Generosity flows at Karaka

Lot 313
The sale of lot 313 raised $200,000 for the CatWalk Spinal Cord Injury Research Trust. Photo: Trish Dunell

The generosity of a number of thoroughbred industry kingpins has led to more than $300,000 being raised for the CatWalk Spinal Cord Injury Research Trust at Karaka on Monday.

The journey began a few years ago with Valachi Downs principals Kevin and Jo Hickman purchasing a Brazen Beau service, which was donated by Darley, at a CatWalk Trust charity for $100,000. The Hickmans subsequently decided to sell the resulting filly at this year’s New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sale with all proceeds being donated to the CatWalk Trust.

The filly went through the ring as lot 313 and was knocked down to the $200,000 bid of Brendan and Jo Lindsay of Cambridge Stud. “Jo and I are involved with CatWalk under the Lindsay Foundation, our charitable trust,” Brendan Lindsay said. “It’s just such a magnificent charity that Catriona Williams has been behind. It’s such a terrible thing for people to have an accident and be confined to a wheelchair.”

The Lindsays are very familiar with the family, having bred the filly’s dam. “We owned the mother Stepanova, she couldn’t run an inch to save her life, but there is a bit of pedigree behind her,” Lindsay said. “She will be out on our Karaka property tonight. We will put her into our system and hopefully we will get the best out of her. “You never know what could happen, she just might get out there and win the Karaka Million, what a story that would be.”

Lindsay was quick to pay tribute to the Hickmans and their generosity. “Kevin Hickman is the one who needs the congratulations by putting the horse in and donating everything back and for New Zealand Bloodstock for not charging a commission. “Everybody is a winner, let’s hope the horse is a winner.”

Gareth Downey of Valachi Downs was also thrilled with the result. “I think it is an amazing story of generosity and a great story to come out of our industry,” he said. “The hearts of the people involved to contribute to the story are massive.

“It’s an amazing gesture on Kevin and Jo’s part to be donating the filly in the first place. They are philanthropic by nature. “Catriona (Williams, CatWalk Trust founder) is in tears. It means so much to so many people and it’s a privilege for all of us that have been involved with the journey and to play a small part in it. “There was a lot of heart in getting her here and there is a lot of appreciation for the outcome.”

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