The historic Widden Stud in the south west corner of Muswellbrook Shire provided an outstanding insight into the Thoroughbred Breeding Industry which is a major part of the economy in Upper Hunter Country.
Widden Stud put out the welcome mat to well over 200 members of the public on Saturday 23rd August when they presented 11 magnificent stallions at their annual Open Day. The parade included such great performers as Serbring, Zoustar, Stratum, Shamus Award and Star Witness.
The stud covers over 8,000 acres along the narrow valley floor of Widden Brook surrounded by the ancient sandstone cliffs of the Wollemi National Park. As well as the world famous thoroughbred enterprise, Widden also operates a high quality commercial beef herd including Hereford and Santa Gertrudes cross cattle. The valley is home to other famous horse studs including the neighbouring
Baramul Stud operated by well-known Australian business entrepreneur, Gerry Harvey.
The property has been the home of the Thompson family since the 1830s with the first racehorses bred at the stud in 1867. Since then, racehorses from Widden have taken on the best on the track in Australia and around the world. The stud has an outstanding record of winners over many generations.
For racing and racehorse enthusiasts, the list horses from Widden reads like the “Who’s Who” of the thoroughbred world. A row of “headstones” chronicle the Stud’s fabulous history and outstanding breeding record with names such as Vain, Bletchingly, Todman and Marscay etched in sandstone tablets from the surrounding cliffs dating back beyond the Dreamtime.