Bay overo to brighten up Doncaster sale
ADDING a splash of colour – quite literally – to the DBS January Sales later this month will be the first full thoroughbred horse born in the UK to be registered by Weatherby's as a bay overo.
Officially called Brave Tribute, the striking two-year-old colt who is known affectionately as Ben by his owner-breeder Shena Halliwell of West Down Stud in South Molton, Devon, will be consigned by Malpas Stud and go through the ring as lot 119.
Brave Tribute: his vendor hopes he will "put a smile on people's faces"PICTURE: West Down Stud
He is a member of the first crop of I Was Framed, who takes part in the stallion parade at Doncaster. He aroused considerable interest in the wider media in 2006 when he became the first coloured thoroughbred stallion to be registered by Weatherby's.
Halliwell explains: "When I heard that I Was Framed was standing in Britain, I was very keen to send a mare to him because there was a good chance of producing a horse that would stand out from the crowd. The chances of a horse with the overo gene siring coloured offspring are around 50 per cent."
She adds that she will be at Doncaster to sell, and also points out that there is plenty to recommend the young horse besides his novelty value.
"I Was Framed has excellent bloodlines and the dam has already produced a winner in Picot De Say, so Ben is bred to do the job well," she says. "He has a lovely, sociable character with lots of confidence – he's not highly-strung like some colts. His unique colouring is really an added bonus.
"Obviously the market isn't brilliant, but I'm hoping that he will be bought and be racing as soon as possible – it would be fascinating to see him on the track. Breeders might be feeling a bit down at the moment, but he should put a smile on people's faces when they see him in the sale ring!"
The DBS January Sales take place on Tuesday 27 and Wednesday, 28 January.