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Horses run in the blood

Head of China Horse Club and Masterton man Michael Wallace. PHOTO/SUPPLIED


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At the helm of one of the world’s highest profile horse clubs, Masterton’s Michael Wallace gets up every morning happy that his job is not a chore.

Mr Wallace can spend up to eight months overseas attending some of the world’s biggest horse sales as head of international racing and breeding for China Horse Club.

“We are obviously very active and would be more of the higher-end spenders throughout the world,” he said.

Having grown up on one of Wairarapa’s most respected horse studs, Ardsley Stud, Mr Wallace developed a knack for the industry.

Dreams of becoming a stock broker was his motivation through university, only for that to change after realising a life working as an “office slave” for someone else was not what he wanted.

He returned from overseas, and he and his wife Nicky launched Michael Wallace Bloodstock Limited in Cambridge, rebranded to Waterford Bloodstock in 2016.

In 2014 he took over management of the China Horse Club, which was founded in 2013.

China Horse Club has become a major player in world racing in a very short time.

It is a membership-based club that works worldwide in the horse industry, as well as being a lifestyle and business club.

“I came along in its infancy, and now it’s grown into something really great,” he said.

“We travel extensively now, all around the world. We have horses racing in 13 different countries, there 100s of them now and breeding operations and yearling sales.”

Mr Wallace said he knew the club had potential to be big.

“But I didn’t realise it was going to be this big this quickly.”

Mr Wallace will be at this year’s National Thoroughbred Yearling Sale Series in Karaka, south of Auckland, which starts on January 28.

While he will be there representing China Horse Club, his own stud will also be an active a buyer and a seller.

The family Ardsley Stud, and his father Jim Wallace, will also be at the sales in the same capacity.

Mr Wallace said the market was big enough for everyone.

“There won’t be any arguments over the breakfast table,” he said.

He never goes into a sale with a preconceived idea of what he will buy on the day.

“We will have to see what’s there and how the cards fall and evaluate the week as it goes on.”

It is a busy time of year for the horse club, with Mr Wallace not long back in the country, before he heads to America and to Melbourne.

“It’s continuous now for the next six months, but that’s the nature of it.”

The high-pressure job has Mr Wallace revaluating every year or so.

“It’s pretty taxing on your time and family, but I guess that’s like a lot of jobs and like anybody you keep evaluating when things keep changing.”

Mr Wallace hopes his wife and two daughters, aged one and three, will make it up to the sales over the coming week.

He said the family was together in Masterton over Christmas – “it’s always good to get home”.



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