It may have started out as a cattle property, but “horses just kept turning up” and now Ruttley’s Run at Taree is a state-of-the-art thoroughbred stud and agistment operation.
And its star attraction is a good-looking, docile, but unraced stallion that fetched $950,000 as a yearling in 2007.
Impeccably bred, May’Haab is already notching up an impressive list of wins and placings with his offspring.
The Glenthorne Park stud business, operated by David Ruttley and his sons Adam and Craig, seems to have evolved from the Ruttley’s Run Brangus stud and horse agistment operation David had in mind to keep him occupied when he retires.
Although his background is as a club manager in Sydney, David says he has had horses and cattle for the past 30 years and has evolved some pretty firm beliefs on how things should be done.
Kilometres of impressive horse fencing now slice through the 52 hectare (130 acre) former dairy farm, and the lush pasture would not be out of place on a well-managed dairy.
Still cleaning up from recent severe storms, David is well advanced on his winter fodder program, sewing rye, oats and clover.
He mows, spreads the seed and mows again to mulch over them.
The number varies but when Town & Country visited, Glenthorne Park had about 50 horses spread between a number of paddocks, grouped into yearlings, two-year-olds and some seven-month-old weanlings.
Most of the horses are destined for the race track and mainly belong to the Ruttley family and some of their clients.
David said he always puts a mature mare in with the youngsters to help keep them calm and “look after” them.
Most of the foals have been sired by the stud’s “star attraction” May’Haab, which to date has serviced 264 mares since beginning his stud duties in 2009.
David Ruttley says 15 of May’Haab’s progeny have so far had race starts and between them notched up 14 wins and 32 placings, which he regards as a pretty good success rate.
Sired by Redoute’s Choice and bred by prominent thoroughbred stud Emirates Park, May’Haab was a $950,000 graduate at the 2007 William Inglis and Son’s Australian Easter Yearling Sale.
Unraced due to injury, May’Haab is a full-brother to young sire prospect Al Samer, who from his first year’s crop had a filly fetch the second top price of $130,000 at this year’s William Inglis and Son’s Classic Yearling Sale.
He and Al Samer were produced from US-bred My Lady’s Key, a daughter of You’re My Lady, who is a half-sister to the dam of the famous now deceased stallion Danehill, sire of Redoute’s Choice.
Breeders are returning their mares to May’Haab on the quality of their foals and great feedback has been received about his progeny from a number of trainers throughout NSW, David Ruttley says.
Several North Coast veterinarians, usually regarded as “having an astute eye for horses”, have sent their own mares to mate with the Glenthorne stallion, David says, with some satisfaction.
Posing for pictures in the paddocks being nuzzled by a number of May’Haab’s offspring, David says he had always dreamed of being pictured with about 25 horses around him. So for him Ruttley’s Run is close to being a dream come true.