Lonhro Retired From Stallion Duties

Today marks the end of an era for the Australian breeding community with the decision to retire Lonhro from covering duties confirmed by Godolphin Australia for the Darley stallion, very much revered as the people’s horse.

The rising 25-year-old will remain in residence at Kelvinside Stud in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, not far from where he was born and bred at the famous Woodlands Stud, with his day-to-day team and routine to remain.

“Most importantly, Lonhro retires from the Darley roster sound, happy, healthy and will remain in residence at Kelvinside. The stallion team, led by Barley Ward-Thomas and Yev Kovalov, plus Lonhro’s long-time mate Deen Griesheimer and all other handlers who have contributed within our stallion barn have done a wonderful job caring for this Australian icon for over a decade, and who will continue to do so,” Cox continued.

“It’s important to us that the horse retires on his terms and to all who have supported Lonhro throughout his career, we thank you enormously.”


A striking black colt born on Thursday, 10 December 1998; by Octagonal and the seventh foal of Shadea, Lonhro was a phenomenon from day one.

Another author of the Lonhro story is Suzanne Philcox. Well known for naming Godolphin Australia’s horses, it all began for Philcox back in 1987 naming horses for Jack and Bob Ingham’s Woodlands Stud.

Philcox revealed that if not for the intervention of the Australian Stud Book, racing’s most popular horses may have been called ‘Tiny’.

“Lonhro’s foaling sheet described him as ‘tiny but perfect’,” Philcox told Clinton Payne.

“At the time I was reading a magazine called Private Eye which had stories about a businessman called Tiny Rowland and he was described as “tiny but perfect”.

“I tried to get ‘Tiny’ and ‘Rowland’ for the colt, but they weren’t available.

“Tiny Rowland was the CEO of the London Rhodesia Mining Company, so I used his company’s stock exchange code LONRHO and made a deliberate mistake with the spelling.”


A glittering 35-start career, the winner of 11 G1 races, 24 at Group level and 26 overall victories, Lonhro won the cream of races in Australia.

The Caulfield Guineas, Caulfield Stakes (twice), the Mackinnon Stakes, Chipping Norton, George Ryder, Queen Elizabeth, CF Orr, Chipping Norton and George Main Stakes.

But, arguably his most stunning performance came in the 2004 Australian Cup (2,000m) at Flemington where he was pocketed until the final 200m but still managed to get up to beat Delzao and Elvstroem.

In a period of far less prize money, Lonhro amassed a staggering $5,790,510 and was the pin-up horse of Australian racing when he retired to Woodlands Stud in 2004, with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum securing the bloodstock operations of Ingham Enterprises in May of 2008. Lonhro has remained a Darley stallion since.

A gifted equine athlete, Lonhro exceeded his racetrack exploits while in the breeding barn.


“What can you say about him that hasn’t already been said?” Alastair Pulford pondered. “From the time he was born he’s been the ultimate thoroughbred.”

Darley Australia’s Head of Stallions Alastair Pulford has helped plan and steer the great sire’s career in the Darley breeding barn for the past 15 seasons.

“He went on to be an amazing racehorse, the horse of the year, who then became Champion Sire, leading broodmare sire and now has sons at stud who will carry on his name.

“He was one of the keys behind the purchase of the Ingham racing operation all those years ago and a lot of the success of that deal relied on him.

“He’s certainly got an aura about him, even at his age he’s still so fondly remembered by so many people.”

Pulford said Lonhro had done a marvellous job and would continue to be well cared for in retirement.

Lonhro sired his 1,000th individual winner recently – three-year-old Lake Agawam for David Jolly on Saturday, 11 March – and at date of publish his progeny earnings are $147,105,222.

He has 95 individual Stakes winners of 191 Black-Type races and has sired a string of elite Stakes winners including ImpendingKementariPierroLyre, AristiaLindermann, BeadedBoundingBenficaDenmanExosphereMental and The Conglomerate.

Lonhro was crowned Champion Sire and leading Australian sire of winning three-year-olds in 2010-11, the top Australian sire of two-year-olds in 2011-12 and the leading Australian sire of winners in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

His reputation grew and he shuttled to the United States between 2012 and ’14.

Lonhro also became a sire of sires – with Impending, Pierro, Denman, Encryption and Exosphere standing at stud in Australia.

Lonhro’s early influence as a broodmare sire is equally as remarkable with his daughters producing 101 Group-winning horses including the likes of So Si Bon (So You Think), Osborne Bulls (Street Cry), Barber (Exceed And Excel), Niedorp (Not A Single Doubt), Golden Mile (Astern), Trobriand (Kermadec), Serene Majesty (Fastnet Rock) to name but a few.

His exploits in the sale ring reflect that of a wonderful racetrack career with his yearlings offered at public auction netting supporters $71,939,788, his top lot a $1.4 million Inglis Easter yearling and just last year producing a $1.05 million result for a filly out of Cool Passion.

However, the opportunity to race the stock of Lonhro still remains with six yearlings catalogued for the coming Inglis Easter Yearling Sale and two remaining crops to grace the sale rings.

His retirement announcement comes at a timely moment having sired Saturday’s G1 Rosehill Guineas winner Lindermann, a three-year-old colt bred and raced by Debbie Kepitis’ Woppitt Bloodstock.


And with the curtain being drawn on his breeding career, Vin Cox reflected further on stories proving that Lonhro truly is the people’s horse.

“A few times a year we have people come up for their anniversaries and want to see Lonhro.

“We’ve even had a couple get engaged in front of Lonhro, people name their kids’ middle names Lonhro.

“He is a horse who has charisma, and the effect he has had on people has been quite significant.”

On behalf of the Darley stallions’ team, to all who supported Lonhro’s journey – we thank you.

– Darley Australia

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