3 April 2024

The Breeding Blogs: William Inglis

Since its inception in the 19th century, William Inglis & Son has been a cornerstone of the global horse racing industry, revolutionising the way thoroughbreds are bought and sold. With a rich history spanning over 150 years, the company has become synonymous with excellence, integrity, and innovation in the world of bloodstock auctions.

William Inglis & Son Ltd is a family-owned company that commenced operations in 1867 selling farm produce. Soon after the company expanded into selling a wide range of livestock, horses, vehicles and other machinery at a number of sites throughout Sydney, the most notable being the auction house situated on Pitt Street in the Sydney CBD.

The bloodstock operation commenced in 1906 in rented premises known as Newmarket at Randwick, taking over the barn of former trainer Thomas Payten. In 1917 William Inglis & Son purchased Newmarket for 50,000 pounds.

It remained the company’s headquarters and primary auction house for 112 years, before moving to Riverside Stables in Warwick Farm, Sydney, in January 2018.

Set on 29 acres, Riverside Stables is located at 155 Governor Macquarie Drive, 40km from Sydney’s CBD.

Inglis purchased the land, adjacent to the Warwick Farm racecourse, in 2009 before construction began in September 2016.

Riverside Stables opened in January 2018 and the first sale there was the Classic Yearling Sale in February that year.

In 1906, William’s son, John, assumed leadership of the company, ushering in a new era of growth and expansion. Under his stewardship, Inglis & Son established itself as the premier auctioneer of thoroughbred horses in Australia, hosting its first dedicated bloodstock sale in 1917.

William Inglis & Son Ltd have played a vital role in Australian racing history, with many of the nation’s finest thoroughbreds passing through Inglis sale rings.

Champions of all shapes and sizes, not to mention countless Derby, Oaks and Melbourne Cup winners have all been offered through Inglis including the likes of Heroic, Amounis, Flight, Hallmark, Evening Peal and Wenona Girl right through to more modern-day stars such as Naturalism, Schillaci, Fairy King Prawn, Takeover Target, She Will Reign, Jameka, Chautauqua and of course, the great Black Caviar. Recently, the Inglis Classic Sale became the only sale in the world where you could have bought the Golden Slipper, Everest and Melbourne Cup winner.

Home Affairs was bought by Coolmore from the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale for $850,000 before going on to win 2 Group 1s and stand at Coolmore Stud

The Australian Turf Club’s Golden Slipper Stakes, a Group One event for two-year-olds first run in 1957, has had a profound influence on Australian racing. More than any other single race, it has shaped and inspired our breeding industry with many of its winners going on to achieve great success at stud.

Over the decades, Inglis & Son continued to innovate and evolve, introducing groundbreaking initiatives that shaped the future of bloodstock auctions. In 1968, the company launched the Australian Easter Yearling Sale, now recognised as one of the most prestigious sales events in the Southern Hemisphere. This annual auction attracts buyers from around the world seeking the next champion racehorse among the finest yearlings Australia has to offer.

In the early 2000s, Inglis & Son expanded its footprint beyond Australia, establishing a presence in international markets such as New Zealand and Hong Kong. This global expansion further solidified the company’s reputation as a leading authority in bloodstock sales, facilitating transactions that spanned continents and cultures.

In 2017, Inglis & Son achieved another milestone with the opening of its state-of-the-art sales complex, Riverside Stables, in Sydney’s Warwick Farm. This world-class facility boasts modern amenities and cutting-edge technology, providing buyers and sellers with an unparalleled auction experience.

Throughout its history, William Inglis & Son has remained committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity and professionalism in the industry. Its team of expert auctioneers, bloodstock agents, and support staff are renowned for their expertise, honesty, and dedication to client satisfaction.

In recent years, William Inglis & Son has embraced digital innovation to enhance its auction services, launching online bidding platforms and virtual sales to accommodate changing market dynamics and global travel restrictions. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the company adapted swiftly, ensuring the continuity of its operations while prioritising the safety and well-being of its clients and staff.

Looking to the future, William Inglis & Son remains steadfast in its commitment to advancing the horse racing industry through innovation, excellence, and passion. As it enters its next chapter, the company continues to honour its rich heritage while embracing new opportunities and challenges in an ever-evolving global marketplace.

In conclusion, the legacy of William Inglis & Son is a testament to the enduring allure of horse racing and the profound impact of dedicated individuals who shape its destiny. From its humble beginnings in Sydney to its position as a global leader in bloodstock auctions, the company’s journey exemplifies the spirit of innovation, perseverance, and excellence that defines the horse racing industry.

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