Little Avondale 79 years proven



    In one of the society weddings of 1938, Mr Alister Williams of Masterton married Miss Nancy Teschemaker of Blenheim and immediately afterwards brought his young wife north to the family property, Te Parae. Nancy was accompanied on the honeymoon journey by both her farm dogs and her horses. One mare she had been given by Henry Redwood, a founding father of New Zealand racing, while for the other she had outlaid the princely sum of 5 pounds.

    Te Parae;

    (noun) level or undulating open country. He tino whakaahua ātaahua ki a rātou ngā maunga, ngā pukepuke, ngā ngahere, ngā kapua, ngā pārae e hipokina nei e ngā tarutaru matomato. To them the mountains, hills, forests, clouds and the undulating country covered in lush grass is a beautiful picture.


    Te Parae’s debut as a vendor began in 1941 when Nancy offered a colt by Valkyrian and a filly by Croupier.

    As the cattle and sheep of Te Parae began sharing their 1200 acres with an increasing number of horses, the fiercely determined Nancy ignored advice and purchased the attractive but averagely performed import Sunbride. Sunbride went on to found a dynasty which included the 1957 Melbourne Cup winner Straight Draw, the multiple Group 1 Sydney Cup winner General Command, the Caulfield Cup winner Ilumquh and the outstanding galloper Terrific. Her legacy lives on to this day.

    I said to my wife, this mare Sunbride has not been much good. I think you should sell her.” My wife replied “I refuse to entertain any thought of selling Sunbride. When I go broke and I am evicted from Te Parae, Sunbride and I will walk down the road together." "The foal Sunbride was carrying was the 1957 Melbourne Cup winner Straight Draw and it is to my wife’s everlasting credit that she never once said to me 'I told you so.


    SUNBRIDE (Bay 1942)

    Ch 1930
    B 1922

    B 1915

    Bayardo Bay Ronald
    Rosedrop St Frusquin
    Sun Worship
    B 1912
    Sunridge Amphion
    Doctrine Ayrshire
    Ch 1919
    B 1907
    Cyllene Bona Vista
    Galicia Galopin
    Silver Fowl
    Ch 1904
    Wildfowler Gallinule
    L'Argent Jacobite
    Ch 1936
    Golden Grace
    B 1927
    B 1919
    Swynford John o' Gaunt
    Canterbury Pilgrim
    Blanche White Eagle
    Black Cherry

    Grace Mary
    B 1917

    Zria Cyllene
    Pommard Acclaim
    May Bride
    B/Br 1929
    Dark Legend
    B/Br 1914
    Dark Ronald Bay Ronald
    Golden Legend Amphion
    St Lucre
    Wedding Chime
    B 1913
    Matchmaker Donovan
    Match Girl
    Best Belle Best Man
    Warden Belle (16)

    Firstly pay meticulous attention to small detail and secondly only breed from the best quality females

  • The Pocket Rocket

    With Alister and Nancy united in their desire to boost Te Parae as a thoroughbred breeding base, in 1948 they took a giant step and imported the small but perfectly formed stallion Sabaean(by Blue Peter) at a cost of 9 thousand guineas. Sabaean, barely 15hh, proved a powerhouse. The sire of Ilumquh, Yeman and Saboteur, he also produced Impeccable - Broodmare of the Year and the dam of outstanding filly Lowland.

    A tremendous mare with a tremendous will to win


    He was a proud animal of lovely quality who … with his finely chiselled head looked the perfect specimen of selective thoroughbred breeding.


    Te Parae's fiercely determined Straight Draw (Faux Tirage - Sunbride) was a peerless stayer. As well as his 1957 victory in Australasia’s greatest race, the Melbourne Cup, the gelding won every year from two until five and blitzed all comers in a final season which included victories in both the Flemington classic and the 1958 Sydney Cup. After a leg injury prevented a return to racing, his owner rejected an offer for "Tom" to become a police horse in New South Wales. Instead the old fellow retired to Te Parae where he hogged the limelight at the annual yearling parade until he died in 1988, aged 35.
    To date, Williams-bred runners have finished first (Straight Draw)second (Ilumquh) third (llumquh) and fourth (General Command) in Melbourne Cups.

    One of our family for 35 years. He loved being on parade, you’d swear he knew he was the star attraction

    Ilumquh 9 wins from 1207 to 2413m. 1st VATC Caulfield Cup Gr.1, Manawatu Awapuni Gold Cup Gr.2, Melbourne RC Williamstown Cup Gr.2, WRC Summer H. Gr.3, 2nd VRC Melbourne Cup Gr.1, 3rd Wellington Cup Gr.1, VRC Melbourne Cup Gr.1
    General Command 13 wins from 1609 - 3218m. 1st AJC Sydney Cup Gr.1, AJC Queen Elizabeth S. Gr.1, AJC Metropolitan H. Gr.1, AJC Chipping Norton S. Gr.2, AJC Autumn S. Gr.2, VATC Sandown Cup Gr.2, VRC Queen Elizabeth S. Gr.2, VRC CB Fisher Plate L, 2nd VATC St George S. Gr.2, VRC Hotham H. Gr.2, Waikato Foxbridge P. L, 3rd VRC Turnbull S. Gr.2, WRC Harcourt Gr.3, VATC Herbert Power H. Gr.3, STC Sydney Turf Club Gr.3, 4th VRC Melbourne Cup Gr.1 
    Straight Draw 12 wins from 1032 to 3218m 1st VRC Melbourne Cup Gr.1, AJC Metropolitan H Gr.1, AJC Sydney Cup Gr.1, AJC Autumn S Gr.2, 2nd STC Rosehill Cup L, 3rd AJC Anniversary H L

    The stallion lineup grew again with the syndicated purchase of Agricola (by Precipitation) for $100,000 all up. The dark chestnut made an immediate impact through strong colts General Command and Roman Consul and mighty filly Lowland. Having produced a string of big name winners, Agricola was sold on to Australia and lived out his days at Newhaven Park. When the Williams family visited Agricola across the Tasman, he recognised Richie (Buzz) calling to him in Maori, as had his Te Parae groom, Mark Rimene. Susie Williams cried as Agricola came running out of his box to see his old friend.


    Ilumquh powered home to win the Caulfield Cup of 1960 and only just missed racing’s big double with an outstanding third in the centennial Melbourne Cup that same year. Honest as the day was long, he also placed second in the 1963 running. Nancy Williams loved the dark brown gelding she both bred and owned and would get up before dawn to watch him workout before big races, accompanied by her dapper trainer Eric Ropiha. With a name which confused race callers, Ilumquh lived out his days at Te Parae and is buried there.

    The top class English galloper Oncidium arrived at Te Parae after a long voyage by ship and then quarantine, so quiet that despite a $120,000 price tag, he was described as behaving like ‘an old sheep.’ His stud career dazzled Australasia, topping the Australian and New Zealand stallion list three times, siring a legendary lineup including Leilani (Caulfield Cup), Taras Bulba (AJC Derby), Dayana (VRC Derby), Gold Brick (AJC Derby), Young Ida (NZ Oaks), Sanderae (VRC Oaks), Grand Cidium (Caulfield Guineas)and Oncidon (Metropolitan Handicap). In 1973, an offer of $1.5 million was turned down. Then one stormy night in 1975 and with just six crops racing, Oncidium fell ill and despite being rushed to emergency surgery, he died in the prime of life, taken too soon by a previously undetected tumour.

    By the time of Alister Williams’ death in 1971, the mantle had passed to the next generation at Te Parae.

    With Buzz and Susie having married in 1967 and Tom and Gay a year later, Willliams Brothers Inc. were red hot. At the 1968 sales, Agricola topped the charts - his Nell filly made $22,000 and the Minaea colt $37,000


    It was a magic moment for Te Parae at Trentham’s National Yearling Sales when the handsome Oncidium colt from Sunbride’s daughter Bridesmaid made history and burst through the six figure mark. This was the very first yearling in Australasia to make $100,000. Sold to master horseman TJ Smith. The chestnut went on to become the stakes winning Gold Pulse. Later that same sale Wairarapa cheered again, this time for Lorraine Jamieson’s Oncidium colt from Chantal, who joined the Williams at the top of the vendors table.

    The colt will be raced by a syndicate of Australian businessman but Mr Hayes declined to name them… "til they’d told their wives



    Princess Anne’s visit to Te Parae in 1974 brought the locals out in force as Kiwi kids cheered the Royal entourage and a flock of sheep managed to block the road to neighbouring station Brancepeth. With HRH an expert equestrienne in her own right, Anne had been keen to photograph Oncidium and his offspring and was furious when her royal helicopter landed in the wrong paddock, frightening dozens of mares and foals. Under sunny skies, Princess Anne chatted happily to Te Parae staff and families chosen to lead the horses on the famous lawn.


    We’ll never forget Bart Cummings - and neither will you. Lowland, Dayana, Leilani, Laelia, Sanderae, Bottled Sunshine, Roman Emperor …. Te Parae, Little Avondale and the Williams family will always honour our longtime Aussie mate.

    You don't get many like her


    The place where I got to know him the best was in New Zealand, the yearly sojourn to find the best horses for the seasons to come. I was there with him on one of these trips when we saw Leilani for the first time. We’d been to Te Parae Stud. The Williams boys there mentioned to Dad about an Oncidium filly that was just around the corner. The horse was in a paddock and came charging down, as sure footed an animal as you’d ever see.


    Children and family have always been part of the life and laughter at Te Parae and Little Avondale. Welcome to our album.

    From the earliest days, Te Parae and the Williams were part of the National Yearling Sales at Trentham. It was a nostalgic farewell when the last box was packed up and selling shifted to the superb new Karaka facilities.

    Continuing the momentum, throughout the 1990s, Team Williams continued their roll, with the winners continuing to flow both from Te Parae and Buzz and Susie’s Masterton base, Little Avondale.
    Sound Lover: Wilkinson Insurance Brokers Mile Group 3
    Dress Circle: AJC Metropolitan Group 1
    Sixty Seconds: STC Arrowfield Group 1
    Troubles: SAJC Yallambee H G3
    Superfit HK: RHKJC Group 1 Hong Kong Derby
    Unspoken Word: VRC Gadsden Group 1
    Just to name a few


    Sound Lover, a descendant of one of Te Parae’s founding families, deserves her own place in our history. With all her progeny to race being winners, "Lover" can take credit for 11 to the track for 11 winners and responsibility for a total of 53 wins to date. They include G2 winner, Philosophe purchased by Johnathan Munz for $470,000, Men At Work, a stakes winner and G1 placed and Magnum, currently 4 starts for 2 wins, 2 seconds, trained by Michael Freedman. Everyone loves a lover!

    Alister and Nancy had initially established a town base at the former dairy farm Little Avondale on the outskirts of Masterton. Their sons continued to run Te Parae in partnership until 1994, with Tom concentrating on the sheep, beef and deer and Buzz taking responsibility for the horses. Although the family ties would never be broken, a decision was made to separate the business units. Sam came home in 1993 to help Buzz develop Little Avondale. Buzz, Susie, Sam, Anna and George moved with the bulk of the horses to the town site, with the property boosted to 250 immaculately manicured acres of paddocking, breeding sheds, stables and purpose built facilities.

    In 2005, a third generation of Williams took on the mantle of breeding to win as Sam and Catriona - herself Wairarapa born and bred and with horses in the blood - picked up the reins from Buzz and Susie. Says Sam, who began his career cleaning the Te Parae stables for cheap labour at $5 a day, "Big on Winning" might be a new brand but my grandparents' commitment to quality will never change. This is a family business and our clients are friends. We are all the better for it."

    A wand was clearly waving over the 2011 arrival of Per Incanto at Little Avondale - off to an enchanted start with his first runner winning at her very first start, there’s been no let up for this stunning son of Street Cry. The winners have continued at two and three, in top class company and with the dash of brilliance which shows that 75 years on, Williams magic is still at work. No ordinary family, and an extraordinary legacy.

    Best Is Still To Come!

    • Leading First Season Sire & Leading 2YO Sire 2014/15 number of winners
    • Sire Group 1 Winner Dal Cielo
    • Sire Stakes winning and multiple Group 1 placed Rocanto
    • Rocanto, Dal Cielo finalists for 2YO of the Year 2014/15
    • Sire of 2015 Sydney Classic Sale Topper $300k
    • Leading Second Season Sire 2015/16
    • Three Stakes performing 3YO’s over a mile already
    • Sire of Tennessee, Listed Wellesley Karaka Millions 2YO 2016 Leading contender

    Come Per Incanto ... as if by magic


    Per Incanto’s achievements

    Sire of 2018/19 Gr.1 winners Shadows Cast in the Thorndon Mile and Santa Monica in the Gr.1 Sistema Railway Hcp.

    There were 16 stakes winners in 2020-21 season including the star 3YO’s
    Bonham Gr.1 Levin Classic 1st
    Miss Aotearoa Gr.3 Gold Trail Stakes 1st
    Charms Star G1 NZ Oaks 2nd & Gr.2 Lowland Stakes 2nd

    NZ's leading stallion on the Australian Premiership. Runner to winner ratio 61.9%
    Magic Millions 2021 A Per Incanto weanling makes $500,000 and Bonham (by Per Incanto) sells for $1.6 million
    Hong Kongs Leading Sire 2021

    Lost & Running is selected by TAB to run in The Everest

Good straight-up folk with a sense of humour

John McArdle, Melbourne Trainer