12/02/2005 1:00AM

Farm managers honor Double Honor, Hronec


The annual Florida Farm Managers Inc.'s trade show and parade of stallions, held at the Ocala, Fla., horse complex this past Sunday, attracted well over 1,000 visitors, most of whom came to scrutinize the 32 stallions prior to the parade and to negotiate season purchases. Per custom, Jim and Sheila DiMare of Rising Hill Farm hosted hundreds for brunch at their assigned barn.

Double Honor, a 10-year-old son of Gone West-Holiday Snow, by Storm Bird, was named the farm managers' stallion of the year. The former Farnsworth Farms resident now holds court at Manny Andrade's Get Away Farm. Double Honor is one of four stallions vying for the top spot on the list of leading 2005 Florida sires.

Phil Hronec, farm manager for Eugene and Laura Melnyk's Winding Oaks Farm, was selected as the farm manager of the year. Winding Oaks Farm is the 1,000-acre nursery and training complex that began as Tartan Farms and later as Harry T. Mangurian Jr.'s Mockingbird Farm. Hronec is the former manager for the late John Franks.

The veteran farm manager, owner, and breeder Marty Hershe Jr. won the farm managers' Carry Back Award. This award goes to a person who has been a credit to the community and the industry. Hershe came to Florida back in the 1960's to work for Bruce Campbell's Early Bird Farm and was instrumental in developing the farm into one of Ocala's leading commercial breeders.

Susan Seper is the breeder of Eclipse Award sprint candidate Lost in the Fog. The farm managers cited this achievement and made her breeder of the year. Raul Ocon of Rising Hill Farm was honored as farm employee of the year.

Stallion notes

Rising Hill Farm is adding two more stallions to its current roster of 15 for the '06 breeding season. Hadrian's Wall is a Storm Cat stallion and is a three-quarter brother to the European champion Hold That Tiger. No fee has been announced. Saint Afleet (Afleet-Saintly Silk, by Saint Ballado) won the Grade 2 Palos Verdes and the Sunshine Millions Dash, and won 5 of 12 starts and earned $342,571. He will stand for $5,000 live foal.

Live Oak Stud's homebred High Fly has been retired. Winner of last year's Grade 1 Florida Derby, he is a son of Atticus and is out of the stakes-placed Slewpy mare Verbasle, who is the dam of stakes winners Estimraar and Smokey Mirage. This is the family of Belmont Stakes winner Summing. No decision has been made as to where High Fly will enter stud.

The Vinery will stand D'wildcat for $6,500. D'wildcat, by Forest Wildcat-D'Enough, by D'Accord, is moving to Ocala from Windfields Farm in Ontario, Canada. A chestnut 7-year-old, D'Wildcat won four stakes, including the Grade 1 De Francis Memorial Dash. His first foals are weanlings.

OBS mixed sale pushed back

The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company will delay by a day its annual winter mixed sale because the Keeneland mixed sale has been extended a day. The new starting date is Jan. 17, and the sale goes through Jan. 20.

Farnsworth Farms, which was scheduled to complete its dispersal at this sale, will not do so.

"We had some potential health problems at the farm," said farm owner Mike Sherman, "and we had to resolve the situation. Everything is pretty much under control now, but we missed the January sale closing date."

Farnsworth Farms will sell its current foal crop, 115 of them in all, at the OBS August yearling sales. The 32 mares still on the farm will foal there and be bred back and sold at the fall mixed sale next October, along with any foals these mares produce.

* Stallion showcases for Saturday include Lambholm South (noon-3 p.m.) and Cloverleaf Farms II (1-4 p.m.).