They’re two of the most successful and recognized names in Thoroughbred partnerships.
Dogwood Stable and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners will merge their operations on July 1, 2013. The announcement was made Thursday by W. Cothran Campbell, Dogwood Stable president and Aron Wellman, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners president.
The horses that are purchased at public auction will race under the name of Eclipse/Dogwood, and will run with alternating colors, said Jack Sadler, Dogwood Stable vice president.
Dogwood Stable will continue to have an active presence in the city they relocated to in June 1986, said Sadler, who has been with the operation for the past 37 years. Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners has offices in Del Mar, Calif. and Springboro, Ohio.
The two operations have been separate companies for the past year going down parallel paths, said Sadler, who will assume the same responsibilities as vice president when the merge occurs.
“The beauty of it is that Mr. Campbell will continue to manage all of the existing partnerships until their end. I will continue to serve Dogwood Stable clients the way that I have up to this time,” Sadler said.
Dogwood Stable has been a presence in the Thoroughbred industry for more than four decades, and will continue to maintain that prominent profile.
“The loose connection we have had with Aaron Wellman and Eclipse is one that has worn well,” said Campbell. “What was described earlier as ‘going steady’ is now going to be a marriage,” said Campbell, in a press release. “As I cracked after winning the Belmont Stakes with Palace Malice, ‘This great win is not likely to accelerate my retirement, and it won’t. I will enjoy continuing to manage Dogwood’s existing partnerships, but our client roster will now be offered participation in new horses formed and managed by Aron Wellman and Eclipse/Dogwood.”
Bill Victor, the financial officer for Dogwood Stable for the past 22 years, will take on that same role for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, said Sadler. Victor and Sadler will be based out of the Dogwood Stable offices in Aiken.
A number of the horses purchased by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners will be sent to Aiken to be trained by Legacy Stable’s Brad Stauffer and Ron Stevens at the Aiken Training Track.
“I will look in on all aspects of the Eclipse/ Dogwood operation – when asked to,” said Campbell. “But, the effectiveness of Aron Wellman and Eclipse has been established dramatically. Since he and co-founder Lee Midkiff launched their endeavor in the fall of 2011, they have won 13 stakes races (the Grade 1 Vanity with Byrama on June l5) with eight different horses, and right now the outfit is ranked among America’s top five in Graded Stakes wins.”