The first overseas thoroughbred stallions have arrived in Australia for upcoming stud duties, 11 months after horse flu put the brakes on last year's breeding season.
Optimism has returned to the Hunter Valley's thoroughbred industry after it was devastated by horse flu, with preparations for this year's breeding season now in full swing.
Coolmore Stud stallions Dehere, Tale of the Cat and Lion Heart are the first shuttle stallions to arrive from the US.
The stud's sales manager, Colm Santry, says the industry is trying to put the horse flu crisis behind it.
"It was very disruptive for the breeding industry and the horse industry basically across Australia," he said. "This year, here's obviously a lot of confidence."
The horse flu crisis has been blamed on a breakdown in Sydney's Eastern Creek quarantine station, prompting an overhaul to ensure it does not happen again.
The quarantine period for stallions has been increased this year from two to three weeks, while American and European stallions will be separated and sent to different quarantine stations.