The thoroughbred industry lost one of its most respected men after prominent bloodstock agent Michael Stedman passed away at the age of 73 last week.
Stedman, one of the great characters of the industry, initially began his career outside of the racetrack working as a chemist alongside his father based in Terrigal, New South Wales.
His passion for the racing industry ignited when he began bringing Australian racing enthusiasts across the Tasman to participate in stud tours throughout New Zealand during the 1980’s.
It was on one of these tours where he met long-time friend and Ancroft Stud principal Philip Brown.
“Michael just had a passion for horses which saw him take numerous tours around New Zealand, which is where I first met him,” Brown said.
“He moved to Matamata in 1985 permanently where he immediately became part of our extended family.
“We went to a lot of racing carnivals together in both Australia and New Zealand during a friendship which spanned over 40 years.”
Brown and his wife Catherine had a long-standing relationship with Stedman, working in partnership trading horses with the agent for a number of decades.
Stedman began purchasing horses from New Zealand Bloodstock sales in the late 1980’s, becoming an avid member of the New Zealand Bloodstock Agents Federation.
Some of his most notable purchases included multiple Group One winner and Cox Plate hero El Segundo, who he secured from Ancroft Stud at the 2003 National Yearling Sale Series.
Stedman also purchased superstar filly Let’s Elope as a tried horse. The daughter of Nassipour was later inducted into the New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame after claiming four Group One victories, including the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup double.
The respected judge also bought and sold many horses for father-son duo Lawrie and Caspar Fownes in Hong Kong.
In recent times, Brown and Stedman were a part of the syndicate who race exciting Proisir mare Levante.
“I have had so many memorable evenings with Michael. We had a lot of fun together,” Brown said.
“He was a great food connoisseur with an outstanding sense of humour and just generally good company.”
Michael passed away in hospital last Thursday evening and is survived by his sister, bother in law and two nephews. -NZ Racing Desk