Bargain buy comes up trumps for Meyer

Lot 390, Ocean Park filly
Lot 390, the Ocean Park filly, was purchased by Mr Okada of Big Red Farm for $270,000. Photo: Trish Dunell

The loudest cheer on day two of the National Yearling Sale at Karaka erupted as the gavel came down on the very last lot that went through the auction ring on Monday evening. A small group of supporters huddled around former Waikato Stud employee Sharon Meyer, who co-owns the Ocean Park filly consigned by Woburn Farm as Lot 390, were beside themselves as a bidding war between Ballymore stable’s Pam Gerard and the online presence of Japan’s Big Red Farm proprietor Mr Okada was settled in favour of the Japanese thoroughbred enthusiast for $270,000.

Meyer could scarcely believe her luck after purchasing Fast ‘n’ Famous mare Famous off the website in foal to Waikato Stud stallion Ocean Park for the princely sum of $7,250.

Waikato Stud had taken the decision to on-sell the mare after she had trouble getting in foal, so Meyer took the punt and purchased her. “I bought the mare on gavelhouse, off Waikato Stud,” Meyer said. “I knew the mare and I really liked the family. “I thought I would have a go (at buying her on the website), but it wasn’t working out so I rang a friend and said ‘quickly, you need to take over the bidding because I can’t keep up’.

“They bought it for me, that was Kate (Hercock). “I think we paid $7,250 for her, we bought her off Garry (Chittick) as she was Garry’s mare. “They used to have trouble getting her in-foal. They decided they were going to cut their losses, so we bought her. “We sent her to Waikato (vets), where she had an operation and she is now in-foal this season to US Navy Flag. “The foal she was carrying when we bought her was this Ocean Park filly that we sold today.”

Meyer had worked for Waikato Stud for more than 20 years, but had left about a year ago and was enjoying semi-retirement until being bitten by the sales bug again. “I was at Waikato Stud for nearly 20 years,” she said.

“I worked with the mares and foals. I worked with the wet mares early on and then after 10 years I went down the road when they bought a new farm and I used to look after the mares and foals, handling the foals, doing the weaning, branding, and that sort of thing.

“After I left, I wasn’t doing much but I just worked the season at Rich Hill Stud because I got bored being retired.”

Meyer admitted she was a bundle of nerves leading up to auction day but had placed her faith in Woburn Farm couple Adrian Stanley and Hannah Kettlety to prepare the Ocean Park filly for the sale and to put her through the ring.

“There had been a lot of people look at her, so we put a reserve of $80,000 on her,” Meyer said. “I asked Adrian what he thought and he said that sounds alright. “When it got to $100,000, I thought that’s cool, and then it just kept going up. “I started to hit my friend Glenda (Knight) and then cuddling her. The rest is history.”

When asked about her reaction immediately after the sale Meyer was quick to explain, while she also paid tribute to the work of Stanley and Kettlety. “I just thought I had to let my emotions out,” she said.

“They (Woburn Farm) did an amazing job. Adrian worked at Waikato Stud for a while, so I thought that’s where it is going to go. “I liked what they have done with their yearlings in the past.

“I’m not sure what I will be doing next, but hunting is due to start, so I am looking for a hunter and will be going back to the Hawke’s Bay and do a little bit of hunting and trekking. “I will be able to find a lovely hunter now.”

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