Media Release

Shuttle stallions: our latest FIFO workers

2 September 2014

56 international so-called ‘shuttle’ stallions cleared through the Eastern Creek Quarantine Facility have met Australia’s strict import conditions and are now offering breeding services.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said these ‘FIFO’ horses have quite the life, travelling the world offering a breeding service to those who can pay, with this year’s crew including notable stallions from the USA, UK and Ireland.

“It’s only through our strong biosecurity system that the Australian horse industry can access these stallions. Without the proper biosecurity checks prior to arrival, and a stay in our quarantine facilities, these horses would never be able to offer their breeding services here in Australia,” Minister Joyce said.

“Shuttle stallions are vitally important to our thoroughbred breeding industry. Advertised breeding service fees are up to $110,000 per mare and in just one visit during the Australian breeding season these stallions can service 200 mares.

“In this intake, we have quite a few notable stallions including Americain –2010 winner of the Melbourne Cup, So You Think – 2009/10 winner of the Cox Plate and third in 2010 Melbourne Cup, Exceed and Excel – stallion who serviced Black Caviar in the 2013 season, Redoute’s Choice – three times Australian Champion Sire, and Fastnet Rock – an extremely sought-after international stallion.

“As part of our rigorous biosecurity system, all horses imported to Australia must meet rigorous pre-export testing and spend at least 14 days quarantine in an approved facility in the country of export before arrival in Australia.

“Once here, horses must spend at least 14 days in Australian post entry quarantine where their health is monitored and further routine testing is completed.

“The shuttle stallions are imported on an all-in/all-out system. This means that a health issue for one horse can affect all horses in the post entry quarantine facility.

“The stallions were released from the quarantine facility on 13 August, in time for the breeding season from 1 September and will leave behind a legacy of high quality progeny which will undoubtedly include many future stars of international racing."