Scenic Lodge founder David Smith has announced his retirement from the industry and will sell his horses unreserved at the Inglis Online February (Early) Sale.

The Muchea nursery has also catalogued 17 yearlings for the Perth Magic Millions on February 22 and 23.  Smith’s son Jeremy and his wife Sarah will take over ownership of Scenic Lodge and will continue to operate the business from March 1.

Jeremy & David Smith pictured with a portrait of Blackfriars

David Smith bought the property in 1996 and it was originally named Durham Lodge after his birthplace in north-east England.

It had been a very successful training complex for the owner-trainer team of Wally Hannah and Ted Hickling with Group 1 gallopers Barrosa Boy, Importune and Eastern Temple.

Buying Irish-bred stallion Scenic (Sadler’s Wells) from Lindsay Park in 1998 and installing him as foundation sire was an inspired choice.  He exploded at the turn of the century with Group 1 winners Universal Prince, Episode, Lord Essex, Piavonic and Scenic Peak.

“At one stage Scenic was running third in the Australian sires’ premiership behind Danehill and Zabeel,” Jeremy recalled.  “That’s something no other sire in WA has ever, or perhaps will ever, achieve.”

It was also the beginning of an unprecedented 21-year reign in Western Australia during which the stud changed names from Durham Lodge to Scenic Lodge.  Scenic (Ire) won 9 local titles in a row between 2002 and 2010 and, in a seamless transition, Blackfriars took command and added another 12 premierships between 2011 and 2022.

“We bought Blackfriars from Swettenham Stud and had to pay good money for a Group 1 Victorian Derby-winning son of Danehill,” Jeremy added.  “He will be remembered as the greatest stallion to have ever been based in this State and now his son Playing God is the dominant force in Western Australia.”

Scenic Lodge has entered numerous well-bred producing mares in foal and/or with foals at foot plus yearlings and racehorses.  For any further details please contact Jeremy Smith at 0419 943 356 or