David Ellis(Averill, 1967 -70) - OC of the Month January 2021
Monday, January 11
We are both delighted and honoured that David Ellis CNZM (Averill, 1967 - 70) has agreed to be our first interviewee for our new KCOCA Interview feature 'OC of the Month'.
I wanted to be the best sheep and cattle farmer in New Zealand. When I went out to Karaka to stay on a fellow student’s sheep and cattle farm, I thought, this is exactly what I want to do. I set my mind on qualifying for it. It was not easy as I did not come from a farming background and I’m the only farmer in my family. We started small but have finished up with a beautiful farm in Te Akau near Hamilton.
The quality fellow students that I met. I was in Averill House, which was a full boarding house back then, and I made friends there that are still some of my closest friends today.
Easily Ian McKinnon – he was a firm disciplinarian but a fantastic teacher, a great motivator, and a wonderful person. He went on to have a very distinguished career as a Deputy Headmaster at Eton College in Britain, and then Headmaster of both Wanganui Collegiate and Scots College. He is highly regarded by everybody that has met him. He and his wife Jenny are great friends of ours to this day.
Work hard and you will find luck.
Apart from owning Te Akau Stud, which is a 4000-acre sheep and cattle property in the Te Akau valley, we also own Te Akau Racing which is New Zealand’s leading racing stable – with stables in both Singapore and in New Zealand. I am very lucky that what I do for a living is my hobby and my passion.
I cannot describe how exciting it is and what a thrill my wife Karyn and I get out of seeing the ‘Tangerine Army’ winning races.
My career involves buying and breeding racehorses with the goal of competing on the world stage. In the last couple of years, we have won major races in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Ireland, and England.
Our business operates seven days a week, 365 days a year. Horses must be fed and worked every day. So, there’s little time for relaxation! But we have a huge amount of satisfaction when we win a major race – which we are lucky to do frequently. It makes it all worth it.
Personally, being voted the Westpac Farmer of the Year. Professionally, winning racing premierships in two different countries in one season (New Zealand and Singapore).
At present, it would be able to go for a holiday to Hawaii with my lovely children.
A nice bottle of red, a cigar and my beautiful wife Karyn.
I would like to be remembered as a fair person and that my word is my bond. I would particularly like to be remembered by my staff as someone that would always support them.
If there is anyone you think would make a good OC of the Month, please get in touch with our KCOCA Executive Officer, Nicola Davies