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An Interview with Craig Rounsefell - Regal Bloodstock

10-23-2017 12:42 PM CET | Sports

Press release from: Regal Bloodstock

Mark Burckhardt: Hello and welcome everyone to another episode of The Racing Show. Now this is one of my very first interviews where I interviewed my very good friend and business partner Craig Rounsefell. Now Craig is one of the leading bloodstock agents in Australia if not the world. He's brought racing success to just about everyone he's touched. It was a real pleasure catching up with him and I hope you enjoy the interview. Craig, good morning, it's really good to catch up with you today. You're quickly rising as one of the highest regarded judges of horse flesh in the industry. Can you tell us a little bit more about your background and where it all started?

Craig Rounsefell: Hi Mark, yeah so I was sort of born into the industry in a way, my family on both sides have been involved in the horse business. My father has an insurance company and part of that was bloodstock insurance sales. So I was attending races and sales from an early age and my interest grew from there. To the point where every holiday I would spend working on farms and spent time over in Ireland working with John Oxan. I got lucky break when I started University meeting Gai Waterhouse and I worked for her for three years and during that time George Smith, who is world renowned especially here in Australia as one of the top judges in the last 50 years. I got to spend a lot of time with him so that was a good start for me and as time with Gai as I finished University I finished with her and was lucky to get on the Dolly Flying Start programme. So travelled around the world for a couple of years and learnt my trade before spending some time in America in the training side before starting out in my business.

Mark Burckhardt: How do you rate that Dolly scholarship? I mean I've heard a lot about that and there's been a lot of people who've done extremely well going through that particular scholarship. Did that really help you grow, in regards to your trades?

Craig Rounsefell: Absolutely, it's a two year programme fully sponsored by Sheikh Mohammad the ruler of Dubai. Who we know here in Australia runs GoDolphin, who owns GoDolphin, and they select 12 people from around the world. Each day is broken down, the first part will be hands on and the second part will be theory. You spend two years studying in Ireland, England, America, Japan, Australia, and Dubai. You get to work with all the leading trainers, veterinarians, all the leading feeding programmes, every aspect of the thoroughbred industry. You got immersed and taught by the leading professions from around the world.

Mark Burckhardt: What a fantastic experience. I believe that didn't you take the very first course that was ever offered, wouldn't that be correct Craig?

Craig Rounsefell: I was on the third intake and graduated in first position. It was sort of a goal of mine from the start we had a great group a lot of the guys I went through with we are still very close friends. And even now a few of the guys now are training in their own right in America and I've been buying horses for them so it's come full circle.

Mark Burckhardt: That's fantastic, so along your journey thus far what would you say your greatest inspiration has been, or who has your greatest inspiration and support along the way? If you had to name one, if you could?

Craig Rounsefell: Well, it would probably be hard to narrow it down to one. My family has been we are very closely unit. My parents have made a lot of sacrifices early on to give me every opportunity to explore my paths of interests. More recently I met my wife and we got married 8 years ago. And she has been a huge inspiration and my biggest cheerleader along the way, but within the industry it would be my father-in-law, my wife's father. He is one of the leading trainers in America and when I first started my business he really got behind me and gave me some support and just to see how he built his business up from nothing and is now one of the top players in the game. He was a big inspiration for me.

Mark Burckhardt: So would you be able to share with us maybe just a little bit about your systems and routines that you go through, you know prior to going to a sale to identify those quality horses for your clients. Would you be able to go through with us?

Craig Rounsefell: Yeah, it varies sale to sale. A sale like a Magic Millions for an eastern sale or say like the main sales in Australia the January Classic, the classic sale, the Melbourne Premiere and East those sales all you'll do research work in the book leading up to the sale. I like to mainly not get too bogged down in the pedigrees I like to get more, just keep up to date with statistics on the stallions, try and find any trends there. And then you will visit the farms and try to see the horses in their natural environment and the more you do that leading into sales you get to see where these horses are getting grown up. You know spending the early parts of their life. Then when the sales come around I'll nearly 99% of the time at the sale I'll look at every horse in the catalogue. I just think that you do yourself an injustice if you don't do that. You never know where the good horses are going to come from. So it is important to look at every horse and when you're looking at them look for the traits that you're looking for that most successful horses have. And then depending on the clientele you have, the budget you have to play with, then you sort of break them down and look at what the client wants to achieve and try to find the right horse for them.

Mark Burckhardt: Thanks Craig, So you have achieved the success at the highest level of racing with horses in recent times like obviously winning the US Breeders Cup. But of course Scales of Justice the group one sprinter in WA. But you've also had plenty of success as you mentioned before with Gai Waterhouse with horses such as Stan Furo which one the Magic Millions and then went on to win the 2 year old triple crown which also includes the Golden Slipper. However is there any particular horse that you selected that is special to you? And what would be the characteristics or reason why that particular horse was special to you.

Craig Rounsefell: It would definitely be Obviously, the horse I purchased, it was early on in my business, my father-in-law as I mentioned previously. One of his bigger clients, he got the backing from them to send me on a mission to find them a horse in Europe. And I selected Obviously and brought him to America to California, and he was just an absolute marvel. He raced, he only recently retired, he raced over five seasons every year he ran in the Breeders Cup. And, he won ten Greatest Stakes races, and two group ones, and then finally last year with the crowning stone where he won the Breeders Cup Turf Sprint. He is just such a genuine horse, he would, he was just one of those horses that would just get out in front and run very fast sectional times and just break the other horses heart. He loved to train and he just loved game day. Just a pleasure to be around, just a true professional. He had a big heart and even recently I took my son who's only six months old and took him around to the barn and met him and he is just like a little teddy bear. When it is game day he has his game face on and he's ready to take on the world. But he also has that kind heart and I just he is just a very special horse to me. He did a lot for my career early on and just one of those horses that you will be forever grateful.

Mark Burckhardt: Well you've already achieved so much in racing but what's the greatest goal, motivation that keeps driving you now Craig?

Craig Rounsefell: I think you want to continue to build. Racing is a game where you never stop learning. So I really enjoy, I spend a lot of time travelling working with various styles around the world and that is what drives me to keep on. You know I want to be the top of the game as an international agent, one that does very well in Australia and overseas, and I want that sort of stand where they know that if you buy horses with me then they know that if you buy a horse with Boomer than he believes in that horse and want that horse to reach that highest level and win Group Ones. The thrill of winning any race is when you start winning the big ones it takes it to a whole 'nother level and I just enjoy being around good clients and good horses and I just hope to continue to build that in the years to come.

Mark Burckhardt:That's fantastic Craig, look I know you're an extremely busy man. You're always jetting across all different countries selecting thoroughbreds etc. But you know life needs balance. So might I ask what activities you like to do in your down time? If there is any, and do you follow any other sports or hobbies apart from racing?
Craig Rounsefell: Well, before we had our son this year my wife and I every year we'd travel somewhere new. We love to travel to various places around the world, And do little trips. I do love fishing so we try sort of cross it in when we can. We did a great trip to Alaska, my wife and I a couple of years ago and we try and get that in. It is obviously hard to do but we also, my wife and I are quite strong in the Christian faith. So we have been trying to build in more where we can give back to the community and trying to get involved in more of that. My mother-in-law she does quite a few mentoring works too in Asia so we want to sort of be involved in things like that and try and give back. But, yeah it is one of those times now where our time's even got a fuller plate, we've got a little 6 month year old child so he's got us on the run and we just really enjoying the family time now.

Mark Burckhardt: Look Craig well thanks so much for your time. Very much look forward to strengthening our alliance and growing with you along your journey. I really appreciate your time today Craig.

Craig Rounsefell: Great thanks mate.

Regal Bloodstock is Australia's Fastest Rising Syndicator. We provide a completely unique and personalised service for you to establish a plan to achieve your outcome and desires in racing. Authorised Representative 001 243 258 of AFSL 288 213.

Company - Regal Bloodstock

Address: 5/22-24 Dutruc St, Randwick, NSW, 2031, Australia
Telephone: 0414297458

Email: mark@regalbloodstock.com

Website: Regal Bloodstock

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