Three Bridges to Success for Stryker and Unencumbered
Written on the 24 October 2016
Classed as one of the most successful breeding operations in Australia, and home to Stryker and Unencumbered, Three Bridges Thoroughbreds owned by the Liston Family (Peter, Pauline, Toby and Jana), and situated at Eddington, Victoria, is fuelled by the family's passion of the thoroughbred industry.
The farm has now been running for 10 years after Peter and son, Toby, drove over the river and found this 150 acre gem which included a tree-lined river and instantly fell in love with it. Very much involved in conservation, they've given up an 8th of their farm to conservation, believing to get something good, you need to give up something good. They went on to plant a further 60,000 trees to connect with the trees already on the property, including red gums, some of which are 400 years old.
It's said the horses use 70% of their energy in winter to keep them warm, so the trees and undulations of the property have helped conserve their energy by keeping them out of the wind, allowing the horses to focus on building strength rather than keeping warm.
The Liston Family have been involved in the thoroughbred industry for 30 years with the interest starting in the family by Toby's grandfather who had a trotting start up and was a bookie along with his 7 brothers.
Pauline had been riding horses all her life and learned all she knows from her trotting guru father and then went on to get her trainer's licence. When Peter and Pauline got married, Peter said that she could have 1 horse and that horse won a lot of money, so it snowballed from there, then purchasing Lakewood Stud after having a grain farm up til then. "It's just a passion, they say about this industry. It's a disease curable only by death and it really is," Peter says.
They do things a little differently at Three Bridges, with Pauline riding the stallions during the year to keep them fit and when you're covering around 150 mares' a year, you need to be fit to do that. And the horses respond well to Pauline.
Stryker has been good for them as a foundation sire, who has already sired a Group 1 winner, which shows he's breeding horses better than himself. Some stats include 173 named foals, 112 starters, 48 winners, 70 wins, 113 placings. over $2.8 million earnings and he's been the best export for the year, last year.
Stryker's sire Fastnet Rock is the hottest sire in the land which is becoming even more evident as time goes on with his progeny's success on the racetrack and his sons beginning to impact the breeding scene.
From the female line, hailing from the famed Denise's Joy family which has been a prolific source of Group 1 winners including Joie Denise, Tuesday Joy, Sunday Joy, More Joyous, Bentleigh Biscuit, Thorn Park, Light Up the World etc.
Stryker stands out as a stunning individual with a temperament to match and this is being passed on to his progeny, including our Stryker X Absolute Harmony colt. These attributes combined with that lovely, loose Fastnet Rock walk, is attracting breeders and purchasers alike.
One of the their big hopes for the future, is Unencumbered which they had a battle on their hands, keeping NSW studs away from him. And they're so pleased they have him there.
They say he is a precocious 2yo, as tough as they come. He was a leading 2yo colt in Australia with earnings over $1.9 million. He retired sound after 10 career starts as a 2yo. Magic Millions winners have a proven record as successful stallions. Previous winners include Testa Rossa, General Nediym and Snippets.