Bred by Ian Hunter and purchased from Russell Ferguson’s Edendale stables, near Wyndham in the deep south of New Zealand, Washington Lass was a 10-start maiden at the time of purchase but did boast four minor placings to her credit.
Upon arrival, the Washington V C mare was diagnosed as a “roarer”. The term “roarer” refers to horses with a condition called Recurrent Laryngeal Neuropathy (RLN) or Laryngeal Hemiplegia that affects the upper airway of the horse. “Roarer” is used because of the noise that is often heard by horses with this condition during work, or strenuous exercise.
A tie-back operation was required.
Despite her condition, Thorn had Washington Lass win six of her first 10 starts, all at Menangle, which also led to her being crowned the 2011/12 NSW Provincial Horse of the Year.
Another issue Washington Lass battled was always being in season, which prompted the move to Brisbane.
Washington Lass won her first two starts at Redcliffe, both in fast time, before graduating to Albion Park where she managed to win once but in 1:55.9.
In just 11 Queensland starts, Washington Lass scored three victories and had two minor placings before going amiss and being retired.
In total, Washington Lass built a record of nine wins and 13 minor placings from 43 career starts with earnings of $53,789.
With her final start coming via the Group 3 $30,000 Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes at Albion Park on July 11, 2015, Washington Lass went to the paddock in readiness for the next phase of her career.
“Time ticked by and it wasn’t until my good friend (and co-owner) Dougal Johnston asked me what my plans were with Lass before it jolted me to start planning. I tried previously with We Will See back in 2013, but she missed,” Polson said.
“I have the mare based at Egmont Park Stud under the care of Peter and Leann Bell. They’ve been terrific for me with Lass, and I decided to send her to A Rocknroll Dance and the resultant foal was Blacksadance.
“My favourite horse was Blacks A Fake. My guy was a big black horse like him, so I named him after Blacks A Fake, in sorts. I used to be worried Blacksadance was not good enough to be named after Blacks A Fake. I raced Itsoktobefake who was by Fake Left; he must have been an amazing horse because he left such great horses.
“I went back to A Rocknroll Dance the next season and we got Big Wheels. I named him after the Rolling on the River song as I’m always singing it rather loudly. I sing it even more now when I’m driving my cow truck.”
With Blacksadance and Big Wheels starting to bear fruit, Polson decided to change things up and decided the next consort for his mare would be the Somebeachsomewhere stallion Sunshine Beach.