NEXT week, The Land will feature its Sires of the Season, this year prepared as a liftout magazine to be inserted into the paper.
Looking over the 25 successive years of producing this surviving print annual stallion feature, it is interesting to note which horses were highlighted.
The inaugural 1995 edition featured the US-bred champion juvenile Chief's Crown on its front cover. This was a horse who stood two shuttle seasons at Arrowfield Stud when located at the current Coolmore Stud, Jerrys Plains.
By Danzig, Chief's Crown was already heralded as an outstanding sire at the time, and left six Australian stakes winners, while his imported US-bred racing sons Azzaam and Istidaad, can be recalled winning important staying races in Sydney and Melbourne, before retiring to stud in NSW and New Zealand respectively.
The same year saw Chief's Crown son, the Irish-bred Grand Lodge, begin his long and successful Australian shuttle service to Woodlands Stud near Denman (now Godolphin), and gave renowned Kembla Grange conditioner Gwenda Markwell her first Group 1 winner, Grand Zulu (STC BMW).
In a reflection of the times, from that first Sires edition in 1995 which included 85 stud properties that advertised stallions, a dozen remain today.
It was an era that imported Kris sire Switch In Time who proved a bonanza for winners at the now defunct Stratheden Stud near Tamworth, while Segenhoe Stud (now Vinery) was pushing champion Australian racehorse (but New Zealand-bred icon), Naturalism.
The Sandy Hollow located Byerley Stud stood stallions and offered services to Gai Waterhouse's tough staying galloper Nothin' Leica Dane, while Mr Prospector import Mr Henrysee (who provided champion Australian two-year-old Victory Vein) stood at the now defunct Meringo Stud just south of Moruya.
It was also a time when Arrowfield Stud launched Danehill, who began to race up the charts.
Widden Stud featured on the cover with its new sire Intergaze (by Lunchtime's Integra) in 2000, while five years on the Widden Valley located Danzig shuttler, Anabaa, was taking centre stage.
In the late 1990s, its neighbour, Baramul Stud, then owned by Sir Tristan Antico, was standing stallions including Red Anchor, US bred Al Hareb and shuttlers Magic Ring and Vettori.
Other sires who featured include US import Snaadee who found success when at Emirates Park, Murrurundi (now Aquis), Arena (at now defunct Lomar Park, Werombi), the infertile Snowland (at Macquarie Stud, Wellington), and Bureaucracy, the Star Kingdom linesire who found success at Yarraman Park, Scone, then at Kooringal Stud, near Wagga Wagga.
Coolmore took over the breeding career of the mighty Danehill from 1996 and acquired its current property. Over several seasons it offered other memorable northern hemisphere bred horses including Eagled Eyed (Danehill's brother), Thunder Gulch, Last Tycoon, Royal Academy, Fairy King, Dehere, Woodman, Spinning World, and Hennessy.
A five-time Group 1 winner by Nureyev, Spinning World has left a lasting legacy via sires including this year's second seasoner Spieth, a son of Thorn Park a leading sire in New Zealand before his untimely demise.
Darley (now under its parent arm of Godolphin) entered Australia in 2001 with four internationals Lujain, King's Best, Singspiel and Xaar, when operating at Collingrove Stud, Sandy Hollow, prior to it becoming Nathan Tinkler's Patinack Farm.
Prolific Australian-bred winner-getting sire Bon Hoffa had his own cover in 2012, a giant chestnut still available at Bowness Stud, Young, and sire of new stakes winner Noble Boy (at Rosehill last Saturday).
Later, gorgeous grey son of Secret Savings, Dash For Cash, and influential Danzig horse, Bianconi, was among five stallions on offer at Adam Sangster's Swettenham Stud near Nagambie in Victoria, while nearby Eliza Park (now Sun Stud) were standing about eight horses including notables Bel Esprit (sire of Black Caviar) and Written Tycoon, the latter standing this year at Arrowfield Stud, Jerrys Plains.
Turning 21 next month, Bel Esprit has emerged with another brilliant galloper, watching his juvenile daughter Kisukano easily win at the Sunshine Coast last Saturday.
The short-lived Stromberg Carlson entered duties at Raheen Stud, while Red Dazzler featured in south-east Queensland at Eureka Stud, and wonderful Victorian stakes winner Sequalo and Canadian Silver held court at Lyndhurst Stud, Warwick, Qld.
Another Queenslander, Glenlogan Park stood about five stallions in the late 2000s, highlighted by wonderful Australian talent, Falvelon, and Show A Heart.
- Sires of the Seaon, free with next week's The Land.