- Keenan plans to downsize his thoroughbred herd and build a new home at O'Ceirin.
Hard-rafting Whanganui contractor and hobby farmer Wayne Keenan has finally decided to slow the pace.
The concrete contractor designed his beloved O'Ceirin Farm at 952 State Highway 4 at Upokongaro with thoroughbred horses firmly in mind, a passion he has had for decades.
He breeds, trains and races from a portion of the farm specifically set up to cater for his equine endeavours, while the remainder of the property is used to run a few stock, including a number of his broodmare band. It also boasts his three bedroom home.
That 5.36ha portion of his farm is now for sale as Keenan downsizes his thoroughbred herd and slows the pace of his contracting business.
The block to be sold also features a large commercial 4-bay shed (24x12m) with 3m high stud, roller doors and an attached modern donko/office area measuring 50m2, A pond and creek area is fenced and planted. There is grazing for more than 30 stock units.
Keenan plans to build a new home on his horse block at O'Ceirin and downsize his broodmare band to three or four and continue training a handful of the progeny from the purpose-build complex.
Keenan is a perfectionist and a self-confessed workaholic who has painstakingly carved out a niche hobby farm that suits a wide number of farming lifestyles.
Forward planning gave Keenan an edge when the Big Dry came knocking in 2018.
As others struggled to cope with the dry spell in the region that included a record 41 days without rain in the Whanganui district pre-Christmas, Keenan had the luxury of moving stock from one lush, green paddock to the next.
While he had only 18 effective hectares on which to grow his homebred thoroughbreds, the well thought out design maximised his options.
From the outset using his own contracting company diggers and earthmoving machines, he carved out a farmlet fenced and irrigated specifically to raise horse flesh. Harnessing natural springs to feed his man-made dams, Keenan installed portable alkathene pipes that could be moved to suit which paddock needed watering at any given time.
The springs popped up from old oil wells drilled years ago and were never capped. They didn't find any oil.
He built his own dams fed by the springs and then fenced off wetlands and planted them and the farm boundaries in natives.
The Upokongaro Stream runs through the property, but he didn't touch a drop of that. In fact, he added to it. When the dams overflow it goes straight into the stream.
None of his stock gets anywhere near the waterways.
Even during the pre-Christmas dry, a record for Whanganui since weather measurements began in 1937, Keenan carried 35 horses through well-fed and unharmed.
The sale is being conducted by Property Brokers lifestyle specialist Mark Lourie who is asking for offers by April 14.