The breeding career of an Australian harness racing legend may have formally come to a close, but it’s far from the end of the story for the champion stallion.
At age 22, Village Jasper USA was gelded at Alabar Bloodstock’s Echuca farm recently, bringing the curtain down on a stellar chapter in the champion sire’s life.
He retires having fathered 1748 foals.
An astonishing 1013 or 58 per cent of his progeny (to date) have made it to the races, and 730 are winners including Harness Racing Victoria’s HERO Program Ambassador Villagem, a three-time Group 1 winner.
The stake earnings of Village Jasper’s sons and daughters are rapidly closing in on $36 million.
Born on May 10, 1994, the son of Jate Lobell won 14 of 30 race starts and $1,057,595 in stakes in the US before being exported to stud in Australia.
Alabar has a policy of gelding its stallions upon retirement from the breeding barn to enable them to remain on farm and enjoy a relaxed lifestyle in their twilight years.
In recent years, fellow superstars Safely Kept (now aged 27) and Presidential Ball (26) have also been gelded and adjusted comfortably to their new role.
Indeed, Safely Kept – who had an exceptional temperament even while entire - is often called upon to nanny weanlings and young stock.
For the remainder of the year, he shares a paddock with Presidential Ball and the former high profile sires (who collectively produced 1097 winners of $50 million in prizemoney) are best mates.
Village Jasper is recuperating well from the surgery and has already commenced the transition to his new life.
He is commiserating with recently retired racehorses Jadahson and Hes Kinky who were also gelded, en-route to a saddle career under the guidance of HERO.