During the 2014 breeding season we were very proud to complete the construction of the new Varsfontein stallion complex. It was much needed as only two individual and separate stallion stables were available and since Master Of My Fate’s arrival there was a need for more space.
The old boxes had been the home of Caesour (USA), Fair Season (GB) and Mexico II (GB) before them, but had to be demolished to make way for a new era. Prior to this was the daunting task of felling the large blue gum trees which had to be cut and dropped using cranes and were then chipped into sawdust.
Once the ground work was done two steel structures were erected, one for the stables and one for the covering barn. Then the building could begin.
Much meticulous thought was put into the design of the complex. Important factors were:
1)Matching the theme of current buildings on the farm
2)Balancing looks and function
3)Comfortable and safe for the stallions
4)Creating a breeding area that is spacious, safe for horses, user friendly and top class.
The stallion stables were given a lovely, spacious veranda with a wooden sealing throughout. 6 boxes were built- 4 stables, a tack room and a feed room. A wash bay was situated in the middle of the row. A courtyard separates the stables from the covering shed which has two crushes , a large rubberised covering area and sturdy teasing gate.
The finishing touches took some time to make sure everything was exactly how it should be. These included stainless steel basin and cupboard units, retractable hoses at the crushes and wash bay, rubber matting on top of the rubber flooring in the covering area, hooks for equipment and tools and brass name plaques outside the stables and in the tack room. Paving and lawns were laid in the courtyard and a paved road was made from the loading ramp to the covering shed for easy access. Finally extensive lawns (just under 3000m²) were laid in the entire area surrounding the new buildings and garden beds were established. During the building process stallion paddocks were built adjacent to the new complex. This gave the stallions much more space to run and graze then they had before.
Finally the day arrived when we could move Judpot, Gimmethegreenlight and Master Of My Fate into their new stables. The process was complete and practical efficiency could now be put to the test which turned out to be everything we hoped it would be. The covering shed was used for the latter part of the breeding season and was a pleasure to staff and visitors alike. We had a lot of positive feedback regarding the efficiency and flow of the new system. The stallions had no hang-ups covering indoors and the sure surface underfoot boosted their confidence while covering.
The cherry on the cake will be to wait and see what champions come forth from all the new foals conceived in Varsfontein’s new stallion complex!