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Robyn Whishaw – A true horse woman

Horses have been a way of life for Robyn Whishaw and that is not likely to change any time soon.

She grew up on the family farm in the midlands of Tasmania, not that far from Oatlands, a thriving farming community.

The farm ran mainly sheep and cattle but there was always room for a horse or two, she prepared her first yearling for the Tasmanian Yearling Sales when she was 14.

This year the family will be selling 40 yearlings, which is a third of the catalogue of 133 lots, at the Magic Millions Sales on Thursday February 16.

Selling under the banner of Armidale Stud at Carrick, founded by her late father in law, David Whishaw, 51 years ago, among the early sires to stand there were Blessington, Poacher’s Moon, by Roi Soliel who was a very successful sire, and St Briavels, the sire of Tripsacum, he finished third to What A Nuisance, and Koiro Corrie May, in the Melbourne Cup.

Robyn Whishaw is a remarkable woman, after leaving school at 18 she went on to complete a Bachelor of Education at University.

She married Denis, who tragically passed away at 50 years of age, she was left with three children giving them all a university education, plus the various chores of running a thoroughbred stud farm.

The stud has continued to prosper under her guidance, son David and his wife Rhiannon, both dedicated horse people, they are now heavily involved in the running of Armidale, the rewarding factor is the passing on from one generation to another.

While they have a long way to catch up to Widden in New South Wales, celebrating its 150 years, they are pointed in the right direction.

Armidale Stud has long been a major contributor to the Magic Millions Yearling Sales in Tasmania.

Robyn has moved off the main farm to 100 acres nearby, just three minutes down the road, however, she still retains an active interest and always will.

In later years the stud have stood the following sires, Northern Reward, Aliocha, Weasel Clause, Northern Chateau, Tertian , Ladoni , Tough Speed and Savoire Vivre, the sire of The Cleaner.

The stud has bred a number of good horses of late including Weasel Will, Lady Lynette, Triple Asset, Like A Carousel etc.

This year’s draft offers a good selection of young horses, Lot 31 by the resident sire Needs Further from Striking Bride, Lot 56, she is certain to find a home, the filly by Written Tycoon from the American bred mare Bequia Beauty, by Maria’s Mon will be well sought after.    

Lot 129 should not lack support either, a bay colt by Needs Further from Phyl’s Choice by Savoire Vivre, sire of The Cleaner.

Robyn Whishaw has made an enormous contribution to racing and breeding, unequalled by any other person in Tasmania.

Magic Millions and Tasmanian Racing have worked hard to promote the yearling sales, with the outstanding results of last year this has given the industry confidence, breeders can continue to make a living out of thoroughbreds.

“There is no doubt we have a wonderful climate here, and the results of our horses that go interstate prove that Tasmania is indeed a great nursery for racehorses, “she said.

Robyn has chaired the Tasmanian Advisory Network which represents Breeders, Trainers, Jockeys and Race Clubs, to further improve the breeding in the state.

In 2015 she was inducted into the Tasmanian Racing Hall of Fame, while in December she was appointed to the Tasracing Board as the Thoroughbred Code Representative.

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