Rheinwood Pastoral Co commenced when Ray & Marilyn Willis purchased two mares at the 1981 Brian Maher dispersal sale on the Gold Coast, Queensland. The mares were agisted at Dalama Stud, Muswellbrook and the band was gradually enlarged to seven.
Major shareholding was purchased in two stallions to stand at stud, Swift Gun and Mighty Avalanche, the former dying after making a promising start to his stud career. The Group 1 winning Mighty Avalanche could be called an ideal bread and butter stallion and we enjoyed some success with his progeny.
The mares moved to Yarraman Park, Scone owned by Arthur and Harry Mitchell. One mare ‘Briscay’ foaled the Group 1 winner ‘Arkady’. Another mare ‘Daughters Charm’, gained notoriety as the dam of ‘Scenic Blast’ and ‘Gilded Venom’. Several winners were bred at Yarraman Park from the broodmare band.
Ray realised his long-standing dream and moved his family to Mittagong in 1990, to the beautiful Southern Highlands of NSW. Ray and Marilyn bought ‘Currockbilly’, a then very run down cattle property and set about the transformation into the boutique thoroughbred stud it is today.
Several stakes performers have been raised on the property, namely Final Fantasy, Dotteressa, Palais de Louvre, Padfoot Charlie, Danebar, Insistence, Captain Chaos, Upper Limits & Libertad.
Other notable graduates include So Anyway winner of the 2010 Yarraman Park Dark Jewel Classic, Albert the Fat, winner of the 2010 Group 1 BTC Cup and the 2011 Emirates Stakes at Flemington and the talented Luke’s Luck, winner of the 2012 Karrakatta Plate (Gr2) and the WA Sire’s Produce (Gr3, these graduates have been doing Rheinwood proud on the track!
It was a huge thrill and a great ride to watch our homebred staying filly Unchain My Heart run in several black type races over her career, winning the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes over 3200m in 2013 and 2014 and the Listed Bagot Handicap in 2012 earning her a run in the 2014 Melbourne Cup where she was one of only two Australian Bred Runners in the field.
The farm has continued to grow and expand over the years and we now have some 45 resident broodmares agisting on the farm – a mix of family owned and client mares, walking on for service to the top Hunter Valley and Victorian Sires. We attend all the major yearlings sales, Magic Millions and Inglis, and market between 20 – 25 yearlings each year. We also have newly developed facilities to spell racehorses.
Horses raised at Rheinwood are BRED IN THE COLD… HOT ON THE TRACK!