Dr. Tommy Simon is putting his entire United States Thoroughbred operation Vinery, Ltd. up for sale, however this will have no affect on the Hunter Valley operation in which he has a small interest with fellow partner’s Gerry Harvey, Steve McCann, Greg Perry, Alan Green and Neil Werrett.

Vinery, which owns major stallion and boarding farms in Kentucky and Florida, also leases two farms in New York.  Dr Simon also is a minority partner in Vinery Stud in Australia which is completely seperate to the U.S business.  The southern hemisphere shuttler’s More Than Ready and Congrats will continue to shuttle to Vinery in the Hunter Valley.

“Tommy (lives in Germany) has no other family interest in the business and wanting to down size his investment in the USA.” said Vinery’s General Manager Peter Orton. “Selling Florida and Bloodstock, the stallion side of the operation will continue until such time an investor gets involved in part or in total.”

“From our perspective, we don’t believe it will affect us or the security of the stallions standing at Vinery (Aust), the stallion operation and management is expected to continue as before and can only see this as a potential benefit should a new investor become involved.”

Simon purchased Vinery’s 440-acre Kentucky farm in 1999 and expanded to Florida and more recently New York. The farm stands some of the industry’s leading stallions, including More Than Ready and Congrats, and also has a significant boarding, sales prep, consignment, and bloodstock advisory business. There is also a rehabilitation and training operation at Vinery Florida. The entire operation, including Vinery Racing, is available for purchase, Ludt said.

Tom Ludt, president of Vinery’s U.S. operations, said it will be business as usual for Vinery U.S 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.”

The decision to sell, Ludt said, was 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 any more.”

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.”

The flagship 440-acre Kentucky farm has a stallion roster of seven headed by More Than Ready (Southern Halo), whose fee was $60,000 in 2012. Standing alongside him are Congrats (A.P. Indy), Kodiak Kowboy (Posse), Limehouse (Grand Slam), Pioneerof the Nile (Empire Maker), Pure Prize (Storm Cat) and Street Hero (Street Cry {Ire}).

The stud’s satellite operation in Summerfield, Florida, houses five stallions, including Backtalk (Smarty Jones), Benny the Bull (Lucky Lionel), Kantharos (Lion Heart), Maimonides (Vindication) and Pomeroy (Boundary).

Vinery leases Empire Stud and Sugar Maple Farm in New York. Among the stallions standing in the Empire State are Bluegrass Cat (Storm Cat), D’Funnybone (D’wildcat), Frost Giant (Giant’s Causeway), Giant Surprise (Giant’s Causeway) and Posse (Silver Deputy).