Tributes paid to Benjamin

A service will be held in memory of racing identity David Benjamin at Te Awa Lifecare in Cambridge early next month.

Benjamin, described as being a promoter ahead of his time, died aged 79 last Friday.

He established Fayette Park Stud at Okoroire in the late 1980s, eventually selling it because of health issues

He was credited with playing a pivotal role in establishing the hospitality area at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale.

“He was before his time in many ways. He was very good with marketing and promotion, and always led a pretty good ship,” Ray Knight, who worked with him at Matamata’s Field House Stud said.

“He started the tents and hospitality areas at the national sales when they were originally at Trentham. It started out as feeding the staff lunch and it developed into what it has become today.

“I don’t know if David had seen it in the States, he may have because he spent a lot of time in the States. Part of his legacy [in sales hospitality] is what we are seeing throughout Australasia now.”

Knight said Benjamin was also a great promoter of stallions, most notably with Grosvenor, who he syndicated.

“He was very good at promoting his stallions. He was very much into his promotions and was very good with the clients,” he said.

David Benjamin

“I took over as manager of Field House when it was sold, and we topped the averages the first year they had it at Karaka. Grosvenor was top of the pops at the time and even though David had sold the farm, he was still the manager of the Grosvenor syndicate and had an ongoing presence in that.

“He did some amazing promotions. We did a promotion for his first crop of yearlings – ‘Grosvenor, the ultimate stallion’, which included the ‘ultimate car’ which was a Rolls-Royce, and the ‘ultimate woman’ who was Miss Universe at the time, Lorraine Downes. It got a lot of publicity.”

“He has been struggling with his health for some time. It was a bit sad in recent years that his health was as it was, but he kept in touch with everyone and what was going on.”

Knight said Benjamin was ably supported by his wife Masey.

“Masey… was very integral in everything that went on,” he said. “She is a very good horsewoman in her own right, as is their family.” – Loveracing News Desk

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