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It was Mark Twain who said the famous words; “while history doesn’t repeat itself, it often rhymes.”
Mid-way through 2021, Mike and Kate Fleming, with the team from thoroughbred marketing agency Kick Collective, turned back the clock and took a deep dive into the history of their land and its past owners. Established in 1953, Bhima is a historically significant name in the local Hunter region and has used the inspiration of that rich success archive to pave the path to an exciting future.
Insights were sourced from the Upper Hunter Historical Society and personal accounts from David Bath, son of Vivien Bath, who, whilst imprisoned in Changi POW camp conceived his dream of a horse stud. Bath returned to Australia and purchased land then known as ‘Cliftlands’ in 1953 and Bhima Stud was born. The great Biscay, sire of Bletchingly whose progeny include the champion Kingston Town, Emancipation and Canny Lad, retired to stud at Bhima in 1969.
Fast forward to the modern era of Bhima, where Kate and Mike take ownership of the property in 2015. Incredible sales success has followed, cemented by a modern brand with a reputation for transparency. In 2019, Bhima became the first yearling vendor to make yearling health, background and ownership information, as well as x-ray and scope reports, freely accessible to buyers via the Kick Sales Platform. Kate and Mike are committed to continually developing trust in the Bhima brand by challenging outdated industry standards on sales transparency and integrity.
The journey into Bhima’s past was prompted by the undertaking of significant infrastructure works on the property. The yearling barn was an original, with an enviable graduate record including the likes of young stallions North Pacific and Prague, top mares and fillies Forbidden Love, Four Moves Ahead, Emeralds, Imperatriz and Rhapsody Rose, and elite racehorses such as Hong Kong’s Big Party, who recently returned home to the lush paddocks of Bhima for retirement.
In the new year the state-of-the-art yearling barn precinct will be unveiled, complete with parade lawn, 39 boxes, spacious breezeways, 2 wash bays, crush, scales, tack and storage rooms along with a staff kitchen and bathroom facilities. The new barn is ready to continue developing that impressive graduate record.
“We are chomping at the bit to get the yearlings into the new barn,” Yearling Manager Zoe Baylis said. “It is looking incredible and we are proud to be involved in utilising an amazing, state-of-the-art facility with our future drafts. It just shows the level of investment and consideration Mike and Kate have for the direction of Bhima, our staff, clients and future graduates.”
Bhima will present a draft of 22 quality yearlings at the upcoming Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, ranging from sires including Australian Champion Sires Written Tycoon, Snitzel, Exceed And Excel and Lonhro, to emerging sires Dundeel (NZ), Pariah, The Autumn Sun, Fastnet Rock, Zoustar and Almanzor (Fr).
There’s a colt by Europe’s exciting sprinter Kingman (GB), from a three-quarter Galileo (Ire) sister to High Chaparral (Ire), a Not A Single Doubt filly from a half-sister to Valpolicella, and a Fastnet Rock colt from a sister to a Champion filly in France.
“The strength and diversity of our draft is something we are very proud of moving into January,” said Mike. “Our clients have supported a wide cross-section of stallions, so we have quality that appeals to all on the varied buying bench of the Gold Coast.”
“We’ve got proven sires – Snitzel, Fastnet Rock and Written Tycoon – who just keep going from strength to strength, to exciting young prospects such as Aquis duo, Invader and Brave Smash. We’ve got all bases loaded for buyer success.”