Sir Patrick recounts royal visit

Breeders association member who were present for the Queen’s 1990 visit, from left, Masey Benjamin, David Winn, Gay and Tom Williams, David Benjamin, Sally Cassels Brown and John O’Flaherty were pictured last week with Sir Patrick Hogan, seated.

It was a day of mixed emotions when Sir Patrick Hogan visited his former farm Cambridge Stud to attend a luncheon to honour the memory of Queen Elizabeth II.

Thirty-two years previously the Queen was a guest of Sir Patrick at Cambridge Stud when she came to see the champion stallion Sir Tristram and have lunch with him and Justine Lady Hogan.

Resplendent in his KNZM and CBE medals the first time he has had the opportunity to wear them in public, Sir Patrick recalled how he had cheekily asked the Queen to visit Cambridge Stud when dining with her on the Royal Yacht Britannia in 1986 and how he had even offered to pick her up and take her to Cambridge and have her back in Auckland before she was even missed.

He then spoke fondly about the visit and how she enjoyed meeting Sir Tristram and being amongst the horses and the interest she took in their breeding and their plans going forward, before joining Sir Patrick and Justine Lady Hogan for lunch.

“Afterwards I thought I should’ve told the cater, ‘For God’s sake don’t wash the cutlery and stuff, I want the lipstick on the gin and tonic’,” he quipped.

That same year the Queen became the patron of the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (NZTBA) and opened their new premises in Auckland, so the Association, now based in Cambridge, felt Cambridge Stud a suitable venue to honour her memory.

“The Heritage Centre at Cambridge Stud has a section dedicated to that Royal visit in 1990, and I thought the farm would be the ideal place to hold the lunch,” said breeders association chief executive Justine Sclater.

“Thanks to the generosity of Jo and Brendan Lindsay we were able to host Sir Patrick and Sally Cassells-Brown who was responsible for the Queen becoming the NZTBA patron.

“We also had two of the NZTBA Councillors David Winn and Tom Williams who were in attendance at the opening of the building, along with a life members David Benjamin and John Aubrey.”

The then administration manager of the NZTBA, Cassells-Brown was aware that the Queen would be in New Zealand to open the Commonwealth Games, so took it upon herself to write to ask her to open the building and be the Patron. The Association was one of only five organisations in New Zealand to have the Queen as a patron, and the only equine association outside the United Kingdom.

“We were in a state of shock, really, when the letter came back from the palace saying yes she’d be delighted to accept the role,” said Cassells-Brown.

Guests at the lunch shared memories of the queen and raised glass to toast the new King Charles III.

Included among the 40 guests attending the lunch were the Taupō MP Louise Upston, Waipa Mayor Jim Mylchreest, and a number of former Cambridge Stud staff who were working there when the Queen visited.

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