THE BOOMER STORY
When Craig Rounsefell was born into a family with a long line of interest in horse racing, it was inevitable he would end up in the industry.
After years gaining experience around the world, today Rounsefell is known as one of the top bloodstock agents in the game as the Managing Director of Boomer Bloodstock.
His focus on working in the industry came as a student at St Paul’s Anglican School in Brisbane where he started working for Terry Catip at Misty Downs. His time at St. Paul’s also saw a hidden talent emerge with his cricket skills.
With an ability to always find racing no matter where he was, a few trips to England for cricket landed him a job as a sports coach at The Duke of York’s Royal Military School during his gap year in 2001.
Top trainers provided the best education
It was a trip to Ireland during a holiday break from the Military School that led to a chance meeting with legendary trainer John Oxx and gave Rounsefell the opportunity of a lifetime.
Every holiday in England, he returned to Ireland to work at Oxx’s Currabeg Stable on the Curragh. Not only did the experience teach him a lot about the industry and training, it was also the beginning of a long association with top trainers around the world.
Heading back to Australia to attend the University of Queensland for a Bachelor of Commerce degree, he then joined Gai Waterhouse Racing.
Starting out working in the stable during school holidays, Craig moved up to a role attending the sales with Waterhouse alongside George Smith and Steven Brem.
Upon graduation in 2004, Rounsefell was given a full time job with Waterhouse attending to morning trackwork before heading to the office in the afternoons.
Watch: Craig talks about his background learning from trainers
A flying global perspective
It wasn’t long after this stint with Waterhouse that Craig was accepted to the prestigious Godolphin Flying Start course. Spending time in Europe, North America, Asia, and the Middle East, he was able to gain experience from all corners of the world.
Part of his experience on the course included working with Mike de Kock as he prepared Asiatic Boy for his UAE Triple Crown victory and with BAA Ireland’s renowned bloodstock agent John Tyrell.
Graduating from the Flying Start programme in first place, he then headed back to the United States.
Watch: Craig talks about his Flying Start experience
Learning from the best in America
Craig started his time in America interning for the Keeneland Association in Kentucky where he had a variety of experiences. From taking part in the selection process of Keeneland’s 2-year-old breeze-up sale to helping with the October race meet.
Offered a position as Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale’s assistant in California when he was in Dubai on the Flying Start course, Craig took up the role after his internship. He worked for the trainer in Southern California for the 2008 racing season.
It was as an assistant that Craig met his future wife McCall Mitchell, who was working alongside her father Mike Mitchell, soon after arriving in the state. At the end of his year with Drysdale, he proposed to McCall before the pair moved back to Brisbane.
Returning to his homeland of Australia, Craig launched Boomer Bloodstock.
Watch: McCall Rounsefell on her love for Del Mar
A trans-Atlantic agency
Travelling between Australia and the United States, Rounsefell was able to build an international clientele.
It was with those international clients that Boomer Bloodstock earned its first graded stakes victory with Dhaamer in the 2012 Grade 3 Sunset Handicap. A 30,000 guineas Boomer Bloodstock purchase, Dhaamer was one of two successes Craig found at the 2011 Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale for clients.
The purchase of a horse named Obviously at the same sale put Boomer Bloodstock in the Grade 1 light.
Purchased for 130,000 guineas and trained by Rounsefell’s father-in-law, Obviously gave Rounsefell his first Grade 1 win with a victory in the Shoemaker Mile. Mitchell decided to retire soon after the win, handing the reins over to his assistant Philip D’Amato. Under D’Amato’s care, Obviously went on to win two more Grade 1 races including the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
That Breeders’ Cup victory led to a very exciting three weeks of racing, concluding with Boomer Bloodstock-purchased Scales of Justice winning the Group 1 WATC Railway Stakes in a season that saw the gelding named Western Australia’s Horse of the Year for 2016-2017.
The North American representative for Inglis, Craig lives in the Gold Coast with his wife and their son Weston.