Not Plain Sale-ing For Kennedy

Not Plain Sale-ing For Kennedy

Bruce Stewart

28th January 2021

Long-time Southland breeder Dave Kennedy has had his challenges in recent times but they won’t keep the Bayswater farmer away from the upcoming Sales in Christchurch, which he’s attended every year for the last thirty nine years.

In 1982 he took his first yearling (a filly by Honkin Andy out of Masters Girl) north to the National Sale.

“We got two and a half thousand dollars for her, John Seaton bought her. She was runner up in the best presented competition to Lord Module’s full sister,” Kennedy said.

Over the years Kennedy and his wife Dawn have bred a host of winners, including millionaire pacers Themightyquinn and Beaudiene Boaz as well as Harness Jewels winner Beaudiene Bad Babe. In the 70s he also sold stock at the Southland Standardbred Sales. And there was a Sale that used to be run by horseman Kevin Patterson at Gore.

Last year though, was a tough one for Kennedy as he battled with his health and he may have thought at one point that the Sales would be out of reach this year.

The problems first emerged when Dave and Dawn were travelling to Queenstown to attend a funeral with friends from Riverton, Ray and Jill Lindsay.

“I said to Ray at Athol ‘we’ll have to stop.’ I nearly fainted and fell over. The pain in my stomach and back was that bad.”

Dave needed to be taken to Frankton Hospital and quick.

“When I arrived the first thing they did was put me in a wheel chair and rush me through. They probably thought it was my heart. I told them it wasn’t – it was just the pain. They did an ultra sound and told me it wasn’t gall or kidney stones so they did a CAT scan.”

The CAT scan showed Kennedy had two enlarged lymph nodes – one in his aorta and the other in his stomach.

“He said all you can do is get a biopsy in Invercargill. A week later I was told I had B Cell Lymphoma and they told me it would be four to six weeks before I could go to Dunedin to see an Oncologist. I gave the lady a bit of a barrel and told her I wasn’t waiting that long.”

A quicker time was ‘negotiated’ and Kennedy was taken to Dunedin Hospital for further investigation and treatment.

“They couldn’t work out why I was getting so much pain because the two tumours shouldn’t have caused that much pain. I had my first round of chemo and then they did another CAT scan and they found another couple of wee tumours against the spine so that’s why I was feeling so much nerve pain. It felt like some bugger was sticking a hot iron into my right shoulder and trying to burn his way through. On the inside it felt like someone was screwing my guts to pieces.”

Kennedy said after chemo, the number of attacks decreased markedly.

“There was no doubt that the chemo killed the pain so that was brilliant and I haven’t had an attack since.”

But the side effects of the chemotherapy took their toll.

“I was buggered. I could hardly walk ten metres without nearly fainting. They took me off the blood pressure pills and within three days I was a different man.”

And now Dave is getting out and doing what he loves, preparing the horses for next month’s sales, with his strength returning.

“It’s come back. I’m still leading the colts and fighting with them, drenching calves and working with the stock.”

He’ll have another scan in Christchurch in early February.

“It’s to see how it’s all gone but they do say B Cell Lymphoma is one of the better cancers to get.”

Dave is very indebted to Dawn and Shay Laurie who have been looking after the yearlings up until six weeks ago.

“Shay’s been a godsend. She ran one of the trekking stables in Queenstown but now lives in Riverton. She’s been coming out in the mornings and then doing some relief milking in the afternoons. The way I was early on I couldn’t have pulled a skin off a sausage.”

And he’s also lost seventeen kilos. “It was there too lose (laughter).”

Kennedy said the diagnosis never worried him.

“But it does make you think (about) where you want to go and what you want to do. You realise money isn’t the main thing in life. If you haven’t got your health you’ve got nothing.”

He said that he and Dawn are looking at moving off the farm and changing their lifestyle.

“We’re looking at buying a few acres – 40 to 80 somewhere and just setting up for the horses and putting a few more dairy cows on the farm. It was the goal a few years ago but the health issues have just sped things up.”

This year the Kennedys are taking seven yearlings to the sales. All bar one are owned by the couple with the Captaintreacherous colt out of Northview Desire owned by good friend Cleland Murdoch.

The other change is that Katrina and John Price are preparing the Kennedy’s two trotting colts.

Let’s take a look a Dave and Dawn’s yearlings for the upcoming sale in Christchurch.

Cochise (Father Patrick – Rae Galleon – Colt)

Out of the four win Sundon mare Rae Galleon. Rae Galleon is a sister to the eleven win mare Belle Galleon who was named three year old Trotting Filly of the Year (2002-2003) and is the dam of Stent which won 23 races ($633,763).

“He’ll make a two year old. He’s more of a thoroughbred type. He’s got a real speedy look about him. He’s long, balanced and powerful. I think we’ll get a wee bit of money for him.”

Southern Diamond (Creatine – Ugly Betty – Colt)

From the first crop of Andover Hall stallion Creatine, Southern Diamond’s second dam Naimey has left nine winners including Springbank Sam (20 wins), Sun Of Anarchy (28 wins) and Pocaro (13 wins). Ugly Betty has left two foals to race, both winners.

“He’s a lovely big horse and a tough bugger to start with. If he could get away with anything he would. He’s a nice type and a beautiful mover and lovely trotter. He’s a bigger horse, a bit raw boned but well balanced. Coaster Howe has got the two year old (Quaker Jet) and he said he’s going to make a horse. John Morrison’s got Ugly Betty’s three year old filly called Galleons Devotion. He thinks she’s special. He might bring her down here for the Southland Oaks. ”

Treacherous Reign (Captaintreacherous – Absolutely Delighted – Colt)

Out of young two win Bettor’s Delight mare Absolutely Delighted. He has Christian Cullen and Holmes Hanover blood in his pedigree.

“A real powerhouse who is identical to the one we sold last year with a fraction more class. A beautiful horse to work with. He’ll make a two year old.”

Bettor Cheer (Bettor’s Delight – Galleons Cheers – Colt)

Out of the highly talented Galleons Cheer, an Albert Albert mare that won five races from just nine starts. Quality pacers Cheer The Lady, Duke Of Wellington and Spanish Armada are on Bettor Cheer’s pedigree page.

“Lovely colt with a beautiful nature. He’s a great doer. I’ve just got him on chaff and oil. You could have taken him to the Sales in November. He’s got a magnificent coat and looks after himself. He’s early maturing and got class.”

Beaudiene Lougi (Sweet Lou – Beaudiene Beaut Babe – Colt)

Beaudiene Louigi is out of the lightly raced Art Major mare Beaudiene Beaut Babe. Her only foal to race, Beaudiene Hustler, has been a winner. Beaudiene Louigi’s second dam is Beaudiene Babe, the dame of ten foals including millionaire pacer Beaudiene Boaz and Beaudiene Bad Babe, the winner of twenty two races and the dam of promising Bad To The Bone.

“He’s an athlete. On type he’d be the classiest yearling in my draft. He reminds me so much of Beaudiene Bad Babe. He’s the same cut. Even as a foal he had a great ass end on him. If you were having a flash at a nice racehorse I’d have a go at him.”

Treacherous Gall (Captaintreacherous – Galleons Pleasure – Filly)

By boom sire Captaintreacherous out of a Bettor’s Delight mare this filly has instant value as a broodmare. She too has Cheer The Lady, Duke Of Wellington and Spanish Armada in her pedigree and the fillies in this family have performed well on the race track.

“She’s got a bit of size. She’s a bit of a female and gets grumpy at times. Once you start working with her she works with you all the way. The boys (From NZB Standardbreds) were pretty impressed with her when they were down inspecting the horses.”

Northview Captain (Captaintreacherous – Northview Desire – Colt)

Northview Captain is out of the unraced Real Desire mare Northview Desire. As a broodmare Real Desire has left 14 race winners in Northview Hustler (Bettor’s Delight) and West Australian winner Northview Orator. This colt’s second dam is the American bred Watch Your Step whose best foal was Northview Punter, the winner of twenty two races in West Australia and another ten in America.

“He’s a big horse that loves his tucker. I’m pleased he’s got a good nature because he could be so powerful. He’s kind and walks up to you each day in the box. He loves the attention and is so relaxed, so he doesn’t take too much out of himself.”

We’re all pleased that Dave Kennedy has overcome his health challenges and I guess we’re not surprised he’ll be back at the Sales. Missing them was never an option.

Buyers can see the Beaudiene Breeding Yearling draft on Monday 8th February between 5:25pm and 6:05pm at 662 Gladfield Road Otautau.