Stockwell Stud Back On Show

In an era where history is the time between two text messages, Stockwell Stud is a google search.

However, to breeders with longer memories, Stockwell was once the epicentre of Victorian breeding, standing a host of notable stallions including the iconic Showdown.

It was truly something to behold. Based at Diggers Rest – around 40 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD – Stockwell Stud was the love child of dynamic businessman, Ken Cox, who had purchased the property in 1957 and named it after a famed English stallion of the 19th century.

The name and the fame rubbed off and Stockwell captured two Australian sires’ premierships via Showdown and became the envy of breeders from coast to coast.

Cox sold Stockwell in the 1980s and it would struggle to retain its leading farm status, before eventually being purchased by Emirates Park in 1993 as the Victorian arm of its two-state operation.

Something old is new again and Mike Becker, with son Brodie, has taken out a long term lease on the property, reviving the name of Stockwell Stud in the process.

Spanning 800 acres and offering every conceivable thoroughbred service, the farm is something of a homecoming for Becker who was Stud Manager at Stockwell in the late 80s and remembers well the farm’s halcyon days.

“Stockwell is certainly a fond memory for many breeders and hopefully we can offer some old time service in what is now a new age facility,” Becker enthused. “We won’t be standing any stallions at this point in time, but will be providing a walk on service to all major farms, foaling down, agistment, sales prep, weaning and provide a full veterinary service.”

Legendary horseman, George Smith, who managed Stockwell Stud for 28 years, is over the moon about the name’s revival and, in particular, the new stewardship.

“The Beckers will do the old place proud,” Smith claims. “Mike has been involved in the Victorian industry for a long time. He’s a former chairman of Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria and ran Independent Stallions for quite a number of years. They stood 11 stallions and foaled down up 200 mares a season at Independent so he knows what he’s doing.

“If anyone can bring Stockwell back to its former glory, the Beckers can.”

The Power of Passion