History

Arrowfield’s success across five decades is driven by a devotion to the thoroughbred horse and the sport of racing that shapes its pastures, facilities, bloodstock selection, staff training and all the daily operations that make the difference between good and great.

History of Arrowfield

In 1989 Arrowfield made one of the single most important purchases in Australian bloodstock history when it selected and secured a majority interest in Danehill, who proved to be a global breed-shaping influence, and the sire of 89 Group 1 winners.

But Arrowfield had begun making waves in the Australian thoroughbred industry well before Danehill began re-shaping the breed and popularising the shuttling of stallions between hemispheres.

In 1985, young Sydney stockbroker John Messara – who had already won the 1983 Australian Oaks G1 with Starzaan – made two life-changing acquisitions. The first was the Arrowfield vineyard & winery at Jerry’s Plains; the second was a controlling interest in the listed company Australian Racing & Breeding Stables (ARABS), founded by leading administrator George Ryder whose brain-child the Golden Slipper features regularly in Arrowfield’s history. A year later ARABS gained majority ownership of Swettenham Stud, so becoming the breeder of future multiple champion sire Zabeel who carried the now-famous jockey cap over three conjoined diamonds brand.

ARABS officially became the Arrowfield Group Ltd in 1987 and proceeded to take over leading New Zealand farm Ra Ora Stud Ltd in 1988 – in the process acquiring the dams of Group 1 winners Pharaoh, A Little Kiss and Flying Spur. That same year, Arrowfield sold both Zabeel and multiple Group 1 winner Dr Grace as yearlings. Twelve months later Arrowfield twice set an Australasian record when selling fillies for $1.2 million & $1.25 million at the 1989 Inglis Easter Sale and made global headlines with the purchase of Champion French Sire Kenmare.

The exhilarating early years of Danehill’s Australian stud career followed, as his progeny began to dominate almost every category of competition and in 1995 propelled him to the first of his nine Australian General Sires’ Premierships. That year Danehill completed his sixth and final season at Arrowfield. Of his 422 named foals conceived there, 71 (a staggering 16.8%) were stakeswinners and 25 (5.9%) were Group 1 winners, among them 4 of his five Golden Slipper winners and a glorious colt who would be named Redoute’s Choice.

After relocating in 1996 to the stud’s present location near Scone, Arrowfield enjoyed success with the leading sire Snippets and launched the careers of three Champion Sire sons of Danehill: Danzero (who completed his stud career at Rosemont Stud and died in June 2020), Flying Spur (who retired in 2012 and died in May 2018) and the exceptional three-time Champion Sire, Champion Broodmare Sire, sale-ring sensation and sire of sires Redoute’s Choice, who stood 19 seasons at Arrowfield and died in March 2019.

 

Arrowfield is home to the best sire son of Redoute’s Choice, the history-making Snitzel who arrived in 2006 and was crowned Champion Sire of Australia in 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020. Outstanding home-bred Not A Single Doubt (by Redoute’s Choice), the sire of 82 stakeswinners, retired from stud duties in January 2020, and remained in Arrowfield’s care until his death in June 2022.

Spear-heading a new generation of the Danehill dynasty are Champion 3YO Colt & 5-time Group 1 winner The Autumn Sun (by Redoute’s Choice) whose first crop includes dual Group winners Autumn Ballet & Autumn Angel, and dual Group 2 winner Showtime (by Snitzel), sire of first-crop 2YO stakeswinner Show Royale.

Six-time Group 1 winner Dundeel (by High Chaparral) joined Arrowfield’s line-up in 2014 and is now a top 10 sire, with 8 Group 1 winners including the 2023 Sires’, Champagne & Golden Rose winner Militarize.

In 2017, the Yoshida family’s sensational Horse of the Year Maurice (by Screen Hero) joined the roster, becoming Australia’s Champion Second Season Sire in 2022 after leaving Group 1 winners Hitotsu & Mazu in his first crop. He did not shuttle in 2020 but has returned every season since then.

New to the roster in 2020 were Group 1-winning 2YO & 3YO Castelvecchio (by Dundeel) and, for one season only, Australia’s Champion Sire of 2020/21, Written Tycoon (by Iglesia). His 2021 Arrowfield-conceived crop already includes three 2YO stakeswinners. In 2021 unbeaten Champion 2YO and three-time Group 1 winner Admire Mars (by Daiwa Major) stood his first season at Arrowfield – his first yearlings sell in 2024.

The latest addition to Arrowfield’s stallion line-up is home-bred triple Classic winner Hitotsu (by Maurice) who served his first book of mares in 2023.

Past Arrowfield Group 1 sires include home-bred Beneteau (who died in 2013, leaving only two crops), Charge Forward, Dehere, Hussonet, Last Tycoon & Starcraft.

Arrowfield’s history also includes 82 Group 1-winning farm & sale graduates, among them Horses of the Year Lankan Rupee, Makybe Diva & Weekend Hussler, Champion 2YO & Champion 3YO Filly Miss Finland, Champion 3YO Filly Shoals, Champion 2YO Estijaab, current Arrowfield stallions The Autumn Sun & Castelvecchio, Champion Sires Danzero, Flying Spur & Rafeef, young stallions Alabama Express, Ardrossan, Hitotsu, Profondo, Stronger, Super Seth & Tagaloa and most recently, dual Group 1 & Everest winner Giga Kick & 2024 Randwick Guineas winner Celestial Legend.

The Stud

Traversed by the Pages River, the Arrowfield Estate comprises 2500 acres of prime land in the fertile Segenhoe Valley, near Scone in the Upper Hunter region of New South Wales, long famous as a source of great thoroughbred horses.

Free-draining, undulating hill country complements the rich alluvial flats pastured with a mix of high production grasses in order to provide the perfect balance of nutritional requirements for raising thoroughbreds to achieve their maximum potential. When irrigation is required, Arrowfield has substantial access to water from the Glenbawn Dam.

The Estate includes Arrowfield Stud, the Arrowfield Sales Centre and the Arrowfield Training Centre. All infrastructure and facilities have been designed & constructed to ensure the best care of all resident horses and the safety of the people who work with them.

ARROWFIELD BROODMARE FARM

Formerly known as Bellerive Stud, the Arrowfield Broodmare Farm is a boutique broodmare farm wholly owned by Arrowfield and adjoining the main Stud property. The Arrowfield Broodmare Farm provides excellent walk-in facilities and a fully integrated service for Australian and international clients.

ARROWFIELD SALES CENTRE

The project to build the Arrowfield Sales Centre, on Gundy Road opposite the main stud property, was supervised by Paul Messara with many special features that make it functional, beautiful and safe for people & horses including custom-designed boxes, walking machines & day yards. The Sales Centre was completed in 2018 and is the base for preparing Arrowfield yearlings for sale.

ARROWFIELD TRAINING CENTRE

Completed in 2008, the Arrowfield Training Centre, on Gundy Road adjacent to the main stud property, is a state-of-the-art training facility designed principally by Paul Messara with a 2000-metre track, 50 custom-designed boxes, walking machines, swimming pool & day yards.

Paul began training horses in 2005, achieved his milestone 500th win with Hubie Dubie at Scone on 6 August 2023 and was joined in partnership by Leah Gavranich in September 2023. They lead a highly skilled team, preparing horses principally for the Stud, its partners & clients. The stable’s major achievements include Group 1 victories by the brilliant international sprinter Ortensia and Coolmore Classic winner Alverta, and a winning strike rate that regularly exceeds 25%.

Four Decades of Greatness

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Arrowfield Stud was established under the visionary and innovative leadership of John Messara.

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John Messara identifies and purchases breed-shaping sire Danehill.

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Flying Spur wins the Golden Slipper, helping Danehill win the first of his nine Australian Sire Premierships.

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Arrowfield relocates to its present location in the Segenhoe Valley near Scone.

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Four-time group 1 winner Redoute's Choice retires to Arrowfield.

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Not A Single Doubt, the first stakeswinner by Redoute's Choice, becomes his first sire son to join the Arrowfield roster.

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Miss Finland wins the Golden Slipper, Thousand Guineas & VRC Oaks.


Redoute's Choice wins the first of three Australian General Sire Premierships, with 3 crops of racing age.


Snitzel retires to Arrowfield.

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Arrowfield graduate Forensics wins the Golden Slipper, helping Flying Spur to Champion Sire honours.

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Redoute's Choice & Snitzel finish 1-2 on the Australian General Sires' Premiership becoming the first father & son combination to do so and the first stallion quinella from the same stud since 1953.

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Arrowfield's home-bred filly Stay With Me emulates her mother Miss Finland by winning the Thousand Guineas.

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Arrowfield's sells the Redoute's Choice-Secluded colt for $2.5 million at the last Inglis Easter Sale held at Newmarket Stables.


Snitzel makes history as Australia's Champion Sire, completing an unprecedented three-generation sequence of Champion Australian Sires at Arrowfield: Danehill, Redoute's Choice and Snitzel.

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