August 2019 Member of the Month: Rhineshire Farm

Laurie and Rod Shockley with Rhineshire Farm

Rod and Laurie Shockley’s Rhineshire Farm is the TOBA August Member of the Month

The victory ride continues for Rod and Laurie Shockley’s Rhineshire Farm. On July 5, Rhineshire Farm-bred Royal Charlotte took the Victory Ride Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park. The three-year-old filly races for First Row Partners and Parkland Thoroughbreds.

For years, the Shockleys practiced law in Atlanta. In 2006, Laurie Shockley’s parents “said that they’d lived in Kentucky their entire lives and never owned a horse,” Rod Shockley recalled. Their daughter and son-in-law partnered with them on a few runners, buying young horses with the help of Florida bloodstock agent Barry Berkelhammer.

By 2008, the Shockleys and their three sons had relocated to a 150-acre nursery in Paris, Kentucky. “We decided it was a good idea to move when our oldest one was starting high school,” Shockley said. “We seemed to like the breeding better more so than the racing; we’ll still race occasionally if one doesn’t sell at a price that we like,” he added.

Currently, the Shockleys owns five broodmares, all at Rhineshire. Advised by industry experts Gary McClain and Jerry White, plus Vinery Sales’ Derek MacKenzie, they’ve acquired fillies with broodmare potential. “The ones that had the speed were the ones that we wanted to maybe transition into our broodmare band,” Shockley said. “And the ones that had the pedigree—my wife and I spent a lot of time researching about the pedigrees…the crosses that have been successful from the breeding perspective throughout the years.”

Such mares include Sass and Class, dam of Royal Charlotte. Shockley recalled, “We purchased her mother, Extra Classy, as a two-year-old [at the March 2006 Ocala Breeders’ sale for $190,000] and then Extra Classy won two out of three races as a two-year-old. She was being trained by Todd Pletcher. We were very high on her and then she got injured and colicked and her racing career was pretty well over after that. She had a lot of heart.”

Sent to Harlan’s Holiday, Extra Class (by Allen’s Prospect) produced Sass and Class. “And then we sold Sass and Class [at the 2012 Keeneland September sale] as a yearling [for $30,000, to Scott Brown],” Shockley said. “She won her first race, broke her maiden first time out by” 7 ¼ lengths, he remembered, adding they were “really excited about her, but then she got injured in her second race as a two-year-old.” Extra Class died in 2014.

Bought back, Sass and Class foaled Royal Charlotte to the cover of Cairo Prince. Shockley said, “She and Sass and Class are both very independent. The other mares and the other foals might congregate together. but Sass and Class liked to do her own thing and Royal Charlotte likes to do her own thing.”

Royal Charlotte RNA’ed at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling sale and was acquired privately after the sale by bloodstock agent Liz Crow. Shockley noted, “Royal Charlotte had baby issues as a two-year-old and was not able to race as a two-year-old. So obviously [trainer] Chad Brown and the owners have been very, very patient with her and it’s worked out very well for them and very well for us, them being so patient.”

This spring—her sophomore season—Royal Charlotte hit the track. “So she recovered from her two-year-old issues and so we were optimistic because we’d received a lot of good word about her heading into her maiden race. And when she broke her maiden so easily at Gulfstream, we really got excited,” Shockley said.

At Keeneland, Royal Charlotte won an allowance-optional claiming contest, then tallied the six-furlong Hystericalady Stakes at Monmouth Park. “As breeders, it makes us very proud that, one, we do have a little bit of a clue to what we’re doing…but also as a breeder, you realize really quickly it helps to get in hands of good owners…that are patient with them,” Shockley said. The Victory Ride was her fourth consecutive victory at four different tracks. She finished sixth in the August 3 Longines Test Stakes (G1) at Saratoga.

Sass and Class has a Mineshaft yearling colt selling at the upcoming Keeneland September sale. Shockley said her Liam’s Map weanling colt “is progressing nicely.” After RNA’ing for $40,000 at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling sale, her 2017 Constitution colt sold for $135,000 to Eddie Kenneally at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Mid-Atlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training sale. Sass and Class was barren to Connect for 2020.

Also breeders of 2017 Arlington Classic Stakes (G3T) victor Cowboy Culture, the Shockleys are business-minded animal lovers. Of Sass and Class, Ron Shockley said, “If she produces one or two more black-type winners, she is going to have a lot of value. Then we’re going to have to take another look at that point, since we are a small operation.”