Rotary Club hears director’s talk

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President Sandy Bannerman introduced Stuart Mactaggart, a director of Doncaster Bloodstock Sales (DBS), to to talk about a highly-successful Hawick-based business, with a strong Yorkshire connection.Stuart, after his schooling, went south to Lambourne where he studied to become a trainer and got his jockey’s licence, before being enticed back to his beloved Hawick by Harry Beeby, then managing director of DBS.

One of the questions Stuart is always asked is: “ Why Is DBS based in Hawick, when all the sales take place in Doncaster?” The reason is that the late Willie Stevenson, a well-respected trainer, was asked to resurrect thoroughbred horse sales in Doncaster, and as he was very friendly with the late Kenneth Oliver, who was managing director of Andrew Oliver and Sons, of Hawick Auction Mart, the pair launched DBS, with the administration carried out in Hawick and the sales in Doncaster.

A business that started with sales totalling tens of thousands of pounds, now reaches tens of millions of pounds, and they have carried out sales worldwide. They are now integrated with Goffs of Ireland to form one of the largest and most respected thoroughbred sales companies in the UK, Stuart was asked a number of searching questions by members, before Jim Walker accorded him a hearty vote of thanks.