It Takes A Team

3 min read

Welcome to TDNAusNZ’s ‘It Takes a Team’, brought to you in conjunction with Thoroughbred Industry Careers. Here we highlight and celebrate some of the heroes of our industry. The strappers, riders, studworkers and people behind the scenes of our champions. The people who are up late into the night foaling or up at the crack of dawn to trackwork, working tirelessly to keep the industry running.

Today we talk to Lachlan Donnelly, farm manager of Misty Valley's Greenfields Lodge farm in Capel, Western Australia. Misty Valley recently had a successful Magic Millions Perth Sale and have major developments for the business planned over the next 12 months.

Tell us about Misty Valley Thoroughbreds and your involvement

Misty Valley Thoroughbreds was established by my in laws, Tony and Libby Patrizi, who has owned and bred horses for many years in Gidgegannup at his farm next door to Yarradale Stud. It’s 40 mins east of Perth. I became involved in the operation following the purchase of Greenfields Lodge in Capel, two hours south of Perth, so we moved onto that farm two years ago. My wife Jane works as a Diagnostic Sonographer but loves horses and gets involved when she has the time too.

Lachlan and Jane Donnelly from Misty Valley Thoroughbreds

Greenfields Lodge is well recognised as one of the best nurseries in WA over the past 50 years. It’s close to the Margaret River and near some of the top farms in the region. Since acquiring the farm we have undertaken significant upgrades to the property through improving pastures, fencing and other infrastructure. Next year we will sell our first crop of yearlings raised at Greenfields Lodge which will be an exciting time for our family.

What does a normal day look like for you?

I do the feed up run in the morning and afternoons, monitoring the mares and checking the foals while watching their development. Throughout the day my time is taken up doing fencing and the other infrastructure projects and we are currently halter breaking the foals which is great fun.

What are some challenges of running a farm?

I am a qualified electrician and relatively new to the thoroughbred industry which has its challenges, there is always something new to learn. I have been fortunate to have been taught by some of the best horsemen in Western Australia over the last couple of years.

The farm was in very poor condition when we arrived so most of my challenges so far have been around returning the property to its former glory.

Who is someone that has helped you a lot in your career in the industry?

I am very fortunate that renowned trainer and horseman Ross Price is my neighbour and he has been a close confidant since we moved to Capel. He has trained horses in the area for almost 40 years and has had a massive impact on my thoroughbred career.

Lachlan at the recent Magic Millions Perth Sale

What is your most memorable day on a racetrack?

A few weeks ago our horse Mr Mowtown won the Listed Scenic Blast Stakes at Ascot for Lindsey Smith. The win was all the more memorable as my wife Jane backed him at 80/1!

What is the best element of your job?

The best element of my job is getting to know the different personalities of the young foals and watching them develop. My father in law raced the Champion Northerly and I look forward to hopefully breeding one like him in the future.

Jane Donnelly