For a country boy who was told he was too big to be a jockey, Rodney Quinn made the most of his opportunities and became very successful in the saddle, despite battling with his weight. His long tenure with Crown Lodge saw him win stakes races on the likes of Lonhro, Align and Viscount and now he is passing on his experience to a new generation of apprentices on behalf of Racing NSW.
Champions Research and Pierro are just two of the many outstanding horses to begin their education under the guidance of master horseman Paul Blattman who was born to a life in the saddle and whose Whispering Pines property at Oakdale is the finishing school for many of our best thoroughbreds.
Following his father Neville around his Randwick stables as a youngster before graduating to the role of travelling foreman, proved great grounding for Grahame Begg who took over the reins of the stable at 29 and soon proved his talent as a trainer. With a relatively small team he’s had a steady stream of good horses since Eye of the Sky became his first Gr.1 winner in 1990.
Newly elected TBA president Basil Nolan brings a lifetime of experience to his new role, and the stud owner and former bookmaker has some causes close to his heart. These include extracting money from the corporate bookmakers to help fund the industry and encouraging more people into experiencing the joys of thoroughbred ownership.
The sudden death of husband Denis in October 2004 at age 50 forced Robyn Whishaw to take on the huge job of running the family’s Armidale Stud at Carrick near Launceston at the height of the breeding season. Robyn met this challenge head on and has had great success in the past decade. She is now preparing to hand over the reins to eldest son David.
Tim Faras has packed an amazing amount of experience and gathered a wealth of knowledge in a lifetime devoted to horses, and these days is putting it to good use as the manager of the well-appointed Royston Stud at Innisplain in Queensland, home to sires Longhorn and Cheval de Troy (NZ).
John Brocklebank had the chance at a professional footballing career in the US but he chose to forego it and follow his life long passion for horses, firstly in the world of the quarter horse and then pinhooking thoroughbreds. BC3 Thoroughbreds made headlines this year when paying a record $5m for a yearling half-brother to Black Caviar, and the company he co-founded is now a major player in Australia and US and looking at further expansion.
James Harron began riding at six in Northern Ireland and it wasn’t long before he was “horse mad” and determined to make horses his life. Now just 28, he’s already achieved that dream, has had many memorable moments in the thoroughbred industry, and is at the helm of his own bloodstock agency in Sydney.
Sir Peter Vela
A thoroughbred called Dominus, who managed to win one race in 24 starts, fired Sir Peter Vela’s interest in the world of racing and breeding while he was still at university and led to him, and his brother Philip, becoming dominant players in the NZ industry. Now Sir Peter is at the helm of Pencarrow Stud and New Zealand Bloodstock.
Renowned equine veterinary surgeon Angus Adkins is still not sure what prompted his career path, but he hasn’t once regretted the decision he made as a teenager. The Scone Equine Hospital director, who is passionate about mentoring young veterinarians, admits “veterinary science is my life”.
Being taken to the races as a special treat gave a young Murray Tillett a love for horses that has led to a career in the industry, mainly with auction houses, but lately as bloodstock manager for the revitalised Woodside Park operation in Victoria. The stud is now home to boom young sire Written Tycoon.
If they gave awards for industry “all rounder” Mark Pilkington would certainly be a favourite to take the title. He has been involved in most aspects of the thoroughbred industry in the past 40 years, and has gained respect and accolades along the way. These days he’s helping owners and trainers via his innovative Horse Training Packages and enjoying racing a few horses with friends.
From being a member of the Legal Eagles punting syndicate, then media personality, to respected racing administrator, Bob Charley AO has had quite a career in the thoroughbred industry. Now he has combined that knowledge and his love of art to produce a limited edition book, Heroes & Champions, depicting the history of Australian Racing and told via essays on 140 paintings.
Being born in the same NZ town as Phar Lap and having family involved in the racing industry meant Grant Burns grew up around horses, even if motorbikes became a passion for a time. However it’s hard to escape your destiny, and with some help from distinguished mentors, Grant has established a career as a bloodstock agent and auctioneer in WA.
A friendship forged at school led to a life changing job opportunity for Andrew Wiles, who has just taken up the position of Global Chief Financial Officer for Sheikh Mohammed’s global thoroughbred operation after working for Darley Australia since June 2008. He will be based in London alongside his former schoolmate Olly Tait, who is Global Chief Operating Officer of the Dubai ruler’s equine interests.
Barry Bowditch felt the lure of the thoroughbred world from an early age with parents who were both involved in the industry and horses “around every corner”. When increasing height and weight ruled out a career as a jockey, Barry turned to the bloodstock side of the business and has never looked back, starting at Inglis and now enjoying a senior role at Magic Millions.
Cornerstone Stud is building on the wonderful legacy of Lindsay Park and South Australian businessman Darren Thomas is at the heart of this revival, backing Sam Hayes in a partnership that could return the stud to the glory days experienced under the stewardship of Sam’s grandfather, legendary trainer and stud master Colin Hayes.
It was always a pretty safe bet that Bryan Carlson’s working life would involve horses, given his parents were both involved in equine pursuits, and that’s the way things have panned out. Bryan, who was riding from a young age, is now nominations manager at Emirates Park in NSW at a time when the Nasser Lootah-owned stud is undergoing a renaissance with some high profile new stallions and a $4m foray into the Easter yearling market.
Given her love of speed and passion for horses it seems fitting that Jacqueline Stewart has found a career in the world of the thoroughbred. She made history in January when she was appointed the first female Keeper of the Australian Stud Book.
The decision by her parents to buy a property at Red Hill when she was “just a wee dot” changed Julie Nairn’s life forever and set her on a path into the equestrian world and then into thoroughbred racing and breeding. These days Julie manages stallions through her LP Stallions company and enjoys sharing her love of horses with the many people she meets through her business.
The tragic death of his father Ken in a race fall at Rosehill has not stopped Chris Russell from forging a career in the thoroughbred industry and he’s grateful for all the help and support he received from many industry notables along the way. After an early career at the Magic Millions, these days Chris is a familiar figure at Inglis sales where he has been a bloodstock consultant and auctioneer since August 2012.
Although his father and grandfather were jockeys, Mark Shean never considered that profession, although he knew he wanted to be involved in the racing industry in some capacity. So he put his memory for names and colours to good use and began calling races as a youngster, and then professionally from the time he was 16. Now he’s one of the country’s most respected race broadcasters, working for TVN in NSW.
Learning at the hands of a master in Colin Hayes has certainly helped Tony McEvoy in his climb to the top ranks of Australian trainers. Now the South Australian is enjoying the next stage of his career and is training plenty of winners from his state-of-the-art property Kildalton Park.
Steve Hart was determined his dream of combining his passions for racing and photography would one day become a reality and provide a full time career. He achieved his goal through hard work and dedication and now he’s giving something back to the sport as a director of Wyong Race Club.
With hurdle jockeys in her family it’s little wonder Stephanie Grentell isn’t afraid to tackle the big obstacles in life including eventually becoming an auctioneer of thoroughbreds and a bloodstock agent. While she chases these goals and runs marathons for a hobby, she’s forging a career in a male-dominated world and is a valued member of the team at Inglis, based in Melbourne.
Taking a gamble on breeding thoroughbreds more than 30 years ago proved a very astute move for Gray Williamson, his wife Jan and their family, as they have developed Mungrup Stud into one of the most successful in the nation and a great advertisement for their home state of Western Australia.
A decision to remain in Australia after his first visit more than 20 years ago has proven the right one for Irishman John Sunderland and, thanks to the support of “wonderful people” in the thoroughbred industry who have helped him along the way, he is now the general manager of Darley’s Woodlands Stud operation at Denman.
Although she lived in Sydney’s eastern suburbs as a youngster Varda Green pestered her family for a pony and the passion for horses never went away. These days Varda and her partner, former trainer Ian Macpherson, specialise in standing stallions and are relishing the lifestyle at their Wattle Grove Stud in the NSW southern highlands.
Thanks to a grandmother who liked a bet, the young Brett Howard got an early taste for the racing industry that eventually developed into a vocation. He now runs the successful Randwick Bloodstock Agency with his wife Rachael as well as an agistment property in the lower Hunter Valley, and this proud parent of three young sons says he “couldn’t be happier”.
Growing up as part of a sports mad gang of kids, inheriting a love of horses and the races from his Dad, and possessing a great memory for horse names and racing silks gave Alan Thomas a flying start in his career as a race caller and sports commentator and led to him becoming one of racing’s great assets in Queensland.
A member of the Moses family and steeped in thoroughbred tradition, Henry Field had the best tutors as he set out to learn everything he could about the industry. His passion to acquire knowledge and his dedication have seen Henry’s fledgling Newgate Farm operation make an immediate impact at the highest levels of racing and breeding and it seems this young man has a bright future indeed.
A winning quinella on the 1982 Melbourne Cup started Anthony Mithen’s involvement in racing, his love of sport led to a successful career in the media and his marriage introduced him to a family with a passion for breeding thoroughbreds and to eventually running a stud that is home to Gr.1 winners Danzero and Toorak Toff. There has been plenty of hard work along the way too, it’s all part of a plan to make Rosemont an industry leader in Victoria.
Champion polo player Jaime Mackay’s life has always been tied up with horses and the land, so it really came as no surprise when Jaime turned over his historic family property to the breeding of thoroughbreds and Cangon Stud Farm was born. It’s a move that Jaime, wife Jennifer and children Jock and Catriona haven’t regretted.
Paul Knight has had a real passion for his work at Magic Millions since he left school more than
25 years ago and is now the sales company’s bloodstock operations manager. This good fortune to have a job he loves has prompted Paul to realise how lucky he has been and to try and help others who have not been so fortunate.
Hard work and a hands-on approach have given Steve Tregea success in business and in the world
of the thoroughbred. As a breeder and trainer, the Windemere Stud principal had some great rewards, as well as “being on the wrong end of the pineapple”, but for someone who was “always mad about horses”, he wouldn’t change a thing.
Clarry Conners learned all about horses literally on his father’s knee and the methods taught by this wise old horseman have stood his son in good stead, taking him to the top echelon of Australia’s trainers and landing him four winners in the Golden Slipper-Gr.1 and a host of other successes
at the elite level.
Following on quickly from the Gold Coast Magic Millions the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, to be held at Newmarket on January 20 and 21, is steadily picking up an avid following.
Graduates of New Zealand Bloodstock’s yearling sales continue to be a dominant force whether at home, in Australia or other parts of the world.
Over the last few years the newly founded BC3 Thoroughbreds has become a major player in the Australian bloodstock industry.
Over the last decade or so Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum’s Darley Australia has been playing an increasingly significant part in the development of nation’s thoroughbred industry.
In the years since being established in 1956 at Warwick, on Queensland’s Darling Downs, the Kruger family’s Lyndhurst Stud has been a significant player in the Australian bloodstock industry.
For a long-time now the Willis family’s Chatswood Stud has been playing a significant part in the development of the Victorian thoroughbred breeding industry.
Over the last half-a-century there have been few better known or important names in the thoroughbred industry than that of the late Robert Sangster, who became renowned as an international racing mogul.
The Campbell family’s Blue Gum Farm has set a high standard since it began standing the Nonoalco horse Noalcoholic at its newly founded property near Euroa in central Victoria in 1984.
There can be no better way to start the annual round of yearling sales in Australia and New Zealand than with the Gold Coast Magic Millions offering.
The last 12 months have been quite enthralling as far as the Australian racing scene is concerned.
In the opening months of the year the feats of Black Caviar captured the attention and imagination of the Australian public and people around the world.
The Inglis Sydney Classic Yearling Sale - Summer Book follows on quickly from the Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale.
The Australian Stud Book is respected as one of the foremost publications in the world of the thoroughbred.
As the 2014 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, at Newmarket on April 8, 9 and 10, draws closer the activity around the sale is gathering momentum.
The Asian Racing Federation is the peak regional body for thoroughbred racing in Asia, Australia, Arabia and South Africa.
Over the last 20 years Sri Lankan businessman Muzaffar Yaseen’s Teeley Assets has developed one of Australia’s most successful thoroughbred dynasties.
Now under ownership of a Hong Kong-based company Victoria’s Eliza Park International is recognized as a major player on the Australian thoroughbred scene.
Since being founded in the late 1960s by the fabled Colin Hayes Lindsay Park Stud at Angaston in South Australia has, for the main part, been a leading player on the Australian thoroughbred breeding scene.
For over a century the land on which Vinery Australia sits – the property originally operated under the Segenhoe Stud banner – has been the breeding ground for high quality racehorses.
The countdown to the Inglis yearling sales in 2015 has already begun.
On August 1 entries for the company’s Sydney Classic Summer Book, Melbourne Premier, Australian Easter, VOBIS Gold, Sydney Classic Autumn Book and Scone yearling sales closed.
This year the Melbourne Cup – now sponsored by Emirates – will be run for the 154th time at Flemington on November 4.
As a lead up to the event which, quite literally stops the nation, the Victoria Racing Club conducts its now traditional Melbourne Cup Tour.
With Gerry Harvey calling in his debt Magic Millions will hold a massive unreserved sale of the holdings of Nathan Tinkler’s Patinack Farm operation.
The sale, which is said to be the largest private dispersal in Australian history, will take place on both sides of the annual Gold Coast Magic Millions Two-Year-Olds-in-Training Sale.
It is not widely known that racing began in Bahrain – a small island country situated near the western shores of the Persian Gulf – has a history dating back to 1948.
Over the years since, as Dubai and other desert regions have come to international racing prominence, Bahrain has tended to languish behind.
Since being established in 2010 by Henry Field, Newgate Farm has quickly been developed into one of the leading and most progressive studs in Australia.
As Henry says development has been based on a “simple, yet effective approach” of concentrating on “quality bloodstock and quality people”.
Over the years there has been no more competitive race on the Australian calendar than the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.
Since its inception in 1922 the event has been won by the greats of the turf.
New Zealand Thoroughbred Marketing chief executive Andrew Birch has already put together quite an impressive record in the racing industry.
After securing a degree in marketing and international business Andrew began working with NZTM in 2001 and later joined auction house New Zealand Bloodstock.
Over the last 30 years or so the international transportation of thoroughbreds has been on an ever-increasing spiral.
Along the way the internalization of the racing and breeding industries has been accompanied by a more positive world wide approach to quarantine regulations.
This, in turn, has led to an increase in the demands for international flights and a continual upgrading of the techniques involved in transporting such a valuable commodity.
New Zealand Bloodstock
When Chris Waller and a group of his owners decided to purchase yearlings with Derby-winning potential their immediate target became the New Zealand Bloodstock offering at Karaka.
Among Waller’s purchases with this in mind, was a youngster by Cambridge Stud’s eminently successful stallion Zabeel from the Flying Spur mare Better Alternative, who was a winner over 2000m
The burgeoning market in China for Australian thoroughbreds has received a boost following the Free Trade Agreement reached with the federal government.
As a result the import tariffs on racehorses going into China will be totally removed over the next few years.
No doubt Sydney’s champion trainer Chris Waller will be foremost amongst the buyers at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale at Newmarket on February 8, 9 and 10.
In past seasons graduates of the sale have had special memories for Waller with Triple Honour being his stable’s first Group 1 winner and Pressday being his first two-year-old winner at the elite level.
The two-day New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale will commence on January 26.
That is Australia Day but this will not prevent breeders, owners trainers and bloodstock agents crossing the Tasman Sea to be at Karaka.
The Premier will be followed by the Select sale from January 28 to 30 and the Festival sale on February 1.
A chance meeting with thoroughbred industry doyenne Jennifer Churchill paved the way for Biddy Oquist to embark on her long love affair with breeding and racing. She’s been an administrator, bred and raced a Gr.1 winner, a valuable cog in the Arrowfield operation and is set to retire from the TBA.
The Watson family can thank the weather gods for the start of their thriving thoroughbred enterprise at Mill Park in South Australia which began in earnest when a truck load of mares arrived at the sheep property to escape a cold and wet Adelaide winter. Now, more than 20 years later and with Chris Watson at the helm, the stud can boast 16 Gr.1 winners and a reputation as one of the finest nurseries in the country.
A childhood dream of working in the racing industry has become a reality for accountant Adam Tims. Today his company, Stable Financial, has a client list of major Australian and International bloodstock investors, and Adam also offers his time and expertise to help industry bodies such as TBV, Aushorse and TBA.
A family tragedy when he was three changed Bruce Slade’s life and put him on the path to a career in the thoroughbred industry. The young South African has already packed a great deal of experience into his 29 years and the most recent chapter in an eventful life began early this year when he became director of stallions and sales at Newgate Farm in the Hunter Valley.
Despite growing up in a family of racegoers and being exposed to the sport at an early age, Mark Newnham was a late starter as a jockey after stints working for trainers Bobby Thomsen and Bart Cummings. After his apprenticeship concluded he forged a strong partnership with trainer Gai Waterhouse, firstly as a stable jockey for Tulloch Lodge before becoming assistant trainer to the leading Randwick-based mentor on his retirement from race riding.
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.
A family accident turned Ciaron Maher away from motorbikes to horsepower of a different kind and eventually into a career as a jumps jockey. But the heavyweight always knew training was his vocation and he learnt all he could from the experts before setting up with just three horses in 2005. His first Gr.1 winner came in 2007 and now he’s considered one of the country’s best young trainers.
IT IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT to say Dean Hawthorne has a grounding in the thoroughbred industry, because horses have been his life from the time he could sit on one. His vast knowledge has gained him enormous respect and plenty of success, particularly in selecting and preparing ready to run horses and in managing a large bloodstock portfolio for clients.
MORE accustomed to the horsepower of motorbikes as he was growing up on the family farm at Scone, Nick Hodges gradually came to realise that his future was in the thoroughbred industry. He hasn’t regretted the decision and these days is busy as the general manager of Riversdale Farm, which was established by his parents Alison and Peter, and has a wonderful reputation as a broodmare farm and for the preparation of yearlings.
CHEF Wylie Dalziel’s partnership with legendary jockey Roy Higgins proved a recipe for success and the syndication business they nurtured is now one of the strongest in the country. Horses like Bring Me the Maid, Moshe, Ra Sun and more recently, Harlow Gold and Phoenix Rising, have provided plenty of thrills for their many owners and allowed Wylie to live his dream of a career in racing.
STARTING off selling cattle for his father’s firm as a 13 year-old gave Clint Donovan the dream of one day making his career as an auctioneer. He’s achieved all that and more in the years since and is now a fixture on the rostrum at Magic Millions sales as well as working as bloodstock consultant for the company and representing the firm abroad.
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