NOTHING FIERCE ABOUT STALLION'S FIRST IMPACT
By James Tzaferis @ Racing.com https://www.racing.com/news/2021-09-03/news-breeding-nothing-fierce-about-stallions-first-impact
He was a ferocious competitor on the racetrack but Fierce Impact is taking to his new career with a much more gentle touch.
The son of Deep Impact commenced stud duties at Victoria’s Leneva Park on Wednesday, with the farm’s stallion manager Bryan Byrnes reporting that he’d taken to his new job with little fuss.
“As you can imagine with a horse that trained on as much as he did, he’s just an ultimate professional in everything he does,” Byrnes said.
“He’s taken to it really well, he’s had about seven or eight covers up to this point and we couldn’t have asked for it to go any better.
“Fierce is actually quite gentle, he makes a little bit of noise but he takes his time, has a bit of a sniff around the mare and often gives the mares a nudge on the side.
“Some stallions area lot more aggressive.”
Byrnes explained that for new stallions like Fierce Impact, it’s not so much a process of teaching them new skills as it is giving them a few practice runs the week before the season starts.
He said that after a somewhat awkward first encounter, Fierce Impact quickly got the hang of what he was there to do.
“We have a couple of what we call ‘jump’ mares so they’re retired nanny mares and from around July we try to get them coming into season,” he said.
“Probably about a week before the season starts, they are used as practice covers so that when the first of September arrives, it isn’t a complete shock for the stallions.
“Typically most stallions will have a minimum of two practice covers, although Fierce actually had three practice covers because it took him a while to figure out what he was doing.
“Most horses have a fair idea when mares are around them in season and typically once they get on a mare for the first time, that’s the big barrier.
“Once they’ve figured out how to get on the mare without getting kicked or without biting, it’s pretty straightforward.”
And while there’s little time for Fierce Impact to reflect on his feats given his near-full book of mares for the season, the team at Leneva have definitely noticed a change in the horse’s demeanor in recent days.
“It’s a very new routine for him,” he said.
“They have their first cover at 6am every morning and as soon as they’re done, they go out into the paddock straight after.
“Before the season started, he’d go out there and just put his head down and you didn’t hear a peep from him.
“But now he’s definitely a lot more vocal, he has a good run and buck around and you can tell he’s a bit more cocky.
“He’s a real man now and he’s getting the job done with all these nice mares coming into the shed to him.”