Creative thinking and a trip across the Cook Strait paved the way for Windsor Park Stud’s inaugural Rugby, Racing and Beer event.
The Cambridge-based farm sent nine yearlings south to be auctioned off during the luncheon, held last Friday on the eve of Riccarton Park’s Saturday race meeting.
The concept was developed by stud master Rodney Schick, with a percentage of the proceeds going to Ellie Stokes, a young rider who was left a paraplegic after a trackwork accident in 2019.
“I’ve always wanted to do a private sale, just for that different experience,” Schick said. “Doing it in a luncheon style was something I have been thinking about for a while and having that South Island meeting, I thought it was a great opportunity to do it.
“It went really smoothly. Miranda Horton and Nick Hewson did a huge job, as well as Racheal Murray and the team at home.
“Alice Berry our yearling manager took them down and it went really well.”
Headlined ‘Rugby Racing and Beer’, the event aimed to engage participants in a new experience while they purchased the bloodstock on offer.
Guest speakers Brad Mooar, assistant coach for the All Blacks, and former All Black and 150 capped Crusader Corey Flynn covered the ‘Rugby’ aspect as guest speakers while Shaune Ritchie and Stephen Mckee spoke racing when reminiscing about their champions Bonecrusher and Sunline. The beer facet was self-explanatory.
“It was really fun and we were just trying to create something a little bit different,” Schick said. “We were trying to give people a different experience and it was a bit like Hong Kong in style.
“Though the horses were on the ground and available for inspection, we had video footage playing while they were being sold and Steve Davis did an unbelievably great job as an auctioneer, as he always does.”
Each of the nine yearlings, all by Windsor Park Stud stallions, were sold for an average of $25,000.
Top lot honours went to the Turn Me Loose filly out of stakes producing mare Black Beauty, sold to Albert Bosma’s successful syndication company Go Racing for $72,500. -Amie Best, NZTBA