Breeding industry mourns the loss of star stallion Pins

Pins: he has been laid to rest at Waikato Stud alongside other champion stallions. Photo: Trish Dunell

Pins, the champion resident stallion at Waikato Stud in New Zealand, passed away yesterday due to complications from colic.

A G1 Australian Guineas winner for trainer Clarry Connors, he retired to the Matamata farm in 2000 and enjoyed an outstanding career. “I was on course the day he won and knew then that he would be a great horse to be a part of and he has been such a great stallion for us for the past 18 years,” stud principal Mark Chittick said.

“He has been a massive part of the growth we have experienced here at Waikato Stud and he has also been a big part of my growth personally. He was such a great character and had a great personality, but always knew how to keep you on your toes.”

The sire of eight individual G1 winners, Pins averaged eight stakes winners per season and produced 75 stakes winners, placing him fourth on the New Zealand all-time list. He is currently #172 in the TRC Global Sires' Rankings.

He twice won the Centaine Award for the leading New Zealand-based sire for global progeny earnings and his record of stakes winners-to-runners places him in the top seven stallions of Australasia.

In Hong Kong, he was champion sire on two occasions and produced the dual Horse of the Year Ambitious Dragon and the champion sprinter Aerovelocity.

“Pins was an incredible stallion and his versatility as a sire has always amazed me,” Chittick said. “To be able to leave one of the world’s best sprinters in Aerovelocity and have cup winners and winners aged two to eight is just incredible.

“Pins provided people with so much joy, from the people who have had the pleasure of working with him through to breeders and those who have raced his progeny.”

His leading Australian performer was the Cox Plate winner El Segundo while in New Zealand his top-flight winners includes Katie Lee, who made history in 2009 when she became the first horse to complete the New Zealand 2000 and 1000 Guineas double.

“A huge highlight for us was racing his dual Group 1-winning daughter Legs, who is now a prominent member of our broodmare band here at Waikato Stud,” Chittick said.

Pins also significantly contributed to the rise of their current champion stallion Savabeel (current TRC rank #42). An impressive 15 per cent of stakes winners to runners have been sired by Savabeel out of mares by Pins.

“It is so hard for a stallion to achieve what he has accomplished and we are so grateful for the influence he has had on our broodmare band,” Chittick said.

International buyers at Karaka showed their regard for Pins, who has a 70 per cent winners-to-runners ratio and seven individual millionaires. In 2018, his yearlings averaged over $133,000, more than four times his service fee, with a top price of $420,000.

Pins is also well established as a broodmare sire with his daughters having produced 28 stakes winners. They include Australian G1 winners Stratum Star and Brambles and G1 New Zealand Oaks winner Savvy Coup.

The 21-year-old son of Snippets has been laid to rest at Waikato Stud alongside fellow champion stallions O’Reilly, Centaine and Pompeii Court.

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