In June, 2016, leading stud Alabar Bloodstock – a long time supporter of Standardbreds in their life outside racing - contacted HERO with a very special proposition.
The stud had just made the decision to withdraw one of its stallions from service and was keen to explore retirement opportunities for the horse who, at 11 years of age, was in the prime of his life.
It was a unique situation and under normal circumstances, HERO would be unable to assist in line the Program’s strict “no colts or stallions” policy.
However, given Alabar’s ongoing commitment to pleasure Standardbreds, and an assurance that the horse had the temperament to make a successful transition from stud to saddle, an exception was made.
And so The Tiz A Masterpiece Project was born.
Tiz A Masterpiece was bred and raced exclusively in the United States, winning five of 17 starts as a pacer and $224,209 in a single season at age three before suffering a tendon injury.
He was spelling at Kentuckiana Farms when Alabar representatives John Coffey and Graeme Henley visited in May, 2009 and fell instantly in love.
“We took a liking to him on his appearance and being a son of Western Hanover from an Artsplace mare (highly desirable bloodlines) took the punt with him,” John Coffey recalled, adding that Tasmanian breeders Lyndon and Gail Menegan were also involved with the purchase.
“Unfortunately he never got swept off his feet with mares, despite his handsome looks and although he left some handy winners, he was no longer a viable commercial stallion,” he explained.
At the time of retirement, Tiz A Masterpiece’s stud record officially stood at 20 winners of $411,647 in prizemoney.
HERO met Tiz A Masterpiece at Alabar’s Echuca stud on June 13 to undertake an initial temperament and body assessment.
The 11-year-old was gelded four weeks prior and had recovered exceptionally well from the surgery which went without incident.
Tiz is a very friendly, inquisitive horse who seems to genuinely enjoy human company.