 2008



He's the sire of all sires in the southern hemisphere, now Christian Cullen is taking on the world.

Owner Ian Dobson will shuttle the champion standard bred champion to the United States in an attempt to prove he is the best sire in the world - a big task, perhaps, but not beyond him.

The all conquering sire will be flown to Kentucky in February after the upcoming breeding season here in NZ, becoming the first New Zealand or Australian bred stallion to go to North America for stud duties. He has made his decision after years of pressure from leading US studs.

Christian Cullen will be restricted to a book of about 125 mares and Dobson's marketing manager, Noel Kennard, said his stud fee would be near the top of the market, at $10,000.

Dobson wants to put the horse on an international pedestal.

Christian Cullen has set record after record in New Zealand and Australia and the media has called him a super-sire. Perhaps the best in the world - and now gets the chance to prove it.

There is a clause in the contract that if Christian Cullen's southern breeding season is in any way at risk he will stop serving mares up there in North America, and be brought straight home and not return the following season.

As well as a champion sire, Christian Cullen was one of New Zealand's greatest harness horses, a pacing champion.

In four seasons he wowed Australasian racing fans with his racetrack presence, winning 22 of 31 starts, and $1.25 million in stakes. In 1998-99, as a four year old, he was unbeaten in 12 starts,including a 20 metre, 1:54.4 demolition of his rivals in the Miracle Mile.

He was named 1998 Horse of the Year, and retired with 14 group one and group two scalps, including the prestigious New Zealand Cup and Auckland Cup, both over 3200 metres.

He has stood at stud for eight seasons and earned $46,000 in the first and a record $25,000 during the latest.

His progeny have collectively won all of New Zealand's most prestigious races.

His yearlings $89,000 averaged last February at the national sales.

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