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Thank You, Roger Langley

As Roger Langley is retiring from the Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) Board after 16 years of invaluable service, we chatted to him about his tenure and gained insights into his early involvement in the industry and hopes for its future.

Roger Langley

Having built and run a recruitment business for twenty years, its sale in 2005 allowed Langley more time and funds to focus on a growing passion for the racing and breeding industry.

A small interest in one horse in the year 2000 was the catalyst of things to come and before long Langley had been bitten by the bug, buying into many more racehorses and making the decision to get involved with breeding. The purchase of a small farm in 2005 gave him a Victorian base from which to fulfill his ambitions.

During the early part of his venture into the breeding industry, Langley encountered Nathan Tinkler who he credits for opening his eyes to the global bloodstock industry.

Roger explains;

“In about 2006, I met Nathan Tinkler. He rang me to get some advice on service fees for his mares and we ended up having a few long chats. He said to me, ‘would you buy help me some weanlings?’ So I met him in Sydney at the weanling sales and I think we ended up buying about 25 weanlings. That was my first insight into his compulsive nature for buying horses.

“I consulted with Tinkler for a couple of years, putting forward a plan and a direction of for Patinack Farm. Sadly that all fell apart in the first year. I suggested that he buy 25, maybe 30 yearlings and give those to several trainers so that he could find the trainers that he preferred to work with. In the meantime he could look at locations, farms and start to buy some quality broodmares and possibly a stallion if the opportunity arose.

“But that plan went out of the window. We ended up with 300 yearlings, 2 farms, 200 broodmares, 5 stallions and it just went through the roof. There was no system in place and no capability of really tracking all of the yearlings and mares.

“It was 2008 and he literally saved the yearling market that year. He was on the phone to me at the sales saying “just buy” this horse, I want it !!!. We bought three 2.4million dollar yearlings; we bought a three-quarter brother to Dance Hero and a three-quarter brother to Casino Prince and Alinghi’s full brother. Out of the 300 yearlings, I think there were 5 Group 1 winners”

“After less than two years we parted ways. It was an interesting time and Nathan gave me a great opportunity - I got to know a lot of people around the world in the racing industry. It gave me a great insight into the global industry.”

By now, Langley had gained significant understanding of the industry and was keen to stick to his Victorian base; Tas Riley proposed joining the TBV board.

In the 16 years since, Langley has seen and helped guide a number of changes through his involvement with TBV.


He says;


“Obviously it’s fantastic to have seen massive investment in Victoria. There’s been Yulong, Rosemont, Spendthrift, Widden - all these farms have really moved in and are trying to get Victoria back on the same platform as the Hunter Valley.”


Langley continues;


“I’m a huge believer in Victoria as a breeding ground. It’s more like New Zealand; we have a better environment for breeding than the Hunter [Valley]. The investment we’ve experienced has been a testament to that.


“We haven’t as yet had the same luck or fortune with our stallions. We’ve had a couple though and it’s progressing but it’s taking time. Of course ever since equine influenza, the protocols around breeding, transfer of horses and horse-related products have resulted in much tighter controls.”


With an eye to the future, Langley believes that the key to the success is in TBV’s relationship with Racing Victoria and he says;


“I think in terms of our future, it is getting Racing Vic to have a better understanding and working relationship with TBV so that they can pitch the true profile of what the racing game is all about. It’s not just about the gallops, it’s about the breeding game as well and I’m seeing many breeders that need a lot of support.


“What I would dearly like to see is Victoria becoming the growth state for breeding but we need a few things to go our way. The platforms are in place like VOBIS. I’d like to see TBV become even more of a resource that breeders turn to and I think that will come on the strength of our relationship with Racing Victoria. People need to see that we are strongly aligned with the premier body in Victoria.”


TBV’s President, James O’Brien, thanked Langley for the expertise and contribution he brought to the organization.


“Roger’s 16 years of dedicated service have been invaluable to TBV, and his contributions have been a tremendous help in advancing our mission. We are truly grateful for his commitment and wish him all the best.”


Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria thanks Roger Langley for his 16 years of service and wishes him success in his continued breeding and racing endeavours.

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