The Award-winning and exciting son of Walner in King Of The North will be boarding a flight in the USA in July heading to Llowalong Farms in northern Victoria.
King Of The North provides a rare opportunity to upgrade Southern Hemisphere trotting genetics, with the son of Walner ticking all the boxes expected of any world-class stallion with the pedigree, race resume, and striking good looks to match.
Llowalong Farms principal, Kath McIntosh, was naturally delighted to be able to secure the exciting young stallions services in the flesh.
“The stallion is a real superstar and will be breed-changing down under,” said McIntosh.
“To secure the deal, I recently flew to visit the owner in the US and the stallion himself at Tara Hills Stud in Canada.
“It was important to me to be able to inspect the horse and his semen. The stallion is a classy athletic individual with a lovely personality to boot. I have inspected the semen myself, and his semen is excellent, which is also reflected in his strike rate in Canada/US in his first season.
“I am confident he will prove a very fertile fresh/chilled option for breeders in NZ and Australia,” she said.
The shuttling of King Of The North is a massive coup for breeders of the Trotting gait in the Southern Hemisphere as the previously unavailable Walner/Chapter Seven line has burst onto the breeding scene like no other since perhaps Meadow Skipper in the late 1970s or Valley Victory in the 1990s.
‘The Walner Effect’
King Of The North inherits the incomparable sire line of Walner.
Walner himself has been a revelation in the Trotting ranks of North America. He became an instant success for trainer Linda Toscano when he hit the racetrack as a 2 Year Old in 2016 – winning seven of his eight starts and taking home the Dan Patch Trophy for Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year.
Unfortunately, after two starts for two wins as a three-year-old, Walner succumbed to injury and was retired to Stud at Southwind Farm, New Jersey, as a four-year-old.
His trainer Linda Toscano who has trained a host of champion horses, knew he was something special.
“He would have broken 1.49 for sure had he stayed sound for his three-year-old year. I have little doubt he would have broken the World Record,” she said.
The first crop of Walner yearlings in North America averaged $82,197, whilst last year, his 83 yearlings sold averaged $121,710 – truly remarkable.
They have since backed it up on the racetrack. The magnificent son of Chapter Seven wasted no time in knocking his own sire off his perch, leading the money list for 2YO Trotters with his debut crop in 2021 with world champion juveniles such as Venerable (2,1:52 | $1,153,514), King Of The North, and millionaire Jiggy Jog S (2,1:52.2; 3,1:50 | $1,122,718).
Walner further asserted his dominant arrival by once again leading the 2022 money list for two & three-year-old Trotters. Incredibly, with 78 fewer starters and only one-fifth of the foals on the ground, Walner sat in third place on the All-Age money list behind the great Muscle Hill, with less than $100,000 in earnings separating them.
Based on these statistics, Walner, named after legendary Swedish horseman Hakan Walner, is a once-in-a-lifetime horse.
The Engine Room
Few, if any, trotting stallions can lay claim to being a world champion, by a world champion, and out of a world champion, as King Of The North can.
King Of The North’s dam is the world champion Donato Hanover mare, Check Me Out (4, 1:51.2 | $1,903,795), who was both the Dan Patch and O’Brien Award-winning filly at age 2 and 3, setting world records for her age and sex along the way. Her fantastic career included 27 wins on all-size tracks across North America.
She has produced four winners from six foals, with her daughter Check Out Trixie (Trixton) the dam of last season’s third fastest juvenile filly in North America, Instagram Model. The daughter of Chapter Seven took a lifetime best of 1:53 when claiming the $355,000 Jim Doherty Memorial at the Meadowlands.
Sadly Check Me Out was the only foal produced from her dam (t3,1:54) Illusion Bi (Toss Out), however the fact she was able to produce a world champion from her only foal should come as little surprise when looking at her own dam, No Nonsense Woman (t3,1:54).
King Of The North’s great grand dam is the millionaire-earning world champion and 1997 3yo filly of the year, No Nonsense Woman (Sierra Kosmos). She was good enough to win classic races from age two through to five and did so in both North America and Europe.
The winner of 24 races has also provided the tail lines to another current elite performer in the half-millionaire earning Keg Stand (Bar Hopping), showcasing the incredible depth of the maternal family King Of The North inherits, something every great stallion requires.
King of his crop
King Of The North (t3,1.50.6) was voted the USTA Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year in 2021 and, in November last year, won the Breeders Crown Final for Three-Year-Old Trotting Colts. He was the first Millionaire colt to be sired by the record-breaking generational stallion Walner.
King Of The North was trained by New York horseman Ray Schnittker, who also trained the millionaires Deweycheatumnhowe, Huntsville and Check Me Out.
King Of The North led all two-year-old colt trotters in earnings in 2021, with $657,140. He won six of his ten starts for trainer Ray Schnittker and driver Mark MacDonald and took a record of 1:52.4.
His triumphs included the $640,000 William Wellwood Memorial, $293,450 Peter Haughton Memorial, and $200,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes final, enough to see him crowned as the 2021 2YO Trotting Colt of the Year.
King Of The North won three of his last four starts in 2022 before retiring to stallion duty, including the $200,000 Carl Erskine Memorial at Hoosier Park and the elimination and final of the $810,000 Breeders Crown, where he took his lifetime mark of 1:50.3.
That was the fastest mile ever by a three-year-old trotter in the history of the Breeders Crown; it was also the fastest Canadian mile ever by a colt and a Woodbine Mohawk Park track record.
King Of The North retired with earnings of $1,370,242.
Critically for trotting down under trotting breeders, they will have access to King Of the North via fresh/chilled semen after much deliberation from his North American ownership group.
Not only does he represent world-class genetics, but world-class value for money when you consider the world champion and former horse of the year stands at Tara Hills Stud in Ontario at a service fee of $US12,500 and has served a full book of mares
King Of The North will stand at a service fee of $7650+GST in New Zealand and $7900 including GST in Australia, representing an incredible opportunity for a fresh semen stallion of his calibre.