First Again Comes Full Circle

First Again Horse and Keith RussonKeith Russon with First Again
(Photo : Ian Todd)

FIRST AGAIN (SAF)
Muhtafal (USA) - Going Places (ZIM)

Keith Russon celebrates a significant moment, pictured here with First Again, our first Backworth-bred Graded winner, behind which there is a much ‘bigger picture’.

The granddaughter of Keith’s foundation mare ‘Top Drawer’ (Princillon / Windsor Chimes) from his Cloud’s End Stud in Zimbabwe back in the ’80s, Keith has continually, and sentimentally, believed in the family. From here he bred ‘Going Places’ (Esplendor / Top Drawer), who he later bought back, to bring to Backworth Stud when we started breeding in South Africa, in partnership with John and Janette Bescoby. In her short breeding career, Going Places bred well for us, most notably ‘First Again’ who we raced together with stalwart Backworth supporters Stephan and Anne Colle - enjoying 8 wins, topped with the Grade 2 Ipi Tombe Challenge victory, and numerous places, and the highest Merit Rated Filly of her generation.

When we dissolved our breeding partnership with John and Janette Bescoby in 2006, they bought us out of First Again, to send her to stud for themselves. She struggled in breeding, with only 2 Daylami foals, and had developed a strong dislike for being covered! John and Janette very kindly offered her back to Backworth earlier this year, and in consultation with our Stud Vet, Carla Langley, planned a special programme intergrating her back in to the ‘breeding concept’ letting her run with breeding warmbloods, and with a constant exposure to Stallions.

It was with much anticipation, that First Again visited new KwaZulu-Natal sire ‘Irish Flame’ recently. With a supporting team of Carla, Keith and Farm Manager Dillyn Brijlall to witness the moment, and together with the participation of the Stallion Manager, Warwick Render of Bush Hill Stud, all were there to witness what turned out to be a participative mating. 30 days later, she is ‘Tested in Foal’, and we hope for the delivery of ‘something special’!

Thanks to everybody involved - it is in recording these stories that a romance is brought back in to the science of breeding!