In the 2022 season Steve Johnson bred the Australia two-year-old colt or gelding Horse of the year Never Ending (Sweet Lou USA out of Endless Journey by Die Laughing USA). Never Ending also took out the WA Standardbred Breeders Association (WASBA) and the Racing & waging WA (RWWA) 2yo colt of the year.

Born at Epping (Victoria), Steve Johnson grew up around horses and made his first foray into harness racing as a teenager. “I attended a dispersal sale of Charlie Dickson’s Red Shadow Stud at Canowindra (NSW) with the intention of buying one horse. But I ended up with two!” Johnson recalled. 

Prior to Never Ending, the best horse ever bred by Johnson was the tough Artesian gelding, David Hercules. He won a total of 39 races – including 13 at Group level – and $1,263,159 stakes and was named WA Horse of the Year and 3YO of the Year. 

“He (David Hercules) won a Breeders Crown Final, two Vicbred Finals, the Fremantle Cup and an Inter Dominion heat,” Steve said.

Now a three-year-old Never Ending is a gelding by Yankee Cruiser horse Sweet Lou (1:47), a champion pacer himself and now a leading sire in both hemispheres who stands at Woodlands in New Zealand.

 Never Ending won on debut, starting second favourite of seven runners with the favourite drawn the pole,

The son of Sweet Lou,  has started a favourite and won at all six career starts including impressive wins in three Group 1 races – the $100,000 2YO Pearl, the $215,000 Westbred 2YO Colts and Geldings Classic and the premier 2YO race in WA, the $150,000 Golden Slipper.

Purchased for $75,000 at the 2021 APG WA Yearling Sale to Justin Prentice and owned by stable clients, Never Ending has stake earnings of $274,485, plus bonus money.

Never Ending’s siblings include half-brother and Group 1 Pearl Classic winner Isiah Artois (Modern Art USA) and Group 3 Pinjarra Daintys Daughter Classic winner Mandy Joan (Art Major USA) 1:54.9 $168,564.

Their dam Endless Journey is a half-sister to Fake Embrace (Fake Left USA) 1:53.4 37 wins $240,249 and Like A Dame (Die Laughing USA) 2:02.2 $10,312, the dam of champion David Hercules (Artesian USA) 1:52.7 39 wins $1,263,159.

The close-up family also includes Major Martini (Art Major USA) 1:54.8 $322,483, Otis, Hugh Victor, Kerrin Joseph and multiple other metropolitan winners.

In the 2022 season West Australia breeder Steve Johnson also bred Tricky Miki (Always B Miki out of Harriet Elisabeth by Modern Art) with season earnings of $231,741 from 10 starts (6 wins including 4 metro and 3 places).

Tricky Miki who took out the Group 1 $200,000 WA Derby and Group 1 $100,000 3YO Colts and Geldings Westbred Classic, along with the $50,000 Group 2 Western Gateway.

Tricky Miki’s overall career tally, after winning the 2021 Golden Slipper and 2021 2YO Colts and Geldings Westbred Classic, is $324,450 from only 14 starts.

For the season Johnson bred 21 winners of 58 races and 139 places for $1.245 million in stakes.

 

There were five Group 1 wins and another five other Group or Listed wins in the tally.

 

For the season 2022 Johnson was awarded by WASBA the 2YO and 3YO Colt/Gelding of the Year, along with the Breeding for Excellence award, Broodmare of the Year and Breeder of Two Open Group 1 winners.