Eight Days of Racing Hospitality

The Ruth Pretty team went to the Karaka Yearling Sale in January -- not to buy any of the spectacularly beautiful young horses, but to help the prestigious Waikato Stud provide hospitality for its guests and prospective buyers. 

“Very few of our events last eight days.  Waikato Stud hosted up to 180 guests at a time from breakfast, through barbecue lunch and all-day snacks to happy hour, so this was a fascinating experience for us,” says Ruth. 

Everyone was in good spirits and (appropriately) as Waikato Stud is owned by the Chittick family, it seemed like a very large family gathering, with so many of the guests knowing their hosts and each other well over many years.

Guests came from Australia, the Middle East, Europe, China and the USA as well as New Zealand.

“This year we decided to step it up a notch. Ruth could handle all the catering and we’d spend our time with our clients, many of whom are old friends,” owner Pippa Chittick said.

The entertaining area, O’Reilly’s, was very well set up, with an interactive kitchen marquee.  The guests could see the produce – including superb beef from the home farm – and often chattered to our chefs at work. 

Chef Jamie produced breakfasts and lunch on the barbecue, and was thrilled when a guest said “I have never had poached eggs as good as that, for 7 days in a row”.  It made the 5.30am starts worthwhile: horse people are used to early mornings!

Click here to see a menu example.

The espresso machine worked overtime, serving up to 200 coffees a day.

We thought our Function Manager Kathy summed the whole thing up beautifully as “We like to have food in people’s stomachs so they can think well and make great decisions.”   See the video and find out more here.

Afterwards we were delighted to receive this message from Jasmine, the Waikato Stud’s Marketing Manager:

The WS team leaves no stone unturned when it comes to providing prospective buyers with genuine Waikato Stud hospitality.  I just wanted to say thank you very much to everyone who helped make Karaka an absolute success!

“We had so much wonderful feedback from everyone who came to O’Reilly’s and I personally really appreciated seeing a smiling face every morning when I showed up for work 😊.”

Video Credit:  Play Creative

Photo Credit:  Nicole Troost Photography