Owned and operated by Mark and Louise Ellis and their 4 children – John, Richard, James and Emily – Argyle Thoroughbreds epitomizes the quality of family-owned and run spelling and agistment properties in Australia.
While well known as the stud farm that stands Gr1-producing Storm Cat sire-son Mosayter (sire of Gr1 Railway Stakes winner Mr. Moet), the Ellis family’s large NSW property has earned an equally strong reputation as a great alternative to the Hunter Valley for a place to rear and sell bloodstock. With a lengthy history of family involvement in horseracing that dates back to the 1800s, Argyle Thoroughbreds is located less than 30 minutes south-west of Orange. Corroborating the belief that thoroughbred country and wine farms go hand-in-hand, Argyle’s closest neighbor is one of the respected Orange region’s leading vignerons.
Mark manages the day-to-day running of the farm, including the production of prime lambs and beef. With an annual pasture improvement program plus cropping and hay-making taking place in most years, this places Argyle in the enviable position of not having to buy in extra fodder to maintain stock production at optimal levels.
Louise Ellis says their fundamental brief is to provide an outstanding foundation for a client’s thoroughbred investment. Over the last 23 years they have progressively managed the development and growth of Argyle to its current size of 2000 acres. Louise notes that, “While Argyle is situated in some of the finest producing country NSW has to offer, outside of this, and of course in conjunction with these natural building blocks, I pride myself in knowing I offer a level of care (involving a great Repro Vet) that to date has given huge breeding results with the most difficult of mares able to get in foal and producing live healthy foals.”
She points out that horses raised on the farm develop an overall solid constitution which she says, now in more recent times with young horses going off into stables, is becoming more evident with trainer feedback. “It may not mean they’re fast,” she acknowledges, “I don’t believe I can change what genetics has pre determined, but they are certainly sound, tough and after growing up on hills and huge open paddocks, find doing a lap of a racetrack about as tiring as doing a lap of a stable…”
In these rolling hills, endurance is naturally developed, bone and muscle is able to grow naturally – something the region is renowned for doing – while appetite is developed to enable horses to lick their feed bowls clean and not be fussy in stable situations. Louise reiterates the point: “It’s all about constitution, constitution, constitution…”, also commenting that all the bonuses for young growing horses are also bonuses for long term spelling horses and the permanent broodmare in every way.
Among Argyle’s cost-effective services offered are: Broodmare Agistment, Racehorse Spelling, Yearling Agistment, Sales Preparation, Weanling and Foal handling, Foaling Down, Mare Walk on Service, Routine Weight Gain Assessment, Vet on Call, 24 hour Care and, of course, the all-important regular liaison with clients.