Left: NINISKI, 1976–1998 | Right: Two Derby winners: SIR PERCY and HERNANDO
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The History of Lanwades Stud
Lanwades is thought to be so named for a wadingplace through the river Kennett, which flows across the stud’s land. The stud was founded well before the 1880s and at that time encompassed also what is today our neighbour, The Animal Health Trust. The good stallions PETRARCH and KNIGHT OF THE GARTER were advertised as standing at Lanwades in the 1881 Racing Calendar.
There is anecdotal evidence that Lanwades was at one time owned by Caroline, Duchess of Montrose, a passionate racing enthusiast, who also had St Agnes’ Church in Newmarket constructed. The original Lanwades Hall (now part of the AHT) was built in celebration of the then owner, James Larnach, having won the 1898 Derby with JEDDAH, who was eventually buried in the grounds.
In the 1920s, the stud was enlarged by its owner, Herbert Sidebottom, who built a new “Lanwades House” in 1931. In the early part of 1939, the stud was purchased by Lt-Col N.E. “Nat” Frieze, whose misfortune it was to see the entire place requisitioned by the army later that same year. Throughout the war years, Lanwades was used as a training and transit camp for officers and troops.
On its return to Col. Frieze in 1946 the land (which had been ploughed up for agricultural use during the war) was re-seeded, and, once the grass was reestablished, stallions such as Champion Sprinter MICKEY THE GREEK (who had started his stud career at neighbouring Meddler Stud) and, later, Irish Derby winner IRISH BALL and the unusual three-generation sequence of PARDAL, PARDAO and MOULTON, stood here.
The present owner purchased Lanwades (then 150 rather run-down acres) from Col. Frieze in 1980. Her first stallion, dual Classic winner NINISKI, stood his initial season at Lanwades in 1981 and was the Champion First Season Sire of Britain in 1984, when his runners included Champion European Two-Year-Old KALA DANCER (Gr.1 Dewhurst Stakes) and the following year’s Gr.1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes victor, PETOSKI – both Lanwades-bred.
NINISKI now looks the son of NIJINSKY most likely to carry that sire line on, with his sons HERNANDO and LOMITAS and grandsons SULAMANI and SILVANO all currently active and successful at stud in Britain, Germany, France and South Africa, respectively. Another grandson, dual International Group 1 winner GITANO HERNANDO, retired to stud in South Africa for the 2012 Southern Hemisphere season.
Throughout the current ownership, Lanwades has been expanded and its facilities continually improved. With the addition of St Simon Stud in 1982, Staffordstown in Co. Meath, Ireland, in 1990, and parts of Meddler Stud in the late 1990s, Lanwades nowadays encompasses nearly 1,000 acres of prime grassland in Newmarket and Ireland.
In 1986 NINISKI was joined at Lanwades by French 2,000 Guineas winner NISHAPOUR, owned and bred by HH the Aga Khan. During his tenure at Lanwades, NISHAPOUR sired French Oaks winner SHEMAKA and French Derby winner MOUKTAR. Dual European Champion Miler SELKIRK joined the Lanwades roster of stallions in 1993 and was, like his predecessor NINISKI, also Champion First Season Sire with his first crop of runners. Gainsborough Stud-owned Champion European Miler ZILZAL stood at Lanwades for 10 seasons, 1996 – 2005.
The latter’s retirement from active stud duties made way for Canadian Champion WITH APPROVAL, Group 1 sprinter PICCOLO and Derby winner SIR PERCY to join Lanwades early in the new century. In 2009, the importation of VITA ROSA from Japan opens another chapter in Lanwades’ history. ARCHIPENKO, a Group 1 winning son of KINGMAMBO, joined the stallion ranks for the 2010 season.
AUSSIE RULES, the Classic-winning miler previously standing at Coolmore, joined the Lanwades' stallion band for the 2012 covering season.
Leading US sire LEROIDESANIMAUX, the sire of World Champion ANIMAL KINGDOM, was relocated from Florida to Lanwades Stud for the 2014 covering season and onwards.
Epsom Derby winner and Gr.1 sire NORTH LIGHT stood at Lanwades for 2014. In 2015 the first son of SEA THE STARS to retire to stud, the sensational German Derby winner SEA THE MOON, joined Lanwades. In 2017 Gr.1 Breeders' Cup Truf Sprint winner, BOBBY'S KITTEN, joined the stallion roster. BOBBY'S KITTEN is the first stallion son of KITTEN'S JOY (Champion Turf racehorse and multiple Champion sire in USA) to stand in Europe.