GIVE A MAN A HORSE - The remarkable story of Sir Patrick Hogan

1 Nov 2007

Close to 400 guests attended the launch of Sir Patrick Hogan's book, Give A Man A Horse, at Cambridge Stud yesterday.

Sir Patrick said the day had been highly successful. "Apart from what I got out of it, I think it was also a great day for the industry," he said.

The guests were treated to excerpts from the book, penned by Dianne Haworth, who also gave an insight into the journey the book had taken her on and the generosity shown by Sir Patrick, Lady Justine, and their family and friends in providing the many stories contained in the book.

The Rt Hon Winston Peters and NZTM Chairman Bill Gianotti were called upon to speak and Sir Patrick shared some of his thoughts about the completion of the book.

The day, sponsored by NZTM was also notable for the unveiling of the bronze of Sir Tristram by three of the original shareholders in Eric Ropiha, Charlie Roberts and Bob Morris. The bronze, completed by renowned sculptor Alan Somerville, stands in pride of place at Cambridge Stud.

Champion sire Zabeel, son of Sir Tristram, was paraded for the guests and was quick to spot the head of the bronze Sir Tristram above the heads of the crowd.

"You could see when he spotted him he lifted his head higher and arched his neck. He had spotted his father," Sir Patrick said smiling.

Nearly 300 copies of the book were sold at the function, with royalties from the book going to the True Colours Charitable Trust. A cheque for $12,500 was handed to the Trust on the day from proceeds already received.

An interview of Sir Patrick Hogan by Kim Hill about the book can be heard on Radio NZ National Radio tomorrow at 8.15am.

The book is now available in selected outlets around the country or from online bookstores which can be accessed via .  The RRP for the book is $59.99.

The book is
not available for purchase from Cambridge Stud.

See below for a background on the book and for photos from the book launch at Cambridge Stud see the 'In the News' section of the photo gallery.


‘In all the studs around the world, he wins it by the length of the home straight.’

Tony Arrold, Thoroughbred Section, The Australian

In 1976 Patrick Hogan had a 135-acre farm, some broodmares and by 1970s’ standards, one heck of a large mortgage and very little income. What he lacked in assets, Hogan more than made up for in vision and, says his biographer Dianne Haworth, an immense courage that would enable him to take on the odds, to put what would become Cambridge Stud on a pinnacle amongst top international stud farms and see him listed amongst the wealthiest in New Zealand.

Sir Patrick Hogan’s story, told for the first time in Give a Man a Horse by Dianne Haworth, is remarkable in many ways, but all the more so because of his undying belief in one horse. After securing his property, he set out to find the essential element to put him, his broodmares and his venture on the map. Eventually, with the backing of a syndicate that included an impressive line-up of the country’s leading bloodstock interests, Patrick Hogan headed to Europe in search of the right stallion, for the right price.

The temperamental horse he would eventually bring home had impressive bloodlines, but - with his weak hind quarters, bent hocks, less than stellar track record, not to mention singe marks from a narrow escape from a stable fire, Hogan’s stallion left his backers dumb-struck with disappointment when he was finally paraded before them. What’s more, a number of them refused to take up the free annual stud service, a benefit of the partnership. A few years down the track, when Sir Tristram’s progeny began to win major races and achieve record-breaking prices at the yearling sales, there would have been many who regretted that decision.

Sir Tristram’s achievements are legendary: in his long life he sired 45 Group 1 winners (the world’s second-highest total) and 130 Stakes winners. He was six times Champion Australian Sire, four times Champion Broodmare Sire, Champion New Zealand Sire in 1986- 87 and nine times winner of the Dewar Trophy (for combined Australia/New Zealand progeny earnings). In all, he provided the grounding that would enable Hogan to build a world-class thoroughbred showcase in Cambridge Stud.

Now, 10 years after his death, Sir Tristram’s progeny are still breaking records and still raking in the big numbers. Zabeel, Sir Tristram’s son, stands at the Stud. He is the sire of 37 individual Group 1 winners and 109 winners, amongst other startling statistics.

But, Give a Man a Horse is more than a book of racing and breeding statistics. Many of the great names in New Zealand and Australian race horses abound in this absorbing biography. It is crammed with stories about many of the great characters in the industry including royalty, celebrities, dignitaries and heads of state. But, mostly it’s the story of a man and a horse who shared an Irish background and a dream to be the best, through tragedy and triumph on and off the track.

‘The deeds of these wonderful stallions have brought the New Zealand breeding industry to the forefront of world breeding, with Sir Patrick at the helm steering the ship. Through the powerful lines that these two stallions have, Sir Patrick has ensured the continuing recognition, integrity and success of the New Zealand breeding industry.’

J. Bart Cummings

Dianne Haworth is an award-winning journalist and author of Father and Son: The Bob Kerridge Story, Highway of Legends and the best-selling Tears in the Wind: The Lance O’Sullivan Story. She is also co- author of All Black Magic, Rugby Nomads, 1905 and Freda Stark: Her Extraordinary Story. In May this year her first children’s book, Paddy the Wanderer, was published and became an immediate bestseller. Dianne grew up in the Waikato and Wellington. She spent several years travelling the world before returning to Auckland and a career in journalism.