NICK KING, born in Co. Tipperary, Ireland, has always been a keen horseman. He reached National level eventing before becoming an Assistant Manager at Coolmore Stud, Ireland for five years.
He spent a further 6 months at Cambridge Stud for the Southern Hemisphere season. He then went to Glen Oaks Stud, Cambridge NZ for 4 years as Stallion and Yearling Manager - Western Symphony / Take Your Partner / Phizam.
Nick was then invited to Japan by LEX STUD, in Hokkaido to join their top stallion station team where he remained from 1993 to 1996.
Nick with Beau Zam, this photo featured on the front page of the Waikato Times when Beau Zam, the Kiwi Bred, Australian Champion was the first stallion to be exported out of Japan.
Nick was the President of the Waikato branch of the NZ Thoroughbred Breeders Association for several years.
ANNE-MARIE, also a keen horsewoman, was born into an English Cotswold farming family and qualified in Business and Farm Administration at Usk Agricultural College. She spent a valuable year in Canada as Veterinary Assistant to one of their leading equine veterinarians, Dr. Colin Peace MRCVS, before working with UK-based Australian Olympic showjumping Captain, Jeff McVean. Anne-Marie then spent 3 years as Overseas Buyer for Lex Stud in Japan when she accompanied her husband there in 1993.
| Benji, Anne-marie and Harry at the annual Pig 'n' Pavlova Party
NICK and ANNE-MARIE met on a horse flight to Sydney in 1988. Nick was escorting a Coolmore Stallion and Anne-Marie was accompanying Jeff McVean's legendary Olympic showjumper, Whisper Grey.
They met up again and were married while at Glen Oaks Stud. Anne-Marie and their first child Benjamin accompanied Nick to Japan in 1993 where their second son Harry was born. Sophie and Charlie were born in New Zealand. BRIGHTHILL FARM was set up in 1996 with their foundation sire, Australian Horse of the Year, BEAU ZAM. He was the first horse to break 2 million dollars earnings, and won 5 Group 1 races, beaten by a nose by Lord Rheims which would have given him his 6th Group 1. He produced over 100 individual winners and stood at stud until he was 15.
Previous Stallions stood at Stud
Four Seasons (GB)
St. Petersburg (AUS)
Eagle Mountain (IRE)
In 2007 PERFECTLY READY, Australian Group 1 winning son of Champion Sire, More Than Ready joined the stallion ranks at Brighthill, and bred books of over 100 mares, every season.
Perfectly Ready's first crop of weanlings went through the National Weanling Sale in 2009, where they were extremely well received, leading first season sire, sold on average, with highest priced weanling sold on the first day of $57,500. Perfectly Ready went on to be Leading First Season Sire the 2010 Premier Karaka Yearling Sale, and subsquently NZ's Leading First Season Sire of 2YOs for the season ending 2010/11.
Champion Italian Sprinter PATAPAN (Stravinsky - Pappa Reale) (16 wins - 2 as a 2YO) joined the stallion roster in 2008 and his first crop of foals are now 2YOs where he has produced Stakes winning 2YO Napatap.
The stud is very much a family run, hands on business with Nick managing the farm with the back up of a great team of dedicated experienced horse stud grooms, and Anne-marie with the assistance of office manager Liz Fairweather keep the office and farm promotion going all year around.
|Benji with More Than Ready at Vinery Stud
So far their children have showed quite an interest in the business with their eldest Benji (19) currently working full time at Vinery Stud, Australia.
Harry (17) keen Rugby player, Captain of the undefeated Waikato School Champions 2nd IX Team for Cambridge High School, is now a full time stud groom at the stud. Played Rugby in Hong Kong with Cambridge High School IX.
|Sophie with newborn Foal -
Snap - Tavistock filly
Sophie (16) enjoys the newborn foals in the Spring and spends quite a bit of time riding her horse Minty - (Ex racehorse Group 3 Winner Yaradanarro - & brilliant showjumper). She won the top award at School for Equestrian Studies, which was quite an achievement.
Charlie (left) with his Champion Breed and Reared Calf at the Waikato Area's School Agricultural Day.
Charlie (12) Keen rugby Player, represented his school and Cambridge Reps. Has just started riding a late starter, and loves it, but not Pony Club!!
A few years ago they purchased a further 120 acres of beautiful gentle rolling, neighbouring land, which they are keenly developing into safe horse country. The original 64 acres of 'home farm' is now beautifully post and railed, and is kept primarily for youngstock. 50% of the new neighbouring land is now post and railed, starting from the back of the farm - making it's way forward..!
In addition to the horses they run a mob of beef cattle to assist with maintaining the pastures.
Updated: April, 2012