Gallops - News

Iconic Cambridge Stud changes hands

  • Wed, 29 Nov 2017
  • Dennis Ryan

Sir Patrick Hogan talks with Trackside's Aidan Rodley on the sale of Cambridge Stud to Brendan and Jo Lindsay.

Speculation around the future of New Zealand’s most iconic thoroughbred nursery has ended today with the announcement that Sir Patrick and Justine Lady Hogan have sold Cambridge Stud to Auckland couple Brendan and Jo Lindsay.

Forty-one years after establishing Cambridge Stud and selecting Irish-bred Sir Tristram as their foundation stallion, Sir Patrick and Lady Justine have made the toughest decision of their lives. Through a combination of sheer hard work and uncanny judgement, they developed their original holding of 135 acres into a world-renowned thoroughbred stud that has hosted an array of global visitors, including Queen Elizabeth ll.

Sir Tristram became a breed-shaping sensation, his son Zabeel followed suit under the unique Hogan hand, and together with a broodmare band headed by the incomparable Eight Carat and others developed over many years, Cambridge Stud dominated New Zealand breeding like no other.

Reflecting in an interview with www.theinformant.co.nz on where it all began, what it became and now a momentous decision, Sir Patrick expressed mixed feelings but ultimate satisfaction at the decision to hand over the baton.

“It certainly hasn’t been spur of the moment, anything but,” he said. “Justine and I have known for a while that we would have to make the call, but it had to be on our terms and it had to be right for Cambridge Stud.

“It’s well known that we have been approached by a number of parties over the past few years but it’s only in the last month that we felt comfortable we were doing the right thing.

“We were approached by the Lindsays to see if we would consider selling Cambridge Stud and it went from there. Our negotiations took only three weeks and now that we’ve completed the deal I know it’s 100 per cent the right decision.”

Brendan and Jo Lindsay already have a high profile with a large racing string, a quality broodmare band, top-end sale purchasing and involvement as well in raceday sponsorship. They hit the headlines late last year when they sold their Sistema plastic products operation for $660 million to American interests, with the proviso that the business remained New Zealand-based.

That decision and Brendan Lindsay’s beginnings with a plastic coat-hanger manufacturing operation in a Cambridge garage draws obvious parallels with that other self-made man, Patrick Hogan.

“When Justine and I made the decision in 1976 to leave my family’s operation at Fencourt Stud and establish Cambridge Stud, we had no idea where it would take us,” says Sir Patrick. “We paid $121,000 for the original 135 acres, we had two young daughters, one staff member and a considerate bank manager, and all we knew was to work hard, put every spare dollar back into the stud and hope that we succeeded.

“What I know of the Lindsays is that they’ve also worked very hard to get where they are now and putting aside the feelings we have in letting go, it’s tremendously satisfying to know that Cambridge Stud will remain New Zealand-owned and will remain intact.

“The deal is walk in walk out, complete with the two resident stallions Tavistock and Burgundy. The 2018 Karaka yearling draft will be my last and then the Cambridge Stud brand will belong to the new owners.

“We will be retaining Monarch Farm, which is a separate 220 acres and will allow me to still have my racing team and those mares I’m in various partnerships with. In a couple of years I’ll be 80, but I won’t be retiring, that’s not me.”

Cambridge Stud will officially change hands in April, when the Lindsays will be able to implement their plans for the next stage in a fascinating history.

“We are very aware of the huge responsibility that comes with assuming the ownership of such a treasured and revered operation as Cambridge Stud,” they said in a prepared statement. “Sir Patrick, a member of both the Australian and New Zealand Halls of Fame, is the undisputed king of the New Zealand thoroughbred industry.

“There are no parallels to what he and Lady Hogan have achieved including 31 years as the National Sale’s leading vendor. They have been an inspiration to owners and breeders across the world and have cemented the New Zealand thoroughbred as a force to be reckoned with on the world stage.

“Cambridge Stud is more than a stud farm – it is a unique Kiwi legend. No matter where you travel in the world, the Cambridge Stud name is synonymous not only with New Zealand but with unequalled Group One excellence. Eight Melbourne Cups, four Cox Plates, three Caulfield Cups and the Golden Slipper have been associated with the stud.

“We will honour the legacy that Sir Patrick and Lady Hogan have entrusted us with. We feel both proud and privileged to have the opportunity of helping to write exciting new chapters to the Cambridge Stud success story.”

Sir Patrick and Justine Lady Hogan have sold Cambridge Stud to Auckland couple Brendan and Jo Lindsay.

Sir Patrick and Justine Lady Hogan have sold Cambridge Stud to Auckland couple Brendan and Jo Lindsay.