Tommy Simon is putting his entire United States Thoroughbred operation Vinery,
Ltd on the market, but he will retain his interest in Vinery Stud in the Hunter
Valley with partners Gerry Harvey, Steve McCann, Greg Perry, Alan Green and
Vinery U.S owns major stallion and boarding farms in Kentucky and Florida, as well as leasing two farms in New York, so news of the impending sale has made headlines worldwide as per this story earlier this morning.
Vinery Australia has confirmed Dr Simon is a minority partner in Vinery Australia and will retain his interest in this business.
The shuttle stallions More Than Ready (USA)(pictured) and Congrats (USA) are currently in Australia and will continue to shuttle to Vinery in the Southern Hemisphere and are not affected by this decision.
Tom Ludt, president of Vinery's U.S. operations, said it will be business as usual for the foreseeable future.
"It's not a fire sale," Ludt said. "The stallions are not moving, they are not shutting anything down, and are going to operate the farms as is."
Simon purchased Vinery's 440-acre Kentucky farm in 1999 and expanded to Florida and more recently New York.
The entire operation, including Vinery Racing, is available for purchase, Ludt said with the decision to sell being made by Simon's entire family, none of whom lives in the United States.
"The horse business is passion-driven," he said, "and the passion is just not there anymore."
Stephanie Weisse, who had previously lived at the Kentucky farm near Lexington and was very engaged in the business, has moved back to Europe and recently had a second child. Tommy Simon's son, Jan Simon, is involved in other family businesses. Tommy Simon is also busy with other family businesses outside of the United States.
"They came in late last week and we talked about everything, about what to do," Ludt said. "They came to the conclusion that if they're not going to be involved, just sell it. Tommy is willing to step back and stay in with a minority position (as he previously did with Vinery Australia). But they felt it was wise to offer the whole package in case someone wants to step up."
That package would include stallion shares, bloodstock, and the land.
"This is complicated," said Ludt. "It will take a lot of time to decipher and go through it all. But everyone felt the best way to go forward is to send out a press release announcing the intention to sell. Farm employees were notified, and word was getting out there, so why not be upfront."