When Manawatu thoroughbred studmaster William Fell was growing up he didn’t want anything to do with horses.
That is despite his family name being synonymous with the New Zealand thoroughbred breeding industry.
His father, Rex, and uncle Gerald were the principals behind Fairdale Stud which was one of the most prominent forces in the Central Districts breeding scene for more than four decades.
However, after leaving school and at 17, with no job, Fell turned to what he was “bred” to do and went to Arrowfield Stud in Australia for a year followed by a stint at Coolmore Stud in Ireland and for one season at Ashford Stud in the United States as well as working at Camas Park for Goffs and Tattersalls sales.
In both jobs he was heavily involved in yearling sales preparations for major sales and he relished the role.
“It gave me a taste of work in the thoroughbred industry and I got hooked,” he said.
“It also provided a great grounding for me to hone my knowledge of the industry at an international level,” he said.
In 2007 Fell returned to New Zealand at the time that Gerald and Rex Fell split up Fairdale Stud and the latter established Goodwood Stud in conjunction with William.
Rex Fell enjoyed a highly-successful 45 year partnership in Fairdale Stud and has owned the Goodwood property since 1990 before concentrating his efforts on the new venture.
Goodwood Stud is located on the outskirts of Palmerston North on 140 hectares of prime Manawatu farmland.
The property offers a full range of thoroughbred services with exceptional neo-natal care, a 24-hour foal watch and continues right through to specialised sale preparations for all Australasian auctions.
Goodwood’s philosophy is to produce high quality thoroughbreds for the worldwide racing market.
And the farm has already become a source of top black type performers with stakes winner Jetset Lad and Group 1 placegetter Randall while Thumbtacks (Australia), Elusive Prince (Hong Kong) and Simply The Best (Singapore) have become international flagbearers.
Goodwood Stud is also home to the exciting young stallion Chinese Dragon who stands alongside the proven Howbaddouwantit.
Chinese Dragon, a son of the champion European sprinter Stravinsky, was a Group One performer in the United States and hails from a successful international stallion family.
A Group One placegetter, Howbaddouwantit as proved a constant source of Southern Hemisphere success and has left winners in seven countries.
Goodwood Stud has a broodmare band of 60 mares and one of the aims will be gradua
lly to improve its quality in years to come.
“We will lift the bar in terms of the overall quality of our broodmare band which will enable us to become more prominent at the top end of the yearling sales market,” he said.
In saying that Fell is happy with the sales results achieved under the Goodwood Stud banner to date.
Goodwood has enjoyed its share of success in the pinhooking roll in recent years with one of its success stories being Roll The Bones who was stakes placed in Sydney.
The future at Goodwood Stud looks very bright and William Fell will be integral to its success.
He has a clear understanding of the need for the industry stake-holders to communicate better.
“We are in a world of rapid communication these days and social media and on line communication are essential tools,” he says.
“If we are to attract the younger generation into racing then communicating with them through social media will be important,” says William.