Mill Park Stud is owned and operated by the Watson family: Peter, Serena, and their son Chris. The property was originally purchased by Serena’s father and his brothers in the 1950s. It was initially a cattle and sheep property.
Fine wool Merinos still graze on land surrounding some 2,500 acres of renovated lucerne and veldt pastures, which were established to accommodate horses.
During the early years of Mill Park, Peter and Serena kept a small number of Thoroughbred broodmares as a hobby. The progeny of these mares allowed an early introduction into selling Thoroughbred yearlings commercially.
Their hobby became truly commercial in the early 1990s, with their own interest increasing, and the addition of a large group of broodmares sent to them by Toorak Park Stud.
The small breeding operation has developed into a very successful business, with the farm now accommodating around 200 horses, of which approximately 80 are resident broodmares.
The entire property covers 10,000 acres; the landscape is undulating and limestone-based, this terroir providing a unique and successful environment for raising Thoroughbred youngstock, and ideal restorative conditions for spelling racehorses.
High class graduates from the farm in the early years include Gold Guru and St Clemens Belle, who started a succession of stakes-winners. Mill Park is renowned within the Thoroughbred industry for their ability to produce Group winners every year.
Serena has a life-long love of horses, and Peter’s early career included jackarooing, after completing his studies at the University of Adelaide.
Chris grew up on the farm, and after attending boarding school in Adelaide, he went straight to work at Arrowfield Stud before traveling and working overseas for studs in America, Ireland, and England. He has been full-time on the farm since 1998 and takes great pride in raising and educating the youngstock through to yearling sales; marriage to Siân in 2006 brought our resident equine vet on to the team.
Our family has a sound knowledge of Thoroughbred pedigrees, and we enjoy robust discussion when it comes time to match mares to stallions every season. There may be differing opinions, but our shared appreciation of a ‘good type’, and continuing research, has borne fruit when looking at the stud’s honour roll.
The Mill Park Brand
The 4 ‘lazy’ S 3 brand was the original cattle brand Serena’s father designed. It acknowledged the 4 Simpson brothers originally involved in the property, and his own 3 daughters.
- Our Resident Veterinarian manages our equine treatment facilities, including stabling and yards specifically designed for post-surgery and rehabilitation care.
- We employ specialist staff with a range of experience in the equine industry.
- We offer large paddock sizes and low stocking rates. We are proud to treat our horses as individuals; this adds to the already unique nature of the property.
- We consult with KER (Kentucky Equine Research) and local agronomists to ensure specifically produced feeds, and appropriately managed pastures.
- We have specialised facilities for yearling preparation; we only sell yearlings that have been raised and educated on the farm.