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24th April 2007

by Brian Russell
Bob Gray Logan, one of the best known Australians involved in racing and breeding, collapsed with a brain haemorrhage at the Easter broodmare sales in Sydney late Friday afternoon and died at the neighbouring Prince of Wales hospital two days later at the age of 68 years. Bob, the founder with wife Lorraine of the Logan’s insurance brokerage company, had sold a broodmare, Little ‘n’ Cute, he owned in partnership with one of his many very good friends, Canberra trainer Barbara Joseph, that afternoon for $125,000, while earlier in the week he had overseen the arrangement of settlement of a $5million insurance claim on He’s No Pie Eater, the exciting three-year-old who had to be put down following an injury the previous week.

He had also been at every one of the nine days of the 2007 William Inglis Easter sales and along with son Richard had written many millions of dollars for bloodstock purchases during the series and earlier provided cover for clients at this year’s yearling sales at the Gold Coast, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and New Zealand.

Bob had rarely missed any of these sales for more than thirty years since he developed Logans into one of the most professionally operated and respected bloodstock sales insurance operation Australia has seen. It was a business that had a humble beginning, being sparked by a request from a major client for general insurance, Bob Lapointe, establisher of Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets in Australia, for coverage of his quarter horses.

Astutely, Bob followed up by travelling widely overseas and becoming associated with the world leading brokerage houses with big involvement in Europe and America. The knowledge he gained saw him become one of the great authorities on bloodstock insurance and play a big role in modernising racing and breeding insurance practice in Australia.

During his numerous trips to the northern hemisphere, Bob made many friends in racing and breeding, went racing in England, Ireland, France, Germany and America and was a guest at many major studs. He was on course in 1984 in Germany when Australian bred and owned Strawberry Road won a Group 1 race and when he finished fifth at Longchamp in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe after leading the field with 200metres to go.

Bob Logan had a great love for breeding, spending hours over pedigrees, and racing and was in the ownership of many winners and also in broodmares and sires. His breeding achievements were blighted by acceptance of expert advice that saw him and his partners arrange matings that resulted in top horses, but which saw them discard the mares before the foals were born. One historic example was the nondescript looking mare Easy Date, a now revered matriarch which he owned with Bob Lapointe but sold in foal to Lunchtime (GB) for $5,000 at Scone sales. The foal inside her became Snippets, a dual Australian champion and a first class sire.

Another mare discarded after she was put in foal was Patou, a good class sprinter he raced out of the Barbara Joseph stables with two friends. They sold her in foal to Success Express and had the mortification of seeing the result win the 2003 Golden Slipper under the name of Polar Success.

The best racehorse he raced with his mates was one he picked out at the Adelaide sales. Named November Rain she was the winner of the AJC , VRC and QTC Oaks, AJC St Leger and VRC Wakeful Stakes. They sold her off after her first three seasons produced one foal, the Biscay Hawkesbury and Newcastle winner Sovereign Run.

Two other good horses he raced in partnership were Macquarie Prince (nine wins, STC Christmas Cup, Winter Cup, AJC Japan Trophy Race; second and third in the Newcastle Cup) and Zingalong (12 wins, AJC Villiers Stakes, third STC Frank Underwood Cup).

Besides racing and breeding and the excitement of the sales, Bob loved all sport, in particular rugby and attended international matches around the world.

Bob Logan started life at Wauchope in the mid NSW north coast hinterland, a town at which his father owned a small timber mill, but finished his education at the Scots College in Sydney. He played in the backline in their first 15, one which got splendid service from a half back by the name of Ken Catchpole.

After he left school he spent a short time back home, working at sharpening saws in the mill and on winter Sunday’s representing Wauchope in their first grade rugby league side. Ambitious, he moved to Sydney and after a short stint with Woolworths, moved into insurance.

Some forty years ago, Bob and Lorraine established their own insurance agency, one which has developed into a very strong family business. Besides Bob and Lorraine, the staff includes their two sons, Andrew and Richard. Bob sent both overseas at various times for training at world leading insurance organisations.

Bob Logan is survived by Lorraine, brother Michael and sister Barbara and sons Andrew and Richard, and their families, and their sister Amanda.