09/22/2017 11:26AM

Village View Farm makes successful return to consigning

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The green and white sign that hangs outside the Village View Farm consignment is in outstanding shape, which is surprising, since it’s older than any member of the starting lineup for the Los Angeles Lakers.

In the roughly 15 years since Duncan and DeeDee Lloyd last sold horses under their own banner at the Keeneland September yearling sale, the three-decades-old board had collected a little dust, but DeeDee put in the work to get it as sale-ready as the horses in her stalls.

“I got out a scrub brush and cleaned it up, and I think it looks pretty good,” DeeDee said proudly.

The Lloyds proved themselves as good at presentation in their return to consignment and were rewarded Thursday by putting the session-topper through the ring – a $180,000 Violence colt who sold to Waves Bloodstock.

It was a thorough victory for the Versailles, Ky., operation that bred the colt and bought his dam, the winning City Zip mare All About Allison, who sold in foal to Stonesider for just $1,000 at the 2012 Keeneland January horses of all ages sale.

Village View sold the occasional yearling at auction through other consignors during the past decade and a half, but mostly sent their own stock straight to the racetrack. The farm had quieted in recent years, but Duncan said the broodmare band began to grow again when he bought a sister to one of his runners. He then bought All About Allison as a companion horse, almost as an afterthought.

A few years later, Duncan visited Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm to inspect Grade 1 winner Violence, and inspiration struck.

“I went to look at him for my other mare, and [Violence and All About Allison] looked like brother and sister,” he said. “I bred the same to the same and that’s what I got. When they went into the breeding shed, they looked like full siblings.”

Duncan admitted most of their stock is not commercial, but that changed with the ensuing colt and prompted them to come to Keeneland September with a trio of horses.

DeeDee said the Violence colt was shown about 60 times the day before he went through the ring, which is an impressive number for the lower-middle market of Book 5, where many buyers make their serious inspections in the back ring.

Once the shoppers filled out the card to inspect the horse, DeeDee said their experience raising the yearlings made them the most qualified salespeople possible.

“I can tell them about this foal and their mental attitude, and how competitive they are, and all the little details like that,” DeeDee said. “I like telling them that. It makes me feel better for the buyer when they have a better idea of what they’re getting.”

The Lloyds run a modest breeding and boarding operation – eight or so mares on about 100 acres – but their roots in the Thoroughbred industry run generations deep.

DeeDee is a member of the family which maintained Woodburn Stud, home of the legendary stallion Lexington and birthplace of 16 U.S. classic winners. She grew up on the former Bosque Bonita Farm in Versailles, which later became part of Lane’s End.

The house on the Village View property was built by Duncan’s great grandfather. After growing up in Michigan and becoming a successful show-horse rider, Duncan moved to central Kentucky to assist with the farm, which was struggling.

Prior to their hiatus, the Lloyds sold their own horses at auction reaching back to the 1970s.

“Someone asked me one time about raising horses, and I said I think it’s similar to raising kids,” DeeDee said. “You want to give them all the love in the world and a good education. That’s my personal motto about how to raise horses – all the love in the world because I want them to be confident and know the relationship with people and have it be a positive one, but you do have to educate them and teach them right from wrong, just like kids.”

Village View ended the sale with two of their three offerings sold. In addition to the session-topping Violence colt, they also moved a Stay Thirsty filly for $30,000 and had a Majesticperfection colt finish under his reserve at the same price.

Duncan was understandably pleased with the outcome of his session-topper, but he found encouragement for future transactions in the auction’s overall performance.

“I thought this was an incredibly strong market,” he said. “I’ve been watching the market for the last few years and paying attention mostly to see who I wanted to breed to. This is the best market we’ve had in years, it seems like to me. Today and yesterday were unbelievable.”