The success of Haulpak as a stallion was due to two crucial points; owner Robert Holmes a Court’s belief in the horse as a stallion and Haulpak’s own ability.
Haulpak (foaled in 1973) was a beautifully bred colt being a son of the Round Table stallion Dignatas from Winged Beauty (by Port Vista).
Holmes a Court through bloodstock agent Peter Gannon paid $7,000 for Haulpak at the Sydney Easter yearling sale.
He started his racing career on a high with four wins and being placed second (twice) and third (once) at seven starts as a two-year-old for Ascot trainer John Davison.
But that blossoming racing career was shattered, when the young horse escaped his handler and fell over on Mathieson Road.
Haulpak injured his knee, but did race again and won, but the injury deteriorated and Holmes a Court was eventually forced to retire him.
Haulpak had the pedigree and the physical stature (17hands) but he did not have the feature wins to attract the good broodmares to make him a success at stud and he was a cripple!
It was a bold move by Holmes a Court to stand Haulpak and he knew the only way he was going to be a success was to support him with his own broodmares at his Heytesbury Stud at Keysbrook.
Haulpak stood his first season at a fee of $300 and received just four outside mares.
Haulpak sustained a long stud career (1977-1990) because of his acceptance of his disability and his response to the treatment.
He was taken to Murdoch University when his hoof started to deform because of the knee injury and a brace and boot were made to support him.
He had his own full-time groom and the mares would be brought up to his paddock to be served.
American veterinary surgeons Larry Shaffer and Alan Weldon were flown out each stud season to attend to Haulpak and the broodmares.
Haulpak’s first top horse was Haulpak’s Image (Swinging Sue), a winner of 21 races and placed 19 times at 79 starts.
The winners continued to flow including Australian Cup winner Starstruck, Railway Stakes winner Miss Muffet, Epsom Handicap and Ampol Stakes winner Chanteclair, Oakleigh Plate winner Coal Pak, Carry A Smile, who won the Lee-Steere Stakes and went on the stand at Heytesbury Stud and his full-sister Hold That Smile, who won the Karrakatta Plate. The brother and sister were WA horses of the year. Haulpak produced 346 named foals for 235 winners (at 78.6%) from 299 starters.
He sired 33 stakes winners (at 11%) and 25 stakes place-getters in a remarkable career. These figures put Haulpak among Australia’s elite sires.
Haulpak served up to 80 mares – 40 home and 40 outside – each season and became so popular he was not advertised.
He eventually had to be euthanized when his other knee buckled under the pressure.
Haulpak’s fillies went on to become successful broodmares producing 415 winners at 65.1% and 44 stakes winners at 6.9%.
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