Thoroughbred Breeders WA welcomed Peter Vincent and Judith Odgaard to the committee at its recent AGM.
Peter manages De Grey Park in the south-west on the shores of Geographe Bay. It was owned by Peter’s father Dick Vincent and he bred and sold Group 1 winner Barely A Moment (Gilded Time) and Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Cadenza (Oratorio) out of those paddocks a short drive along the coast road from Capel.
“I returned to WA when Dick started to feel the pinch health-wise,” Peter said. “Prior to passing away at 97 last year, he sold the farm and his partner Jan moved to Marybrook. I now live ten minutes from De Grey Park where the mares are agisted and manage the farm and stock for owner, Ray Jones, which keeps me busy each and every day.”
“My childhood was growing up on Talga at Toodyay where Dick stood Royal Comet and Victory Lad prior to moving to Dongara. Following secondary schooling and a few years at Marcus Oldham and in New Zealand, I bred Simmental cattle at Hamelin Park, Williams, before dispersing in 1992 and moving to Perth where I operated a cattle consultancy and marketing agency for ten years,” he recalled shortly after the AGM.
“In 2003 I was appointed General Manager of the Shorthorn Society in Sydney for eight years before founding Performance Herds Australia, a consortium of innovative registered Shorthorn cattle breeders focused on genetic evaluation rather than the show ring.
“Whilst breeding cattle I rode stock horses every day and had a couple of Thoroughbred mares I bred as a hobby but the commercial thoroughbred industry is an entirely different game. It requires dedication and knowledge and has been a steep learning curve for me over the last eighteen months.
“John Andrew has been extremely generous in advising me as to management of the mares and yearlings and John Chalmers’ assistance has been invaluable to me when making the most important of all decisions… which mare goes to which stallion.”
De Grey Park is a shareholder in Geisel Park stallion Aysar (Deep Field) with five mares among his first book and Peter’s other mares will be served by commercial sires like Playing God and Universal Ruler.
The De Grey Park yearlings averaged $130,000 at the Magic Millions Perth Sale this year which was reward for the investment in quality mares and performance sires made by Dick in previous years.
“I intend to upgrade the mares at every opportunity and Aysar’s pedigree suggests that he can provide a platform to do that without going to the east coast.” They include Tipsy Moment, the dam of Miss Conteki and winners of $1.2 million, Corn Flakes, the dam of Corn Cob, winner of 11 races and the Peters Investments mare, Morning Song, who has a Maschino foal at foot and is back in foal to Playing God.
One of Peter’s pet projects is enticing more young people to the industry. “Education is the key and then providing them with every assistance,” he said. “The secondary schools can be a source of future employees and employers. Most of these kids are keen and capable but the current courses at ag colleges are confined to cropping, sheep and cattle; I would like to see secondary education include equine management at regional colleges, too.
“I don’t think it’s too extreme to say that Westspeed has saved the industry in WA . It’s an incredibly successful scheme and apart from underpinning commercial breeding and racing it encourages the syndication of horses. Whether individuals own two or twenty percent of a winner is irrelevant; they own a champion and the more who experience that thrill the wider the public involvement and the greater the understanding and support for our industry.”