Marty and Pam Wygod have announced they will be dispersing their California breeding stock at Barretts in Pomona, Calif., in October.
The dispersal involves about 100 head, including broodmares, yearlings, and weanlings. The Wygods also plan to sell their River Edge Farm near Buellton, Calif., with stallions Bertrando , Benchmark , Tribal Rule , and Dixie Chatter moving to other California breeding facilities in time for the 2011 breeding season.
“We have confidence that these mares and stallions will continue to do well in the future, and we will continue to support the stallions,” Marty Wygod stated June 16. “But going forward our primary focus will be breeding and raising horses in Kentucky.”
River Edge Farm, encompassing 250 acres, was started by the Wygods and farm manager Russell Drake in 1975. One of the Wygods’ first stakes winners, Pirate’s Bounty, stood his entire 19-year stud career at River Edge, and got the farm off to a flying beginning. He was California’s leading freshman sire, topped the state’s 2-year-old sire list twice, and California’s general sire list three times. The Wygods bred and raised 44 of his 63 stakes winners at River Edge.
More recently, in 2006-2008, the Wygods were the leading California breeders, with progeny bred and raised at River Edge earning more than $10.5 million over those three years.
“Although I am saddened that the era of River Edge Farm as one of the dominant and most successful breeding operations in California is coming to an end, I am very proud of our achievements,” noted Drake. “But we have determined that the opportunities for the Wygods’ breeding operation are far greater in Kentucky. We intend to continue to pursue our goal of producing and racing top-quality homebreds.”
The Wygods’ homebred grade I winners include Private Persuasion, Key Phrase, Pirate’s Revenge, Silent Sighs, Sweet Catomine, After Market , Life Is Sweet, and Idiot Proof . They have raced, alone or in partnership, additional grade I winners Pharma, Exotic Wood, Tranquility Lake, and Twice the Vice, and have bred grade I victors Octave, Officer , and Unfurl the Flag.
“Pam and I have enjoyed our breeding program in California, and we are very proud of the results of our progeny over the last 35 years,” said Marty Wygod. “What Russell Drake has accomplished with these mares, and raising the foals, is unprecedented, and we could have never done it without him.”
Both natives of New York, the Wygods moved to California in 1995 and live in Rancho Santa Fe near Del Mar.