A Derby winner and a few Champion sires…
The Holland Martin family, which owns the Overbury Estate, established Overbury Stud shortly before the Second World War. Benefitting from free-draining sandy soil and a mild climate which is so important to this fruit-growing area of the Vale of Evesham, Overbury Stud encountered success quickly: the Coventry Stakes of 1952 was won by the Overbury-bred Whistler, who went on to be a Champion sire of two-year-olds.
Whistler was a son of foundation mare Farthing Damages, whose Overbury-bred descendants also include Cork & Orrery and Prix Maurice de Geest winner College Chapel, who later became Europe’s leading first season sire; his dam the speedy King George V Stakes winner Scarcely Blessed; and his grandam, the exceptional Parsimony who won the July Cup and the Cork & Orrery. Globetrotting German-trained multiple G1 winner Caitano and the Nunthorpe and Prix de l’Abbaye winner Tower Walk (who also ran second in the 2,000 Guineas) are other top-class racehorses bred at Overbury Stud, which also became famous for producing big-priced commercial yearlings at the Houghton Sales of the 1970s and ’80s.
The stud’s greatest ever son, however, was sold for the relatively modest sum of 27,000 gns: Grundy, Horse of the Year in 1975 and winner of the Derby (by three lengths), the Dewhurst (by six lengths), and a legendary King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, in which he defeated Bustino in course record time.
At the turn of the new millennium, the Holland Martin family leased Overbury Stud to Simon Sweeting who launched Overbury Stallions Ltd and, under his management, the Stud has grown a reputation for standing stallions. The three-time Champion stayer Kayf Tara, who retired to Overbury Stud in 2001, was joined by the leading sprinter Bertolini in 2002. Both Darley-owned stallions were keenly priced, drawing great support: Bertolini was Europe’s leading first-season sire of 2005, when he numbered the G1 Cheveley Park heroine Donna Blini (now dam of Japanese Champion Gentildonna) among his winners; while Kayf Tara has been the leading British National Hunt stallion no fewer than six times since 2008-09, his first crop led by the G1 winner Planet Of Sound. In 2016, we stood Fast Company – a proven source of winning juveniles with Royal Ascot pretentions – and introduced Mustajeeb, the record-breaking Jersey Stakes winner who is the fastest horse in the Galileo family.
Overbury Stallions is committed to standing exciting, well-bred stallions who represent value for breeders keen to use young stallions who could be the next big thing. As many successful breeders know, this kind of stallion offers the possibility of huge rewards for a modest outlay. Besides its stallion business, Overbury Stud also offers top quality boarding and sales services and is developing a new broodmare band with the aim of repeating this famous nursery’s earlier successes. We intend to strengthen our position at the leading foal and yearling sales, where we are already achieving good prices for youngstock.
Simon Sweeting – Manager
Simon was brought up at Conduit Stud where his parents stood firstly HIS and then National Hunt stallions including Sunyboy, Kinglet, Relkino and Petoski. After school he began his equine education at Colin Hayes’s Lindsay Park Stud, followed by a yearling season at Timmy Hyde’s Camas Park Stud and a breeding season at Coolmore. This was followed by three years at Cirencester where he gained a degree (BSc Hons.) in Rural Estate Management. In the early 1990s he spent four seasons at Warren Place as Assistant to Henry Cecil – years that ran from Commander In Chief’s Derby victory up to Bosra Sham’s 1,000 Guineas win. This was followed by a year in New York overseeing Bobby Frankel’s string whilst Bobby remained in California, and a further three years with Luca Cumani which included High Rise’s Derby victory. In 2000, he took up the lease on Overbury Stud which coincided with the opportunity to stand Kayf Tara and the launch of Overbury Stallions Ltd.
Mobile: 07796 174926
Jo Brown Assistant – Manager and Nominations
Jo gained a diploma in the Management of Thoroughbred Horses at Witney College, and then, having completed the National Stud course, won the National Stud Scholarship which paid for her to work a season in Australia. She worked at Cheveley Park Stud and in the Darley Racing Office before joining Overbury in 2001. Jo was one of the three finalists in the Stud Staff category of the 2017 Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards.
Office: (01386) 725552
Catherine Morse – Stud Secretary
Catherine has a degree (BSc Hons) in Equine Science from Hartpury College and was one of the three finalists in the High Achiever category of the 2010 Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards. She has subsequently worked at Usk Valley Stud and New Mill Stud before coming to Overbury. Catherine was Stud Groom from 2008 until 2016 and then following her maternity leave has returned to work in the office as Stud Secretary.
Matt Jones – Stud Groom
Matt started as Stud Groom in 2018 and came to Overbury with a wealth of experience. He has managed Brightwalton Stud; was Broodmare manager and separately, stallion man at Highclere Stud. Matt also spent time as Clerk of The Course at Hereford Racecourse along with gaining early experience at Tweenhills, Furnace Mill and Hesmonds Stud.
Kirsti Windsor – Assistant Stud Groom
Kirsti came to work at Overbury Stud as Assistant Stud Groom at the end of 2018. Kirsti came from being Foal / Broodmare manager at Highclere Stud but prior to that had run her own Breaking / Pre Training yard, had been Assistant Trainer at Pin Oak Stud as well as previous experience working at Kildangan Stud, Herringswell Manor and a work rider for Champion trainer Andre Fabre.
Dan Matty – Stallion Man
Dan has lived at Overbury all his life and his family has strong connections with the Estate. He started work on the stud in 2001, his first job with horses, and has been responsible for the stallions for ten seasons. He was a county standard rugby player before injury forced his early retirement.
Joined as a full-time member of staff in 2013 having worked five stud seasons at Overbury. Leanne takes responsibility for the barren and maiden mares during the breeding season.
Lukasz first worked at Overbury Stud as a seasonal stud hand in 2007 and joined us as a permanent member of staff in 2010. He has previously driven tanks in the Polish army and worked in the building industry. Lukasz is in charge of our tractor work and paddock maintenance and also assists Dan with looking after the stallions.
Caitlyn Fisher – Stud Hand
Caitlyn completed The National Stud pre-apprenticeship course in 2015 and after gaining further experience at several studs in and around Newmarket joined Overbury Stud at the start of 2018. Caitlyn particularly enjoys working with the foals during the season.
Greg Staniek – Veterinary Consultant
Greg was born and brought up in Poland, where he was a member of the Polish Young Riders Showjumping team. Greg came to the United Kingdom in 1988 and graduated from Glasgow in 1992. Initially he worked in a mixed practice near Milton Keynes before moving to an equine clinic at Newark, near Nottingham. In 1995 Greg arrived at Bourton Vale and joined the partnership in 1999. Greg took over from our recently retired stud vet Charlie McCartan in 2018 and carries out most of the stud work at Overbury Stud.