Hot sire’s auctioned service to benefit spinal cord research


A service to the Australian based thoroughbred stallion Microphone will be auctioned online to raise funds to benefit research into a cure for spinal cord injury-caused paralysis.

Darley stud, based at Kelvinside in New South Wales, has announced that a service to 2019 Gr.1 Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Microphone will be offered at the 2020 New Zealand Bloodstock (NZB) Weanling Sale on June 21, with all proceeds from the sale to be donated to The CatWalk Trust.

The annual auction is being held online via the Gavelhouse Plus platform this year because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Microphone’s debut season at stud is already fully booked – with the exception of the service on offer through the weanling sale.

The auction presents the only remaining chance for breeders to secure a spot to the exciting young sire this breeding season.

Microphone is a son of Exceed and Excel, one of Australia’s most successful stallions, and was champion two-year-old of his year. In addition to his win at the Sires’ Produce Stakes, he never placed further back than second throughout his racing career.

The proceeds of the sale of a service to champion racehorse Microphone will be donated to CatWalk Trust.
The proceeds of the sale of a service to champion racehorse Microphone will be donated to CatWalk Trust. © The Image is Everything

Darley’s head of sales, Alastair Pulford said that Darley, as well as its owner Sheikh Mohammed, the vice-president and Prime Minister of the UAE, were delighted to offer the last nomination in Microphone on behalf of The CatWalk Trust.

Pulford said that studmasters and breeders from across Australia and New Zealand agreed that Microphone was hot property, and this was reflected in the horse’s stallion fee of $A38,500.

“CatWalk raises funds that go directly to spinal research for a cure for spinal cord injury and paralysis, and given the prevalence of such injuries in the equestrian industry, this has to be a cause close to the heart of anyone that works with these magnificent animals,” Pulford said.

“We’re proud to be supporting the CatWalk Trust: they are big picture people who work for big picture results. It’s not just about one person, it’s about thousands of people. People you and I know. They want to help get them out of their wheelchairs and back on their feet,” he said.

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of spinal cord injury in the western world. The CatWalk Trust works to secure the significant funding required to support ground-breaking and innovative research in the area, as well as to build greater public awareness of the issue, and the desperate need for a cure.

In 2020, The CatWalk Trust will commemorate 15 years fighting for a world free of paralysis caused by spinal cord injury.

CatWalk Trust founder and former top equestrian competitor Catriona Williams, MNZM, said Darley’s recognition and support of the importance of research into spinal cord injury were immensely generous given the value of a single service could fetch.

“We are so close to finding a cure and whoever secures the service to Microphone is not just making a donation, they are making a potentially huge difference to the lives of the many people affected by spinal cord injury-caused paralysis,” she said.

• To register as a bidder, visit The catalogue will launch on Gavelhouse Plus on June 11 at 5pm. The final countdown of bids begins on June 21 at 3pm. Bidders are encouraged to create their accounts well in advance so the New Zealand Bloodstock finance team can grant bidding approval.

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