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A tribute to Patrick


PWJ
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From my Facebook post-
 
The passing of Sir Patrick Hogan last week was a watershed event for anyone who knew him. It's taken me a while to compose myself to write something fitting for a man I knew who was always an inspiration to me.
I first saw Patrick when as a very young man I spent some years sitting on the bleachers at Trentham Sales watching him in action, trying to learn from him. Then in 1988 I landed my first job working as Racing Manager and advisor to Sir Arthur Williams at Ashford Park, Otaki. A few weeks into the role Arthur asked me to go to Wellington airport and pick up Patrick and bring him to the farm for a visit. I couldn't believe I was going to have two hours by myself to chat with NZ's most famous breeder.
Patrick was surprisingly shy and self-effacing not to mention the modicum of modesty. I hardly had the courage to tell him that I was in fact Racing Manager of the most expensive yearling he had ever sold to that point - the Sir Tristram - My Marseillaise filly (a 3/4 blood-sister to Grosvenor) that made the then NZ record price of $800k at the 1987 National Sale !
Arthur and I then showed Patrick around the farm and paraded the stallions. These two very shy men barely said a word to each other so I ended up doing most of the yapping !
The filly, which Arthur had named Bon Cher, proved to be a bone of contention between Arthur and I with him wanting to race the hell out of it and me trying to wait until she turned 3. The compromise was to give her one juvenile start midweek at Hawera in the Autumn. The media attention was ridiculous and ended up with me giving a 30 sec interview for TV One National News. She finished midfield as expected (by me anyway). I knew she had ability but was a slow maturer.
After winning a couple of Listed races at Riccarton she was wisely sent to Colin Hayes who managed a 2nd in the Gr1 South Australian Oaks with her, so my judgement was vindicated.
Eleven years later I was the breeding consultant with Chatham Lodge and at our debut at the 1999 National Sale at Karaka we broke Patrick's record as Leading Vendor by Average which Cambridge Stud had held for over a decade. He was one of the first to congratulate us.
Seven years later in 2006 I was General Manager of Stoney Bridge and was standing St. Reims, a son of Zabeel. St. Reims was bred by Patrick and Justine Hogan and raced and owned by a partnership headed by Patrick. To be standing a stallion on his behalf was a terrific honour. He never once was critical of what we did with St. Reims and in fact praised the way we marketed and promoted the sire.
Later, after joining Arrowfield, Patrick became a regular wintertime annual visitor and I got to know him even better. He was a gentleman in the truest sense of the word. I could not speak highly enough of him. Every time I visited Karaka for the sales he made the gracious invitation to dine with him at his marquee. His generosity was one of his hallmarks.
I also want to say this, that while even he admitted to some good fortune in ending up with Sir T, no one could have marketed the stallion as well as he did and his choice of mares for the great stallion was first class. The horse was a talented stallion but Patrick maximized him like no other.
Lastly I want to share a funny story. One year in the mid-90s I was attending the National sale at Karaka and staying at the Ramarama Country Inn. In the middle of the night I was woken by so much shouting and banging, I thought a bikie gang was invading the place ! Nooo ! It was just Patrick getting everyone out of bed at 3.00am to get them down to the boxes at Karaka to start the parade day. He was a stern taskmaster but no one who worked for him would ever have a bad word to say about the great man.
Last year Patrick was too ill to make his annual pilgrimage to the Hunter Valley and I knew then that the end was approaching. Sadly his time has come at last. Vale Patrick, one of my heroes.

May be an image of 1 person and horse

 

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He was a wonderful presence here in the Waikato and Waipa and the "Waipa home of champions" really does hail back to him and his adopted stallion sons.  It's now been taken up by other sporting codes in the region, but we'll always remember the foundation for it 🙂

 

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3 hours ago, Hesi said:

Great tribute, thanks Peter

You have been privileged to work with so many great people.  There was a certain John Messara in there as well.

A lesson to us all

When you mention people Peter worked with probably the first to plonk him on a horse was my old man who ran the riding school across the road from his school. Then again its always possible the female classmates may have been the main attraction😄. Anyway my father did get a horse from Patrick Hogan before Cambridge Stud began. By the stallion Forearmed it actually started in the Oaks.

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3 hours ago, slam dunk said:

When you mention people Peter worked with probably the first to plonk him on a horse was my old man who ran the riding school across the road from his school. Then again its always possible the female classmates may have been the main attraction😄. Anyway my father did get a horse from Patrick Hogan before Cambridge Stud began. By the stallion Forearmed it actually started in the Oaks.

You are absolutely right SD. Your father taught me to ride ! The female classmates were a bonus !

The first horse I threw a leg over at your place was Hussar. Do you remember him ?

 

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9 hours ago, PWJ said:

You are absolutely right SD. Your father taught me to ride ! The female classmates were a bonus !

The first horse I threw a leg over at your place was Hussar. Do you remember him ?

 

Yep certainly do. Solid looking bay. Those rides across farmlands to the beach would have been a neat experience for many. They put up ugly oil and gas tanks there years later. Just wondering what years were you involved? There is a story about the place after my father died but not the place here to air it though.

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8 hours ago, slam dunk said:

Yep certainly do. Solid looking bay. Those rides across farmlands to the beach would have been a neat experience for many. They put up ugly oil and gas tanks there years later. Just wondering what years were you involved? There is a story about the place after my father died but not the place here to air it though.

That was him. Stocky bay bugger. Nice and quiet dude though. We were doing cavalettis on day one ! We did the trip over the farm to the beach on my just my second day in the saddle ! Going down the hill to the beach at 45 degrees was one of the scariest things I ever did ! Loved it though. Probably around 1973/74

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3 hours ago, PWJ said:

That was him. Stocky bay bugger. Nice and quiet dude though. We were doing cavalettis on day one ! We did the trip over the farm to the beach on my just my second day in the saddle ! Going down the hill to the beach at 45 degrees was one of the scariest things I ever did ! Loved it though. Probably around 1973/74

Now I think I've got you "I Dyd" Did your father work for Ivan Watkins Dow Chemicals? If so I'll pm or email you.

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