Welcome to Valachi Downs
Valachi Downs is a boutique thoroughbred stud located near Matamata, in the heart of New Zealand's thoroughbred nursery: the Waikato. Established from modest beginnings, the farm has grown from the original 50 acre dairy farm purchased in 2005, and has developed into a 270+ acre horse breeding operation. The stud has been purpose built from the ground up and reflects the many terrains of the region. Hill country, rolling pastures and lush flat lands make up the landscape of the farm, along with first class stabling facilities and kilometres of post and rail fencing. The stud reflects the focus on quality and attention to detail that is synonymous with the co-founder of Ryman Healthcare and stud owner Kevin Hickman.
Valachi Downs has enjoyed success, in both the sales ring and on the racetrack.The stud's first draft at the New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sales in 2008 saw a record high Select Sale price of $300,000 for a Scardee Cat colt from Valachi Downs mare My Kinda Girl. Then in 2011 and 2012 it was Derby winners that bought the stud to the fore. Australian Derby winner Shamrocker was raised at the stud and sold through the Select Sale for $65,000 for Valachi clients.
Downey Appointed as General Manager of Valachi Downs
Kevin and Joanna Hickman have today announced the appointment of Gareth Downey to the role of General Manager at Valachi Downs.
Gareth joined the stud in mid-2018 as their breeding consultant, principally a role focussed on the management of the stud’s standing stallions, US Navy Flag, Zacinto and Savile Row, as well as pedigree analysis and matings advice for the stud’s broodmare band and clients.
Kevin and Joanna commented that, “We have been impressed with Gareth’s in-depth knowledge of our business and the natural leadership he brings from his past management roles in both this and other industries.
"We believe Gareth is the right person to help us progress our ultimate aspirations of breeding and racing high quality athletes, as well as leading a team where the culture is an important reflection of our personal values.”
Downey stated, “I feel privileged to be given this opportunity to lead a stud as progressive as Valachi Downs and its outstanding team of people.
"Working for the Hickmans is an honour and I am confident I can apply my experience both in and outside of this industry, to support Valachi in reaching its goals.”