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Looking at a list of colts and fillies sired by Western Paradise is like a who’s who of Atlantic Harness racing, so it comes as no surprise he was named the stallion of the past decade.
In a poll of local harness racing participants, Western Paradise was the heavy favourite for top stallion of 2010-2019.
Western Paradise was acquired by Tony Zuethoff of Pictonian Farms in Pictou, N.S., for the 2004 breeding season and was an instant success. And that trend followed season after season. At one point, he even commanded a $1,600 stud fee.
The past decade saw a number of top Western Paradise offspring, headlined by the richest Maritime-bred ever, The Rev. The Rev boasts more than $606,000 in career earnings and is still racing on the top circuit in Canada at age 10. Second on Western Paradise’s list is daughter Lovineveryminute, who was recently named the Atlantic-bred pacing female of the decade with $551,000 in earnings to show for herself.
The fastest Maritime-bred ever is another Western Paradise son. Rancousy was a winner in 1:49.1 over Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Other top Western Paradise offspring in the past decade include Maritime-record holding two-year-old filly Saulsbrook Alana ($174,000 earned), Inverness, N.S., track record holder Oceanview Magnum ($145,000), and Maritime champions like Elektra Express ($127,000), Heart And Soul ($99,000), Junebugs Baby ($126,000) and Forever Paradise ($177,000).
Another star pupil is Malabrigo ($143,000), who won 16 straight races in an undefeated three-year-old campaign in 2012.
Western Paradise spent most of his career at Pictonian Farms but had a stay at Woodmere Farms in Marshfield for the last four years of his duties. His last active year was in 2017 when he bred 17 mares and produced nine foals, with those horses currently training to hopefully race in the 2020 season.
After the death of Drop Off in the previous decade, there is no doubt Western Paradise is his successor in siring horses good enough to leave the region and race the top ranks at any racetrack in North America.
What they said
Here’s what harness racing officials had to say about Western Paradise:
“A great sire, his offspring usually go and race at the higher levels throughout North America. He makes them pretty tough, too.”
Driver Marc Campbell
“Western Paradise has been an extraordinary pacing sire in the Maritimes. Not only did he produce early speed but also many hard-hitting, big-money racehorses, who have competed against the best in North America.”
Breeder William Andrew
"Top sire for many years. Trained babies by him that were very talented from the get-go.”
Driver Adam Merner
“When you look at the stakes results, you’re sure to find this guy’s name. Puts serious speed in his offspring.”
Driver Corey MacPherson
“Has produced a legacy of champions that will leave a lasting impact on our sport.”
Lee Drake, Red Shores manager of marketing and brands
A look at horses who received the most votes for stallion of the decade.
1. Western Paradise
2. Proven Lover
3. Ameripan Gigolo
5. Armbro Barrister
Nicholas Oakes' column appears in The Guardian each Friday. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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