Brent Smith – New To The South

Brent Smith – New To The South

Bruce Stewart

He may be relatively new to Southland but Otautau based breeder/owner Brent Smith has been breeding horses for forty five years, until recently in Canterbury.

Smith breeds and races horses with the BK and BD prefix and a filly he bred BK Merlot, won at the recent Wairio meeting in the hands of trainer driver Nathan Williamson.

Brent Smith

The colts carry the prefix BD – acknowledgement of Brent and his late son Dallas. Whilst the fillies are all named BK after his ex-wife Barbara, and daughter Kelly.

“I decided to have a wee bit of a break down south and spotted the beautiful hills and the green country and thought ‘why am I living in Christchurch?’ I went home and sold the house so I’m now living in Otautau with just a few acres. I’ve done up the wee cottage there. I potter around with a few horses on the property. I’ve got mares at Nevele R, Wai Eyre and Macca Lodge,” he said.

Smith says he was not only taken by the Southland landscape, but also by the different quality of life the province has to offer.

“I love the weather, the people and the quiet life. I do miss family because they’re all in Christchurch. I’ve got a mother whose 97, a daughter, and my ex-wife who’s a very good friend. She was the first one to text me when BK Merlot won.”

Smith worked for thirty five years at the Riccarton Racecourse as Functions Manager – retiring three years ago.

“As a youngster I use to go to Addington and I got hooked. I’ve never had much luck (with horses) but in the last four or five years I’ve bought some better quality mares and sent them to better stallions, and I’m having some success.”

BK Merlot winning at the Central Southland Raceway – Photo Bruce Stewart

BK Merlot returning after her win at Wairio – Photo Bruce Stewart

As well as BK Merlot, Smith also races BD Yasothon, an Andover Hall five year old trotter that he owns with Philip Iggo. It’s won two races.

He’s also offering a yearling at this year’s NZB Standardbred Sales in Christchurch – a Creatine colt out of Delestic. Delestic a half-sister to Splash Cola and Andy Hall, is in foal to Cantab Hall stallion Volstead.

He originally had two horses for the sales but sold his Father Patrick – Juneamy colt to Emilio Rosati.

“He offered me such good money. I couldn’t turn it down so it’ll probably end up with Phil Williamson.”

Juneamy Castleton the dam of Cracker Hill has a Father Patrick filly at foot and has a positive test to Volstead.

Other mares Brent Smith is breeding from are Smitten, Tact Aunty, BK Shirl, BK Dover and Majestic Blaze.

Smitten also has a filly foal at foot by Father Patrick and is in foal to Andover Hall. Smitten is from the same family as Lyell Creek and Matua Tana.

Tact Aunty is in foal to Sky Major.

“With Sky Major I’ve taken a bit of a risk especially with what BD Joe is doing. I thought he was a really good horse, well bred. You can’t go to all the good ones all of the time because it gets too expensive. With Father Patrick jumping up to $15,000 I had to look around for something a bit cheaper.”

Tact Aunty has left BK Swy, a Big Jim filly with Ashburton trainer Brent White. It’s won once from eight starts/ She also left BD Joe which has won three races from just eight starts. He ran second in the Group One Sires Stakes Final won by It’s All About Faith and third in the Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million won by Krug.

B K Shirl (Love You – Sapient) was tried as a racehorse but was retired.

“She went in the wind and has been served by Marcoola.”

Majestic Blaze (Majestic Son – Twitchit) has a colt foal at foot by Volstead, while B K Dover has not been served. She’s a maiden Andover Hall mare out of Superstaragogo which won eight races for Southland trainer Alan Shaw.

Smith’s racing colours are very distinctive – White with a red smiling emoji.

“I just liked them. I used to have colours that were white with red stars when my Dad was alive. We raced a horse called Touch Of Class (Good Chase – Stormy McCoy). When Dad died I thought I’d like something bright and a bit different so I went with the happy face.”

It’s good to see the happy face emoji on Southern tracks.