Pencarrow 8

About The Stud

Situated in the lush countryside of the Waikato region of New Zealand, Pencarrow Stud was established by international businessman Sir Peter Vela.

Developed in tandem with his late brother Philip, the pair created a legacy for their families and the NZ thoroughbred industry through years of dedication, passion and expert judgement. The 2013/14 season marked a new era in the history of the stud with Sir Peter taking the reins on his own and continuing the success that the brothers started together.

Comprising some 300 hectares of mineral rich countryside, Pencarrow Stud has an enviable record producing world-class thoroughbred racehorses.

History of success

Sir Peter and the late Philip Vela have a justifiably proud record of racing their fillies on the world thoroughbred stage for more than 30 years. From Romanee Conti (by Sir Tristram), the winner of seven races including the Group III Hong Kong International Cup, Group III STC Queen of the Turf Stakes, and four other Stakes and Listed victories, as well as her second placing in the Group I Queen Elizabeth Randwick Stakes to the champion Octagonal (by Zabeel) and earning prize money in excess of NZ$1 million in 1988; to her daughter Ethereal (by Rhythm) the winner of four Group I races including her historic Group I Caulfield Cup and Group I Melbourne Cup double beating top European gallopers Give The Slip by a length, with a further ten lengths to Persian Punch in third; to Riverina Charm (by Sir Tristram), a four-time Group I winner and her daughter the 2000 NZ Bloodstock Filly of the Year and Group II winner, Sarwatch (by Jetball).

Other notable racing achievements for Pencarrow Stud bred fillies include Grand Echezeaux (by Zabeel) who in the 2000 racing season joined the highest level of turf racing in Australasia as she won at both Group I and Group III level in Australia, Vapour Trail (by Jetball) the winner of the Group I New Zealand Oaks and 2002 NZ Bloodstock Filly of the Year title and Insouciant, the winner of the 2007 Group 1 NZ Bloodstock One Thousand Guineas and the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series.

These fine racetrack performers in Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand are proof of the Velas strength in their select broodmare band of richly bred mares in the fertile paddocks of Pencarrow Stud.

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Sir Peter has no hesitation in competing on the racetrack with his young thoroughbred stock. They compete against the best that Australasian and Asian racing can provide. Not only does this showcase the pedigrees of their future and present mares, but it allows buyers of Pencarrow Stud's yearlings to know and have confidence in the rich and proud racing heritage of the Velas' broodmare band and successful breeding record.

In 2000 and in 2002 this racing heritage earned the Velas the well-deserved title of Mercedes-Benz Breeders of the Year for New Zealand.

The Stud has also had immense success in the sales ring. Under their Pencarrow Stud banner they have sold six yearlings for more than one million dollars each over the past decade at NZB's Premier Sales.

In 2004 their outstanding sale-topping colt by Danehill out of Group I winner Grand Echezeaux was bought for a cool NZ$1,100,000 by Te Akau Stud principal David Ellis. Named Darci Brahma, he won five Group 1 races and retired to stud in 2007 the world’s highest credentialled son of champion sire Danehill after Rock of Gibraltar.

In 2005 and 2006 Darci Brahma was crowned New Zealand Champion two-year-old and three-year-old and, in a rare feat, retired to stud with Group 1 victories in his two-, three- and four-year-old seasons. Now standing at The Oaks Stud, his stud career is flying, having topped the tables in 2012/13 with the best winners to runners ratio of any stallion standing in New Zealand or Australia.

In addition to Darci Brahma, triple Group 1 winners Hoeberg (by Maroof) and Star Dancer (by Star Watch), plus top Group 1 victors Allez Suez (by Canny Lad), Linesman (by Touching Wood) and Cavallieri (by Gaius) have all been purchased from Pencarrow Stud's yearling drafts.

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Eye on the future

To complement their home-bred mares the Velas introduce international bloodlines on a regular basis. This balances the race proven stock with sires such as Sir Tristram and Star Way and Australia's Star Kingdom sire lines, with international lines such as Nureyev and Danzig.

Each year Sir Peter has selected stallions for their mares from the international quality stallions both permanently based in New Zealand and Australia and the shuttle stallions who stand seasons in both hemispheres. The access that New Zealand thoroughbred breeders have to the finest international sire lines is enthusiastically embraced by the Velas.

The combination of top sires, a select band of broodmares, and the temperate Waikato climate allows young thoroughbreds to grow with natural strength and good bone.

Their development is in the experienced hands of long time Stud Manager, Leon Casey.

"Pencarrow Stud's location in the Waikato is one of the great strengths we have as we breed and produce our yearlings," comments Leon.

"I can't think of a better natural location worldwide for young thoroughbreds to develop."

Sir Peter Vela's passion for thoroughbreds extends outside of Pencarrow Stud, with the ownership of the country's premier thoroughbred auction company, New Zealand Bloodstock Limited, situated at Karaka, South Auckland. Purchased from Wrightson Bloodstock Limited in January 1997, the company is a significant contributor to the rapid growth of the New Zealand thoroughbred industry.

“I can't think of a better natural location worldwide for young thoroughbreds to develop.”

Meet The Team

Stud Manager

Leon Casey

Broodmare Manager

Mark Fox

Yearling Manager

Dominic Corban

Bellwood Farm Managers

Basil & Lynn Treymane

Tamahere Spelling Farm Manager

Paul Curran

Consulting Veterinarian

John Hunter

Tamahere Farm Manager

Bryan Atkinson

Office Manager

Michelle Dando

Racing Manager

Garry Cossey

Private Trainers

Steven Ramsay & Julia Ritchie


Jane Schwitzer