07/29/2004 11:00PM

Johar's owners offer an unusual stud deal

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - When 2003 Breeders' Cup Turf winner Johar retired to stud this spring, owner Jayeff B Stables and Mill Ridge Farm came up with an unusual way to market him.

Instead of syndicating the 5-year-old Gone West horse, Richard Santulli and George Prussin's Jayeff B Stables is offering 40 "lifetime breeding interests" in Johar for $75,000 each. Jayeff B retains control over the horse and any management decisions, including the option of sending him to the Southern Hemisphere to cover mares there. Purchasers of the lifetime breeding interests get access to the stallion for as long as he stands for Jayeff B, with no additional expense beyond their $75,000 payment, which may be made in two installments. If Jayeff B sells Johar, lifetime breeding interest-holders will receive .001 percent of the sale's net proceeds.

The arrangement is obviously advantageous to Jayeff B, and, if Johar becomes a success at stud, it could prove profitable for interest-holders, too. Johar's first-year fee is listed at $20,000, and lifetime breeding interest-holders are entitled to one season a year until the horse is sold or retired.

"This allows Jayeff B to have controlling interest in the horse and own him outright, but it also gives people who want to participate in him an avenue to do so," said Mill Ridge manager Bayne Welker. "We're doing this as a long-term thing, not just to raise capital."

There are some restrictions: According to a summary of the plan, purchasers must provide a mare for the stallion for the first four years, and they will not be allowed to sell or transfer their seasons or their lifetime breeding right during that time. They will be allowed to foal-share or mare-share under the terms of the agreement, and seasons and lifetime breeding interests may not ever be sold at public or private auction. The stallion's book will be capped annually at 125 mares.

Those provisions are likely to attract serious commercial and home-breeders, rather than speculative investors hoping to turn a profit on seasons. That could also help bring more mares to Johar than Jayeff B alone could provide.

"This is much more geared toward breeders," Welker said. "That was a very conscious thought. That's what we want backing a horse - good, solid breeders."

Given the recent successes of Gone West's sons at stud, such as Elusive Quality, breeders may well take a plunge on the lifetime breeding interests.

Another marketing tool: Johar's pedigree. Johar, a son of two-time Canadian champion Windsharp, is "totally free of Northern Dancer," as Welker put it, making him an outcross for many mares in the breeding pool.

"That's going to help," Welker said. "We expect he'll be a good cross with Northern Dancer, physically and in terms of pedigree. If he hits and the fee goes up . . ."

"That's when you'll realize what a good investment you made," concluded Mill Ridge owner Alice Chandler. "I feel really confident that we'll be able to get 125 mares."

Welker and Chandler said the lifetime breeding interests will be offered for a limited time, although they haven't yet declared the purchasing deadline.

"The response so far has been good," Welker said. "But it is a new idea, and so it takes some educating. But if it's as successful as we think it's going to be, yes, I think we'd consider doing this sort of thing again with another horse."

Fund to aid head injury victim

Florida horsemen have established a fund for Michael McKibben, 34, who suffered severe head trauma on July 12 when he was kicked by a horse.

McKibben is the son of Bridlewood Farm's assistant trainer Larry McKibben.

Bridlewood Farm employee Lee Ann Isaacs started the fund to help offset medical expenses for the McKibben family. Michael McKibben is uninsured.

For more information, contact Isaacs at 352-622-5319 or mail donations to the Michael McKibben Fund, Community Bank of Marion County, P.O. Box 1570, Ocala, Fla., 34478; telephone: 352-369-1000.

* Lost and Found Horses, which bought the 3-year-old Danzig colt Media Empire for $250 from a slaughter auction, has decided not to sell the horse, according to the group's founder, Kelly Young. Young said the group has decided to keep the horse but has not decided whether to geld him or breed him. The colt, she said, is in good health, though he is undernourished and has a pinched nerve in his back.

* Taylor Made Farm in Nicholasville, Ky., has hired Byron Rogers as stallion director. Rogers is former bloodstock and stallion nominations manager for Arrowfield Stud in Australia.