About Logan Racing
The Logan Team
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INTRODUCING DONNA LOGAN
I was born in Kawakawa, in the Far North but I have always lived in the Whangarei and Ruakaka region. I have been in the race horse industry for 40 years.
I learnt to ride on my mum’s horses, she had a horse hire business when I was 3 years old then I went to Pony club. I learnt to ride before I could walk.
Dad had a demolition business so I left school and pulled down houses to start with then he got into house moving so I joined him there too. One of the more memorable jobs was being dropped off at an old bungalow house site with 11 foot studs at 15 years of age and told to have the roof off by the end of the day. I was given a hammer and crowbar only, no lunch, no money, no drinks and plus I had to have all the iron stacked. It was also in the middle of the summer. He was a very hard boss but I did it to prove that I could.
I would also manage a team of men at the age of 16 on a demolition sites for Dad. We used to pull down buildings in the Whangarei center. Driving a D8 Bulldozer for him on sites was very interesting. I got offered a job driving a bully in Auckland but Dad wouldn’t let me go.
We moved the biggest house in Northland in one piece, lots of tricky maneuvers on the roads. Moved house up from Auckland regularly – I rode shot gun in the truck watching out for power lines, low bridges etc.
I also worked as a lagger under the Whangarei port. I relagged all the pipes by standing on top of a barge and gassed on the tar tape with an oxygen torch. There was no other woman in the team, I did the torching and the guys unwound the tape.
My dad owned a pie cart in Whangarei and he met Baggy Hillis through it and got a race horse and Baggy trained it. So when he spelled, he came home and I would ride him. That got me into racing.
I rode my parents horse Fair Rev who was trained by Sid Edwards who then offered me a job and taught me to ride race style. Sid also trained Jan’s Beau. I worked full time for Sid as a stablehand and track work rider.
My aunty married Bob Autridge and the boys (Stephen and Toby) were jockeys and I wanted to be one too.
In 1987 I rode as a jockey and rides were few and far between so I thought if I trained my own horses I would be able to ride them. I was pre-training for a lot of locals at the time so I asked the owners if I started training at Ruakaka would they let me train these horses and they were happy for me to do so.
I then leased yards off the Whangarei Racing Club at Ruakaka in 1985. As I obtained more horses, we leased more yards.
I trained my first winner Silver Kiss for local identify Les Donaldson. He was in a 0- 2 win race at Ellerslie as I couldn’t get him a start in a Maiden field. David Peake rode him. He was a half-brother to Uncle Remis. Had permit to train to start with and reported to John McKenzie, the race course inspector. As I had more than 10 horses in work, I applied for a full license. With a lot of rules and regulations to learn, I was granted it.
When it comes to Logan Racing ultimately the buck stops with me so I try to keep the wheels turning! I do this through overseeing and managing everything from pre-training, training, nominations, long term programming, planning, horse welfare management, sales and owner liaison. It’s a varied role and luckily I am surrounded by great staff that allows me to do what I love.
People often asked who’s the best horse that I have trained was. To be honest training any winner for my clients provides a lot of satisfaction but my Group and Listed winners rate highly. I’ve been lucky enough to have horses in our stables like Habibi, Good Faith, Vapour Trail, El Duce, Victory, Castle Heights, Ring of Fire, Zabeat, Jazzella, Dashing Donna, just to name a few.
I also particularly like all horses that try hard! They all have their own personalities so you like them all for their different traits.
Outside of racing you’ll probably find me fishing anywhere, anytime, I just can’t get enough of it. Spending time with my children is also important to me, they grow up far too fast. I also like travelling and dining out with friends. I am also very passionate about the Whangarei Racing Club, I want to see it here for a hundred years to come.
Long term, I would like to continue the success of Logan Racing by:
Maintaining our good reputation.
Improve our total winners each season.
Train more Group and Listed winners, win the Auckland Cup.
Buy more yearlings and put syndicates together so everyone can have a piece of the racing action; housewives, truck drivers etc.
Keep taking good horses to Australia and further afield to win big races
At Logan Racing we pride ourselves on good communication with clients to keep them in the know. They spend a lot of money to have horses racing make sure they are happy and know they are getting something out of it. Not just throwing money away. And they are part of our wider Logan Racing team with all the horses in the stable, not only their own. Honesty is the best policy.
I know I have mentioned it before but you need to have good staff! They are the back bone of it all, from those who muck out to those who work in the office. They are all very important people in the wheel that has to spin smoothly. No flat tires.