History propelling iconic stud forward

4 min read
Brendan and Jo Lindsay have a unique strategy to celebrate Cambridge Stud’s rich heritage. TDN AusNZ spoke to them about their future plans for the internationally-renowned nursery.

Brendan and Jo Lindsay are on a mission to take Cambridge Stud to a new level, but with a genuine nod to the past. They have huge respect for the remarkable achievements of previous owners Sir Patrick and Justine Lady Hogan and are determined to pay homage to them and to the farm’s history.

“Look, we’re just keepers of the brand and it’s not about this generation, it’s all about the next,” Brendan Lindsay said. “We’re on a heck of a learning curve and we decided when we sold our plastics business (Sistema) that it if didn’t have an f in it for fun then we wouldn’t do it – Cambridge Stud has a capital f in it.”

“Look, we’re just keepers of the brand and it’s not about this generation, it’s all about the next.” - Brendan Lindsay

Jo & Brendan Lindsay

The Lindsays took ownership of Cambridge Stud in April and have set about major renovations with both the future and the past at the heart of their work.

“In business, if you sat down in a boardroom and said we’re going to buy a stud farm you’d get laughed out,” Brendan Lindsay said. “We did it because it’s a great opportunity.

“Jo and I are very passionate about racing and breeding and we are very lucky that we were in a position to take the opportunity to carry on Sir Patrick’s work. We had heard through a third party that there were approaches from offshore and Jo and I and Sir Patrick were keen for the stud to remain in New Zealand ownership.”

Changing of the guard

Sir Patrick said at the time that he was delighted to hand the baton to Brendan and Jo Lindsay. “Many different parties have made approaches to us, however Justine and I were determined to wait for both the right time and the right people - that was non-negotiable for us.

“Cambridge Stud has been our lives for over four decades. We have nurtured it, been its guardians and have proudly seen it evolve into the globally respected operation it is today. We know that Cambridge Stud could not be in better hands.

“Everyone knows that Brendan and Jo Lindsay are deeply passionate about both our industry and our country and Cambridge Stud certainly holds a unique place in both. For Justine and me, this is a dream come true - we can look ahead with great confidence to the future that Cambridge Stud is assured through its new ownership.”

The Lindsays have subsequently embarked on works and renovations with a tribute the past at the centre of their plans.

“We’ve since undertaken a major building programme with a new hospitality centre and office block and we’re also building a museum to showcase Sir Tristram and Zabeel,” Brendan Lindsay said. “We think it extremely important to stress the stud’s history.

"We’re building a museum to showcase Sir Tristram and Zabeel. We think it extremely important to stress the stud’s history.” - Brendan Lindsay

Cambridge Stud founder and former-owner Sir Patrick Hogan with Almanzor

“It’s an iconic property, there’s been 142 Group winners come off it, and we want people to come here and enjoy it. We’ve had approaches from people who are keen to be involved in the project.

“We’ve spoken to a curator of a museum in Australia and we’ve talked to the Racing Hall of Fame. Putting it all together is a challenge and we want to make it inter-active and just let everybody enjoy their time here.”

Lindsay said their aim was take Cambridge Stud to the masses. “Sir Patrick broke through a lot of boundaries and the industry owes him so much. I can remember being here back in January and a bus turned up from an old peoples’ home in Tauranga.

“Whether it’s a school trip or whatever, we want to welcome there here. Most people have got connections to racing in some way and we hope to capture that.”