‘Jack and Liz’ making a mark with both ‘Westar’ pacing and trotting mares

By Duane Ranger

Canterbury breeders Jack Prouting and his partner Liz Broadhurst have had a November to remember.

The West Melton couple recorded three South Island breeding victories within 13 days, and also co-owned Celtic Spirit (Ben Hope) to win the R47 to R52 event on New Zealand Cup Day.

Their trio of breeding victories came via a pacer and a trotter.

Jack Prouting and Liz Broadhurst

After Greg and Nina Hope trained Celtic Spirit to win race five on Cup Day, they repeated the dose two days later when their son, Ben, Hope drove Westar Milly to win at Ashburton (November 10). It was the 3-year-old Love You – Westar Ruby filly’ second win in 11 starts.

Then a week later (November 17), the Jeremey Douglas trained and driven Westar Lad (Changeover – Pandora’s Rose) also notched up his second career win at Winton, and then six days after that (November 23) Douglas again saluted the judge with  the pacer nicknamed ‘Charlie’, this time at Invercargill’s Ascot Park.

Prouting and Broadhurst bred and own both Westar Milly and Westar Lad.

“We are having a lot of fun. We thought owning a race-day winner on Cup Day was a big thrill, but then to breed three winners not long after was just huge. November was so good to us. It’s a huge thrill to produce just one winner, let alone three,” Liz said.

Jack explained that Westar Lad was the third of six foals out of the couple’s 2004 Badlands Hanover – Pandora’s Box (Butler B G) one-win mare, Pandora’s Rose.

“She was our foundation mare.  We bought her at the first Sales we attended – 2006 Yearling Sale in Christchurch. We now realise we snapped up a bargain,” Jack said.

After an inspection from their good mate ‘Coaster’ (John) Howe they paid $7,000 to the then Oamaru breeder, Roni Lauren, for Pandora’s Rose.

“We did our homework. ‘Pandora’ was picked out of the Sales on the pedigree. Jack knew the dam was a race winning mare and her first foal was also a winner.

She was the second foal out of Pandora’s Box so we had no idea that her daughter would later go on to leave 32 winners from her first three foals, ” Liz said.

“Sadly, we lost the mare’s first foal in a paddock accident. Her name was Westar Rose, and she was by Falcon Seelster. Sadly, she shredded her leg.

“’Rose’ has left another five foals since (four colts), and three of them have won a race, while  the Sky Major 2-year-old colt, Sky Rocket, has had three starts for Kyle Marshall up north.

“We lent the mare to Trevor Casey for a year, and he bred the 2-year-old. ‘Rose’ has since left us a lovely Lather Up weanling colt, who has just been gelded,” Jack said.

“No, he won’t be going to the Sales. We will race him too,” he added.

Foal two – the 2012 Real Desire gelding named Westar Sam (1:54.4) is the best horse that Prouting and Broadhurst have bred.

Westar Sam won seven races in New Zealand before he was sold  to Australia in November 2019. He then ended his career on December 24 last year the winner of 27 of his 123 starts. He also placed 24 times and banked $138,636 in purses.

“‘Sam’s the best horse we have bred so far, but his siblings are also promising. We loved Sam. He was a real wee character. ‘Sam’s’ Mum hails from the same family as Our Maestro. That was something we noticed when buying her. It was also a strong fillies breed,” Jack said.

Liz said ‘Pandora Rose’s third foal, the  2015 Changeover gelding, Westar Lad, had now won three races for Douglas, while his fully sister, Westar Molly had won two of her six starts, including a win at Addington Raceway in November last year.

“She had a year away from racing and has only just resumed with a seventh at Addington on November 27.”

She said their other November 2022 winner, Westar Milly was the only foal out of their late 2010  Sundon – Baxter’s Reef unraced mare, Westar Ruby.

She’s had two wins from 11 starts and placed in one other since making her debut at Addington on July 2 last year, but it was her last start fifth that gave Prouting and Broadhurst considerable joy.

“She finished fifth in the New Zealand Oaks on November 25. To think that we have bred a horse that could run fifth in a big Group One Fillies event is huge for us – considering we have only been breeding for just over a decade.

“And ‘ Molly’ holds the New Zealand 2000m standing start record for a 3-year-old filly. It’s all a bit surreal,” Liz said.

The Hope family have done a wonderful job with her, and they like her as well – which is encouraging. We are so grateful to them,” Ms Broadhurst said.

The couple said the term ‘Westar’ was named after the West Melton property where they live and breed their horses.

“We have a bit of land here and love having the horses around us, but there’s no horse more special to me than ‘Rose’,” Liz said.

“We will have her served again soon – this time by Captain Crunch. We like to give our mares time to be a ‘mother,” she said.

Jack said dual Group One winner, Susie Maguire (Presidential Ball – Lethal Mee) was the best horse that he and his partner had “co”-owned. That brown mare only raced 14 times winning six races and $290,784.

Liz said she had had a lifetime involvement with horses, especially standardbreds – starting out as a hobby trainer.

“Because West Melton is often termed the ;home of harness racing in New Zealand’ we therefore developed a strong interest in racing and breeding,” Liz aid.