Dan and Lee baker started the Rockhampton Equine Breeding Centre in 2004. They decided to start a family and wanted to work from home. Lee took maternity leave from a practice in Rockhampton while Dan started looking for a stallion to stand. Graham and Dawn Jackson had just sold their property and retired form standing stallions, where they stood the imported stud Ranch and Romance. Dan spoke with them about starting a breeding centre and they suggested he speak with Lyndon and Hannah Smith, the owners of Ranch and Romance. Dan did so and they sent Ranch to be the first Stallion to stand at the Centre.
Over their first season they bred or artificially inseminating 45 mares. This has grown into a fulltime business that services over 300 mares from Townsville to Longreach, as far south as the Brisbane Valley and west to Mt Isa.
Each year Dan has done improvements to the property with the largest being a purpose built breeding barn. This includes a four bay scanning crush, three stables, yards leading in to the barn, hay storage, and the breeding mount for stallions when collecting semen. A new purpose built lab and foaling watch loft apartment is currently under construction. The most recent improvement is four foaling paddocks. The breeding centre design has the central barn with a long loop laneway running out and around from it with forty one small two to five horse paddocks running off each side. Horses can either be caught and led, or taken down the lane into the yards for scanning or breeding etc. The yards are made from galvanized cattle rail in a safe and effective design. The paddocks are all electric fenced with the stallion paddocks double fenced. The stallions are mostly housed in paddocks in amongst the mares where they are free to move around and graze, while being in a safe and relatively natural environment. The horses at the Rockhampton Equine Breeding Centre live in a very peaceful setting tucked away in a valley just in behind the small town Stanwell only 20kms from Rockhampton.
At the Rockhampton Equine Breeding Centre, we offer natural hand serving, AI with chilled and frozen semen, as well as embryo transfer. We also offer semen collection, evaluation and chilled shipping from stallions on site and outside stallions. Lee finds living at the breeding centre means that she can give the horses what ever attention they need. Lee said “Timing is very critical for optimal conception rates when AI, especially using frozen semen. Sometimes, despite the best plans, the time to inseminate can be at odd hours, for instant early hours of the morning, or late at night.” This is one of the advantages the Rockhampton Equine Breeding Centre offers, being the only veterinary owned and operated breeding centre solely dedicated to horse breeding in the area. What this means to the customer is “the horses breeding needs come first”. There are no other emergencies that take precedent over the breeding needs of the horses at the Rockhampton Equine Breeding Centre.