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Heversham Park Farm, active in their quest of re-establishing Gauteng as a thoroughbred bloodstock breeding hub, suffered a setback when their imported stallion Lord Of The Land (IRE), died of a suspected reaction to the African Horse Sickness (AHS) vaccine last week, an extremely rare case.

Lord Of The Land, described as being a horse “built like a bull” when he landed in South Africa in mid-January, received the vaccine two days before the end of his 30-day quarantine period at Oliver Tambo Airport in Johannesburg, and arrived at his new home in South Gauteng in the last week of February.

A disappointed Advocate Nigel Riley, owner of Heversham Park, reported on Sunday: “Lord Of The Land was with us for about 10 days when he started showing mild symptoms of illness. When he didn’t respond to treatment we sent him to Onderstepoort Veterinary Hospital where he was examined and given the necessary care and treatment, but he died there after a few days. This is a blow to us and to the SA breeding industry. He was a Group-winning full-brother to Lope De Vega, one of the most in-demand stallions in Europe.”

Unfortunately, Heversham Park was dealt a further setback with the imposition of a necessary 30-day restriction of movement of horses from the farm as per state veterinary rules, which left Riley with no option but to withdraw 14 yearlings entered for the CTS April Yearling Sale and a further pair (both by Rock Of Gibraltar), from Coolagown Stud who are stabled at the farm.

Riley commented: “We have not appealed this decision as it was one taken in National interest. Lord Of The Land left us three weeks ago and the other 90 mares, weanlings and yearlings on the farm are all in perfect health, but it is now logistically impossible to get our yearlings to the sale in time.”- -Turf Talk.