A memorable year on the track for Blandford Bloodstock’s Richard Brown was honoured at Tattersalls on Friday when the agent was named Bloodstock Agent of the Year by the Federation of Bloodstock Agents (FBA).

Brown’s year was highlighted by the top two-year-old Perfect Power, a £110,000 Goffs UK breeze-up purchase from Tally-Ho Stud who went on to capture the Group 1 Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes in addition to the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes. Not only that, Perfect Power is a son of Ardad, another Royal Ascot-winning two-year-old who was also purchased as a breezer by Brown from Tally-Ho.

“Those breeders to whom he advised to use the stallion must have been very grateful following the successful sales of Ardad’s progeny at the yearling sales,” said Geoffrey Howson, Honorary President of the FBA. “Richard’s other successes on the track this year include the Group-winning two-year-olds Caturra and Light Infantry and Listed winners With Thanks,  Ad Infinitum and Nymphadora.

“I am sure that Richard will share the Award with his colleagues, Tom Goff, Stuart Boman and Tom Biggs.”

On Friday, Brown paid tribute to the support of his clients as well as the influence of the late Joss Collins, a gentleman among bloodstock agents of yesteryear who passed away in 2004.

“It’s a great honour,” said Brown. “It’s 20 years ago this year that I started. I got kicked out of school when I was 16 so had limited options after that!

“I was messing about riding in point to points but I knew David Minton as I am originally from Shropshire and said to him that I wanted to get into the business. Minty helped me get various stud jobs and then through being at the BBA, I met Joss and we hit it off straight away. He was like a second father to me, he was a mentor, he was amazing.

“In 2001 I was working at Windsor Park Stud in New Zealand, but the BBA was bought out by, essentially, asset strippers. Luckily, Joss and Tom Goff took a chance and offered me a job. Joss died in 2004, but we went on. And now of course, we have Stuart Boman and Tom Biggs on the team.

“It is a huge team effort, every sale we work as a team. We have an amazing group of loyal clients, many of whom have been with us a very long time. I am just very fortunate that my hobby is my job. The vast majority of our clients also become great friends – this is their hobby, they enjoy it, so seeing them achieve success is great. A client topped the sale on Wednesday and then yesterday too, and to see that was very satisfying as they put a lot of trust in us.”

He added: “This year’s highlight has to be Perfect Power – I bought Ardad, manage Ardad, the horse is by Ardad and his owner Sheikh Rashid has been a very big supporter of mine, as have his brothers.

“It is an amazing story, really – I will probably never get that ever again, it is the double whammy that I have bought a good horse, by a young stallion I am managing.”

Howson added: “I first met Richard when he was being tutored by my friend, (the Godfather to our elder son), the late, and great bloodstock agent, Joss Collins. I have always thought that Richard shows the same work ethic and professionalism as Joss, who must have been a wonderful mentor. Richard has a very similar modus operandi at the sales  – including the same favoured bidding position at Tattersalls. I know that in his turn Richard now helps many young people aspiring to enter the bloodstock industry.”

Geoffrey Howson (left) presents the FBA Bloodstock Agent of the Year Award to Richard Brown, flanked by Roger O’Callaghan of Tally-Ho Stud. Photo – Laura Green