Business model change for Valachi Downs

Matamata thoroughbred nursery Valachi Downs is set to return to a boutique breeding and racing operation following a number of years of growth and business diversification.

“Kevin and Jo Hickman are refocusing Valachi Downs as a more private and smaller nursery and racing stable with the same goal of producing, selling and racing elite racehorses,” Valachi Downs’ General Manager Gareth Downey said.

The move will see the broodmare band reduced to around 70 with a reduction sale to be offered on Gavelhouse next week, while the Stud will no longer stand shuttle stallions.

“The consolidation is an exciting move for Valachi’s future, allowing laser-like focus on the elements of the business that Kevin and Jo love the most, which is producing a top-class thoroughbred,” Downey said.

“A consequence of this is that our stallion roster will reduce to our three domestic stallions – Vespa, Zacinto and Savile Row.

“We are pleased for the New Zealand industry that Coolmore Stud has informed us of their intention to stand at least US Navy Flag in New Zealand following exceptional reviews from breeders from his first crop.”

Valachi Downs will sell approximately 50 mares with some foals at foot via New Zealand Bloodstock’s online auction website Gavelhouse Plus, with the auction set to go live next Wednesday, March 17.

Following the bloodstock reduction, Valachi Downs will also offer for sale the 100-acre pre-training property on State Highway 29, Matamata. It is likely to hit the marketplace by deadline sale at the end of March through Bayleys Real Estate.

Stephen Autridge and Kris Shailer will continue training for Valachi Downs from their Matamata-based stable.


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