By Jen Roytz
When Zach Madden announced Tuesday he is now the sole owner of Buckland Sales, as partner Ro Parra has decided to step back, we figured there might be more than the basic story put out to the public. Jen Roytz learned it's a feel-good story–someone using the success they've had to help others carve their path.
JR: How did the idea of Buckland Sales come about?
ZM: The idea came organically between myself and Millennium Farms back in the fall [of] 2015. I was doing a lot of different things on the farm, which I am fond of, but I wanted to devote my entire focus to the sales.
That's where my passion truly lies and where my skillset and personality fit best. I wanted to focus all my time and energy on what I love.
JR: Has Buckland developed and evolved the way you and Ro envisioned?
ZM: Yes. From the beginning we wanted it to grow, but we wanted to be strategic about the growth so it never evolved faster than we could manage well. The growth has been very solid going into our sixth year. Ideally, I'd like to be big enough to hold our own and represent the sport's top prospects, yet small enough that we are always able to give each customer and horse the personalized experience Buckland was created to offer.
Consigning horses is ultra-competitive. There are a lot of truly good consignors out there that I respect and admire. My goal is for others to hold us in that same esteem.
JR: What does it mean to have Ro entrust Buckland to you?
ZM: I'm very appreciative of what Ro was able to contribute as a business partner. He has been a successful entrepreneur in several industries and the lessons he taught me will serve me well throughout my life.
In any industry, but especially with horses, it's not just a business. It's personal. It's about having relationships built on respect, skill and communication. It's about being as good as you can possibly be at what you've chosen to do, and it's about how you approach and work through challenges…finding the opportunity in adversity.
As appreciative as I am to Ro for all he's contributed to Buckland and taught me personally, I'm even more appreciative of his friendship. He knows I will be pinging him for advice and I look forward to celebrating both of our successes and milestones as time goes on.
JR: After the market has such a strong resurgence in 2021 after 2020, what are your predictions for the consignment market in the coming year?
ZM: If the last couple years have taught us anything, it's to take nothing for granted.
I think we were all very appreciative of the vibrant market in 2021. I feel the trends should continue. The horse business and the people in it are very resilient. Hopefully the market stays resilient as well.
JR: Based on what you saw from their first yearlings last year, which freshman sires do you think will make headlines this year?
ZM: Bolt d'Oro–I really loved the physicals on his yearlings last year. They were strong and athletic.
JR: If you could make one simple change to the industry, what would it be?
ZM: More uniformity. I think this could be applied to various sectors in different ways, but at the core, I think the more we can strive toward uniformity, the better, stronger and more appealing to outside participants we will be.
JR: What advice would you give to someone looking for a consignor for their bloodstock?
ZM: Get a consignor who can give you and your horse(s) personal attention. Dig deeper than looking at websites or what they say on social media. Have the conversations and ask the right questions to find someone who genuinely cares about your results and that you can trust.
JR: Did you have any New Year's resolutions for 2022?
ZM: Lose 20 pounds. Check back with me at the yearling sales for a progress report.
JR: Who's your early Derby pick for this year?
ZM: Pappacap (Gun Runner). He traveled around, danced every dance and proved that he's very game.