Tuapeka Lodge co-owner Dan Cummings parades Tuapeka Troy to
visiting trainers at Tuapeka Lodge near Lawrence. Photo by
Dan Cummings has seen a few good standardbreds leave his
family's Lawrence property in the last 45 years - and he is
hoping Tuapeka Troy could be the next. Cummings, his brother,
Peter, and their sister, Julie Davie, have four Tuapeka Lodge
yearlings entered in the standardbred yearling sales in
Christchurch today and tomorrow and the Mach Three colt has
impressed Cummings the most.
''He's quite a standout - I think he'll get a lot of
attention,'' Cummings said.
''Whether that translates to money, I'm not sure, but I'm
sure he'll get inspected.''
The third dam of Tuapeka Troy is Sakuntala, who produced
Tuapeka Star, the dam of Iraklis, and Tuapeka Vale, who
foaled dual New Zealand Cup winner Monkey King.
Cummings is a rarity in the breeding world, using his vast
horsemanship skills - honed in both harness racing and rodeo
- to lunge the horses on a long lead, allowing visitors to
Tuapeka Lodge to see a yearling's pacing action.
''I've always done it, right from 45 years ago,'' Cummings
''It gives people a chance to look at them in action. You
don't want to put a false impression, but you want them to
see the horse you've got.''
After 45 years in the breeding industry, Cummings has noticed
a major seachange in the stallions used by New Zealand
breeders. No longer are the colonial-bred sires fashionable,
as the speed injection from North America continues to
''Fifteen years ago we were breeding to the brother of a
champion and he was probably not much good,'' he said.
''And that was 10 years after the champion was a champion.
''Now we're breeding to Somebeachsomewhere and he's got his
first crop booming in America.''
Tuapeka Lodge breeds from 10 mares and the aim is to keep a
couple of fillies at home for future breeding.
''We hope to get seven or eight in foal each year,'' he said.
While the rolling hills on the Tuapeka Lodge property keep
young horses naturally fit, Cummings said a financial
decision made early on in the property's existence has been a
''We've always gone to commercial stallions, so it's cost us
a fair amount to breed the mares, but it's resulted in the
families being very strong.
''We've kept the costs . . . pretty steady, but we've spent
on service fees, always.''