Few, if any, modern day South African stud farms have a more impressive history than the Birch Bros.
Formally established in 1910, the Birch Bros has been involved in the thoroughbred industry for over a century and have been responsible for breeding some of the country’s greatest horses.
The family’s Vogel Vlei farm is currently run by Syd and Colin Birch, a father-son combination, with Colin being a fifth generation Birch involved in running the farm.
Vogel Vlei lies in a valley of many thousands of acres on which horses, cattle and sheep are bred commercially. Mares and foals run in huge paddocks of natural and planted pastures, including lucerne, barley, oats, rye grass and other cereals.
Among the many remarkable accomplishments achieved by this historic farm are recording more than 40 breeders championship wins, with Birch Bros’ bred thoroughbreds lifting South Africa’s most famous horse-race, the Durban July, on eight occasions. The latter feat includes the Birch Bros’ bred pair of Jollify and Sea Cottage scoring a memorable dead-heat in the 1967 July.
Legendary racehorse Sea Cottage is, however, just one of numerous outstanding racehorses bred by the Birch Bros, with other South African superstars bred by the farm including Colorado King, Wolf Power, Bold Tropic and Royal Chalice.
A further testimony to the quality of thoroughbreds bred at Vogel Vlei is the success enjoyed by Colorado King and Bold Tropic in North America, while fellow Birch Bros bred champion Wolf Power went on to enjoy success at stud in the USA.
In recent times, the farm’s notable graduates have included millionaire Sniper Shot, while 2020 G1 Allan Robertson Championship heroine Vernichey was born and raised at Vogel Vlei.
This year, the Birch Bros’ Vogel Vlei Stud will be bringing a quality string to the National Yearling Sale, with this draft made up of yearlings sired by all of reigning champion sire Gimmethegreenlight, as well as by the likes of Global View, Heavenly Blue, Master Of My Fate and their highly promising resident stallion Red Ray.
The latter made the perfect start to his stud career, with Red Ray’s first crop, now three-year-olds, headed by G1 WSB SA Classic winner Red Saxon.
Red Ray has two lots in this draft -a half-brother (Lot 225) to Listed East Cape Nursery victor Viking Moon, and a half-sister (Lot 404) to G3 Cape Classic winner Eighth Wonder, with the latter hailing from the immediate family of this season’s high-class three-year-old Litigation among others.
Another exciting lot in this draft is the Gimmethegreenlight filly (Lot 434) out of G3 Strelitzia Stakes queen Inverroche, while Quality Alone, dam of the promising three-year-old Calibre Crest, has a Global View colt (Lot 114) on sale.
This draft can be viewed in Block A at the TBA complex in Germiston.