11/05/2013 9:01PM

Highcliff team to launch Saratoga Stud in December


Saratoga Stud LLC, a full-service Thoroughbred breeding facility, will open in mid-December in Stillwater, N.Y., with the former Highcliff Farm team at the helm.

Saratoga Stud will be located on part of the 300-acre Irish Hill Century Farm, owned by Rick Burke. The operation will be headed by C. Lynwood O'Cain, DVM; his wife, Suzie; and Burke. Dr. O’Cain, as resident veterinarian, oversaw the breeding operation of the late Carl Lizza, Jr.’s, Highcliff Farm, near Amsterdam, N.Y., for 23 years, while Suzie O’Cain was in charge of stallion promotion and development.

Following Lizza’s death in 2011, Highcliff’s operations moved to Mill Creek Farm in Stillwater, under the care of the O’Cains. This season, Highcliff stallions Bob and John, Congaree, Cosmonaut, Maybry’s Boy, Smart Bid, and Stonesider relocated to stand at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

The six stallions will now relocate to stand at Saratoga Stud.

“Doc and I are thrilled to be part of this new venture with Rick Burke and our stallions,” Suzie O'Cain said. “Managing a stallion operation is what we have done for 23 years, and we are delighted to be totally involved and immersed in it again. Doing this in a new facility, along with the close proximity to Saratoga Race Course, affords us the opportunity to attract quality stallions to compliment our current stallion roster. We are looking forward to overseeing the stallions and interacting with their owners and other breeders on a daily basis. We see this as a very positive move that will benefit Saratoga, the breeders, the stallions, stallion owners and all of the Saratoga Stud connections.

"We are very grateful to Joe McMahon, of McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, his family and his staff for their generosity in helping us get started," she added. "We will always be grateful to them for their help with the stallions during this transition period."

Irish Hill has been in operation since 1883 and specializes in broodmare care and foaling, while also providing sales preparation, boarding and transportation.

“We provide care for horses of all ages, primarily from the day they are born until they leave the farm for sales or training," Burke said. "We are now going to become a one-stop shop. Whatever the horse needs, we supply it."