Andrew Perryman

published: 01 Oct 2015 in Personality profiles

For a youngster who used to watch the thoroughbreds walk past his home at Semaphore on their way to work on the beach it seems fitting that Andrew Perryman is now stud manager at Goldin Farms, Angaston. Colin Hayes set up the stud under the Lindsay Park banner after the master horseman had also started out his training career on the beach at Semaphore. Andrew has been charged with implementing the plans of Goldin’s owner Pan Sutong to again make the stud a real force in Australian breeding.

DURING the reign of the late, revered Colin Hayes, Lindsay Park Stud in the rolling hills of Angaston in the Barossa Valley rose to pre-eminence in the Australian and global thoroughbred industry.Developed on limestone and marble country covered with deep layer of sandy loam, the stud was once home to world record-breaking stallion Without Fear (FR) as well as the likes of Arch Sculptor (GB), At Talaq (GB) and Godswalk (USA).

  Following the death of C.S., as he was universally known, in May 1999, the stud went into a decline, but now a return to the property’s glory days is taking place. This revival, as the renamed Goldin Farms, is being financed by Pan Sutong, who is a Hong Kong based businessman and entrepreneur.

  Born in Guangdong province in China in 1963, he immigrated to the United States in 1976 and then moved to Hong Kong in 1984 where he has developed extensive interests in communications, electronics and real estate. Mr Pan has since been so successful that this year he was placed at number 153 on the Forbes listing of billionaires, with an estimated net worth of $US8.6 billion.

  This wealth opened the way for him to become involved in racing in Hong Kong four years ago when he acquired a number of high-priced horses including Akeed Mofeed (GB). That led through to the purchase by Goldin Australia, one of a multitude of companies Mr Pan has, of Lindsay Park in September of 2013.

  Subsequently an advertisement was placed seeking a stud manager and South Australian-born Andrew Perryman was chosen for the prestigious position. By then he had an impressive CV, working at Coolmore, Darley, Gooree, Mill Park and Woodlands in Australia and at Coolmore, in Ireland, as well as Ashford and Juddmonte in the US. This had given him access to industry luminaries such Dr Andrew Adkins, Andrew Baddock, Peter Flynn, Dr John Freestone, Duncan Grimley, Trevor Lobb and Peter O’Brien.

  His duties along the way had included accompanying the champion sire Danehill (USA) and Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus (USA) on flights to-and-from Australia. He had also worked with the remarkable Coolmore stallions Sadler’s Wells and Galileo, as well as three-time Australian Champion Sire Redoute’s Choice when he was a youngster. He also worked with other champion Australia sires in Exceed and Excel, Encosta de Lago and Lonhro, plus English Derby winner Quest For Fame and Darley stars Sepoy, Helmet and Benfica.

  During his years at Coolmore Andrew met his wife Jodie, who was employed as a veterinarian nurse at Woodlands and she continues to help out in that capacity at Angaston. The couple, who have two children, Emily, nine, and Blake, six, began settling into the imposing two storied homestead at Lindsay Park at the beginning of last year.

  Keyneton Road splits the homestead section, now occupied by Goldin Farms, from the training facility originally built by Colin and now used by McEvoy-Mitchell Racing. On the other side of the property Eden Valley Road separates Goldin Farms from Cornerstone Stud run by C.S.’s grandson Sam Hayes.

  “It’s been a real whirlwind since I was appointed,” Andrew said. “I’ve done a lot of travelling to Hong Kong and we’ve put on about 30 staff, with nearly all of them being from the Barossa.”

  Among them is Winfried Meyer who has had a tenure totalling 36 years with Lindsay Park at Angaston and with David Hayes at Euroa in Victoria. Winfried has been appointed as project manager and is responsible for the renovation and development of the farm. This redevelopment of Lindsay Park by Goldin Farms will be done in keeping with the property’s distinguished heritage in the racing and breeding industry.

  “We have renovations and improvements to the old Lindsay Park homestead underway and there are other developments taking place that befit a major horse stud,” Andrew said. “We’ve also been actively buying bloodstock and have purchased 60 or so mares in the past 18 months to two years.

  “We’ve also sold yearlings which were progeny of the mares we’ve purchased. Our aims include helping to strengthen the South Australian racing and breeding industry by our involvement.”

  As part of this contribution Goldin Farms has already entered a three-year agreement to sponsor the Barossa Cup, which is run at Gawler in May. The Goldin Farms project may also ultimately result in Mr Pan deciding to become more active in the racing side and utilizing the magnificent 1000m uphill track constructed at Lindsay Park under Colin’s guidance. “Our plan includes breaking-in horses and I am sure we will be making use of the Collingrove track,” Andrew said.

  Coincidentally, in another connection to the famous family, Andrew spent his early years in the Adelaide suburb of Semaphore where Colin Hayes embarked on his training career. “I would often ride my bike past the stables of the late Len Smith hoping I would see a horse with its head over the fence. Occasionally I’d see them working on the beach past our house and I felt I wanted to be involved.”

  After completing his primary schooling at Semaphore Andrew moved to Mount Gambier, in the state’s southeast, where his father Ian is a cattle buyer and ran an agistment property at Yahl. That meant he spent quite a bit of time around livestock in his younger days.

  “As I grew up I helped Dad run the place,” he said. “Foaling down mares, rearing foals and that sort of thing. He has raced a number of horses including Apogee Storm, Comedy Dancer, Wrangler Boy and Argyle Luck, who were stakes horses, and now has Hioctdane, which goes pretty well.

  “We lived next door to Mark Kavanagh’s training complex in those days and O.A. Dickson’s stud, which stood stallions such as Arctic Symbol and Hearten, was on the other side of us. I spent a lot of time with Dad’s trainers during my junior years doing work experience in my holidays, which gave me an understanding of what the business was all about.”

  Andrew also worked as a yearling groom at Mill Park, at Meningie, helping prepare a draft, which included Champion Three Year-Old Gold Guru, for the ABCOS sales. However, that involvement did not necessarily mean he was destined for a career in the horse industry.

  “With Dad being a cattle buyer, I loved working with the stock agents at the sale yards during the school holidays. I actually filled in a form applying for a position at Elders but the horses eventually won out.”

  On finishing his high schooling at Mount Gambier Andrew went to the University of Adelaide’s Roseworthy campus 50km north of Adelaide where he undertook the applied science in horse husbandry and management course. Then through David Coles, who was instrumental in guiding the careers of so many of the industry’s high fliers, Andrew began at Coolmore in March 1997.

  “My father was friendly with David Coles, who introduced me to Duncan Grimley,” he said. “Duncan was then general manager of Coolmore and we went from there. Since those early days he has always been a mentor for me.”

  In his eight years with Coolmore he filled a variety of roles. After beginning as a yearling groom, he became assistant yearling manager, stallion groom, assistant broodmare foaling manager, broodmare and foaling manager and part-time breeding shed co-ordinator for the 14 stallions standing.

  “While I was at Coolmore we had the first yearlings by Sadlers Wells to go through the sales in Australia,” he said. “We had six or seven of them. We also reared Redoute’s Choice and I can say I’ve been really lucky 
to have worked with some fantastic horses.”

  He was given the opportunity to travel, initially going to Coolmore in Ireland on a stallion flight for the 1999 breeding season. “On one of my flights we had Danehill on board, when we were forced to make an emergency landing at Stansted in England. The hydraulics went and it was interesting having all the emergency vehicles waiting for us to land. Fortunately it turned out all right.

  “I did a few covers in the shed with Sadlers Wells while I was there and I looked after several of the stallions.” Andrew was again on a stallion flight to Ashford Stud in Kentucky in 2002 and was groom during the breeding season for the 18 stallions standing.

  “I did Fusaichi Pegasus’s first season at Ashford and his first flight to Australia after he’d won the Kentucky Derby. I went to the Derby when Monarchos won and it was amazing to see how patriotic the Americans are about their Derby winners.”

  His time at Ashford was followed two years later by a stint at Juddmonte Farm, in Kentucky, where he was a barn supervisor. “I was in a barn with 20 high class mares,” he said. “While I was at Juddmonte Danehill’s mother Razyana died in another barn which saddened everyone on the place.”

  A capable Australian Rules player, he was vice-captain of an under-age state championship winning team Glenelg Country. Andrew also played for the Muswellbrook Cats when in Australia during his years at Coolmore.

  “Royston Murphy, Mick Malone, Adam White, Danny Swain and other people from the studs played for Muswellbrook. The team won the premiership in 2005 but unfortunately I missed out on being part of that because I had moved to Gooree.”

  He was assistant stud manager to Andrew Baddock while at Gooree during a time when the stud had 100 mares and foals on the property as well as around 70 yearlings. “Andrew taught me a lot, especially about growing out young stock and the importance of being a hands-on manager,” he said.

  As 2006 was beginning to unfold the position of stud manager became available at Woodlands Cootamundra, which was still in the ownership of Ingham Bloodstock. “I took over from Ray Kirkup, who had been stud manager for a long time. Steve Brien had been there for about 20 years at that stage and he knew the place like the back of his hand. He and I worked well together and he was a great support to me.”

  STC Silver Slipper Stakes-Gr.2 winner Domesday, Over, who defeated Sunline in the AJC Doncaster Handicap-Gr.1, the English Derby-Gr.1 winner Quest For Fame and MVRC William Reid Stakes-Gr.1 winner Strategic were on the roster when Andrew arrived. There were also about 100 mares and foals, plus some 100 yearlings, including Doomben 10,000 winner Beaded, being prepared mainly for Crown Lodge and John Hawkes.

  “It is a beautiful farm and I worked closely with the late Peter Flynn, who was the general manager of Woodlands,” he said. “I learned a lot about staff management and horse management from Peter.

  “He taught me how to deal with different situations and the importance of being well organized and knowing your horses. Peter was fantastic and he has been a tragic loss to the industry.”  In July 2008, after Ingham Bloodstock had sold out to Darley, Andrew became stud manager of Darley Woodlands, at Denman, following Scott Holcombe’s transfer to Makybe. “It was an exceptional time for the stud with Lonhro, Commands, Canny Lad and all the boys standing there,” he said.

  Besides the stallions there were some 220 mares and foals and 240 yearlings with, in both cases, about 50% being owned by clients of Darley. Adding further to the aura around the property, albeit further down the track, Benfica, by Lonhro, Helmet, by Exceed and Excel, and Sepoy, by Elusive Quality (USA), were foaled in 2008. Together they went on to capture the five Gr.1 two year-old races in the 2010-11 season, with Sepoy taking the MRC Blue Diamond Stakes and ATC Golden Slipper Stakes, Helmet the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes and Champagne Stakes and Benfica the BRC T.J. Smith Stakes.

  “It has been one of the most memorable times I’ve had to have overseen the rearing at Darley Woodlands of Benfica, Helmet and Sepoy. It was an outstanding feat for Peter Snowden and the stud. Others to come off Woodlands in my time included Guelph and Pierro and I Am Invincible in their younger days.”

  But with he and Jodie having the children Andrew felt a desire to return to South Australia and when the position with Goldin Farms was advertised he applied. He was selected as the stud’s manager and from January of last year has been in charge of the equine operations of the farm and their development.

  “It was quite a thrill to be chosen because not too many opportunities, like the one I have with Goldin Farms, come up in South Australia these days,” he said. The opening purchase by Mr Pan’s company covered 510ha (1257.5 acres) and included the imposing homestead where Colin and Betty Hayes lived.

  Akeed Mofeed (GB), who was a top class performer when racing in Mr Pan’s predominantly yellow silks in Hong Kong, was installed last year as the stud’s foundation stallion. By the high profile champion racehorse and sire Dubawi (IRE), a son of Dubai Millennium, Akeed Mofeed is out of the unraced Tiger Hill (IRE) mare Wonder Why, who is from the family of Hernando and Johann Quatz.

  He began his racing career in Ireland, where he was trained by John Oxx to win at Leopardstown and to run fourth in the Irish Derby-Gr.1. Subsequently prepared in Hong Kong by Richard Gibson, he produced brilliant performances to capture the HKJC Longines Hong Kong Cup-Gr.1 and the BMW Hong Kong Derby-HKGr.1.

  Those credentials appealed to breeders around the nation and among the mares to visit Akeed Mofeed are SAJC Robert Sangster Stakes-Gr.1 winner Bel Mer, QTC T.J. Smith Stakes-Gr.1 heroine Linky Dink (NZ), SAJC Schweppes Oaks-Gr.1 winner Small Minds and American mare In The Gold, who won the Belmont Gazelle Stakes-Gr.1. Importantly, Akeed Mofeed is proving very fertile with 65 mares reported in foal to him in his opening season in 2014 from 66 mares covered.

  This year began brightly for the operation when Mr Pan’s imported Duke of Marmalade gelding Martian (IRE) dead heated for first in the Audi Solitaire Handicap at Morphettville on Adelaide Cup Day and that night Goldin Farms sold the sales topping lot at the Adelaide Magic Millions Yearling Sale. A colt by Smart Missile from the Dubai Destination (USA) mare Goldfinger, a winner of four races, he went to McEvoy-Mitchell Racing for $220,000.

  “While Goldin Farms will sell at other sales we are South Australian-based and will always strongly support the local sale,” Andrew said afterwards.

  In a particularly busy month Goldin Farms then added a further 304ha (753 acres) to its holdings when it purchased the property known as Tarrawatta. “The terrain of Tarrawatta is excellent for agisting and growing thoroughbreds,” Andrew said. “The property 
is a wonderful asset in the development of Goldin Farms. “It is important in managing a stud that mares, yearlings and foals are rotated through paddocks on the property to ensure they receive the best nourishment and have the room to develop as athletes.”

  In June Andrew travelled to Royal Ascot where the Goldin Group is an official partner in the conduct of the meeting. “The industry has been wonderful to me ands has enabled me to learn about the thoroughbred and how to manage them, which isn’t an exact science. I have been lucky enough to travel the world and to work in some beautiful locations. I have met some very interesting and wonderful people and now I enjoy nothing more than meeting up with my past colleagues and having a laugh about the fun times.” n