After 150 Dogwood Newsletters, there will be no more. It is not a matter of global significance, but the Newsletter hinges on the current status of Dogwood Stable, Cot Campbell and the racehorse business. We have been at it since 1967, so some illumination on our status quo is warranted.
Several years back I made a couple of half-hearted attempts at semi-retirement. Then in 2013, I did bite the bullet and sold my Dogwood Stable client base to Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. Naturally, we don’t compete. Eclipse—rather new on the scene when we got together—has gone on to be enormously successful on the race track. There are numerous former Dogwood partners enjoying Eclipse horses. Eclipse is owned by Aron Wellman and Brian Spearman. Aron is a longtime horseman from California, with a remarkable eye for finding and evaluating horses. Brian is a Saratogian, and a high-ranking marketing specialist with Pepsico.
Jack Sadler, who has been with Dogwood for almost 40 years, is now a vice president of Eclipse, but still assists me with the shrinking residue of Dogwood horses. Bill Victor, longtime Dogwood Treasurer, is now Chief Financial Officer of Eclipse.
I continue to manage the Dogwood partnerships that were in existence in 2013. But they have winnowed down from a peak of 65, when Dogwood was in full bloom, to a current roster of 14. This year I bought a horse for myself (he promptly came down with pleurisy!). And I just bought two more yearlings sired by our pal Aikenite.
It has been said many times that the horse business is hard to quit. Certainly Palace Malice’s retirement to stud duty at Three Chimneys Farm, after four years of high-level campaigning, leaves a void. From the time I bought him in the spring of 2012, he touted himself as something special. He went on to win the Belmont Stakes, Metropolitan Mile, among many other stakes, and right at $2,700,000.
I will really miss working the yearling and two-year-old sales—truly stimulating, exhausting, wonderful happenings in the world of commerce. I will miss the camaraderie of the people that inhabit that world. They have guts galore, and for the most part, I have experienced superb integrity - remarkable, considering the nature of this exercise.
I do appreciate my life in Aiken. It is a sporty town where so many famous horse people have plied their trade, and where support of our big horses through the years has been overwhelming. I will be here for the most part, playing golf three times a week (in the most desultory manner!). Anne and I will count on our annual June trip to New York for the Belmont Stakes, and an upcoming party at ‘21’ honoring the jockeys that grace the porch of that famous watering hole. And… Saratoga!!
This past week, a longtime, friendly competitor came up with a very surprising gesture. Barry Irwin, founder of the esteemed Team Valor partnership group, asked my permission to name a yearling colt “Cot Campbell.” This colt - considered by Barry as “one of our best homebred colts in South Africa this year”-- is sired by Dogwood’s beloved campaigner Trippi, and is out of a very fancy mare. Barry Irwin presented this idea as “a salute to the guy that started the syndication business.”
What a kick! Page One material… but, alas, no more Dogwood Newsletters.
- Cot Campbell
October 6, 2015