Just a few years ago, if you asked Todd McMillan of Tamworth NSW, if he would ever own a stallion, he would have laughed and told you his intention was to continue to bring great genetics into the country through mares. Todd had already imported several mares from the USA, focusing on mares because he felt that the stallion market in Australia was saturated.
However, Todd also recognised that there is an ever-increasing need for outcross sires in Australia. This would ultimately be the driving force behind his decision to adapt his plan and become a stallion owner after all.
In 2020, Todd was looking to import semen from Woody Be Tuff, as he knew there was infinite potential for his genetics as an outcross sire in Australia. However, there were feasibility issues outside of the control of anyone in Australia that made this impossible. He kept researching Woody Be Tuff’s genetics and family, and came across his full brother, Brother Tuff Wood.
Todd set about trying to acquire semen to ship to Australia. The owners were not prepared to ship frozen semen, but they told Todd he was for sale. This presented an almost irresistible opportunity.
Further research revealed that Brother Tuff Woods semen was high quality. He has excellent confirmation, good bone and is striking looking. In Todd’s words, ‘everything lined up’.
Brother Tuff Woods breeder Craig Crumpler had extremely high praise for the young stallion. While Todd admits it was a risky manoeuvre, he chose to trust the word of a seller he had never met; and decided to follow his gut instincts. Although a lot of research went into his decision.
What made Brother Tuff Wood’s genetics so compelling?
His sire, Nitas Wood, passed away in 2018. He was a $6 million dollar sire. Among his progeny is the sire of a US NCHA Open Futurity Co-Champion CR Tuff Hearted Cat (out of CR Cats Meow, by High Brow Cat). The sire of CR Tuff Hearted Cat is none other than Brother Tuff Woods full brother, Woody Be Tuff. Woody Be Tuff himself is a $5.7 million dollar sire and his own earnings total $351,063.
Brother Tuff Wood’s dam, Tuffs Junie (Tuff Lena x Candy Quixote x Doc Quixote), passed away in 2020 at the ripe old age of 31. She proved herself in the cutting pen, but was most highly regarded as a broodmare, even though she didn’t start breeding until she was around 10 years old. She produced 14 money-earners with total earnings of over $1.2 million.
Brother Tuff Wood fractured his hock as a yearling, but had a good recovery. He was broken in and trained by Craig Crumpler. He was a very athletic individual and was putting a lot of pressure on himself, purely by the way he stopped and his huge dynamic moves. His owners feared that he was susceptible to re-injuring that previous fracture and didn’t want to compromise his genetics. The strategic decision was made to stand him at stud as this is where his true value lay. This was not an easy decision for Craig Crumpler, describing the horse as a super athlete. Craig’s opinion was Brother Tuff Wood was the best Tuffs Junie.
Brother Tuff Wood’s progeny will debut in the US cutting scene at the NCHA Futurity in December 2021. Todd has a semen reserve still in the USA. He will stand the stallion at stud in Australia from the 2021 breeding season.