How did BOQ back the REC Specialist Equine Centre?

REC Equine Specialists is the veterinarian of choice for some of the biggest names in Australian Thoroughbred racing – and when it comes to banking, they put their trust in BOQ. 

For more than 70 years, the internationally renowned REC Equine Specialists (formerly Randwick Equine Centre) has supported some of the biggest household names in thoroughbred training and breeding, making them a trusted equine veterinary practice in Australia and around the world.



On 15 February 2021, REC opened its new multi-million dollar REC Specialist Equine Centre including a state-of-the-art hospital, diagnostic rooms and an onsite laboratory at Horsley Park in Western Sydney. 

Strategically located opposite the Sydney International Equestrian Centre (SIEC) and M7 motorway, the new facility is the first equine hospital to be built in NSW in over 30 years. With modern surgical facilities including dedicated anaesthesia induction and recovery rooms, three operating theatres and equipment for general, arthroscopic and laser surgery, the Centre represents a new era for REC. 

After the premises they leased near Royal Randwick Racecourse for 25 years was slated for redevelopment in 2018, REC made the decision to purchase the vacant five-acre block of land in Horsley Park and build its own facility. To do that they required financing to fund the construction – and that’s where BOQ stepped in. 

Since the initial introduction from BOQ Specialist in 2019, BOQ Business has been instrumental in bringing REC’s vision for the new Centre to life. With specialist expertise in the medical and veterinary sector, the BOQ Business team had the experience needed to understand REC’s business and what it would take to build the facility.


With BOQ, I was grateful to talk to experts who knew what we needed, weren’t phased and had a ‘can do’ attitude
Chris Lim General Manager, REC Equine Specialists

According to REC General Manager Mr Chris Lim, “BOQ were interested in our business from the second I contacted them, which was not only refreshing but vitally important because of our timing. They understood the nature of the business and the type of building and equipment required for this kind of endeavour.

“When you are building a hospital for horses, it’s crucial to partner with people who really understand your business, or you’ll spend a lot of time banging your head against the wall. With BOQ, I was grateful to talk to experts who knew what we needed, weren’t phased and had a ‘can do’ attitude,” said Mr Lim. 

In 2018 BOQ was one of three banks, including the incumbent bank that REC had been banking with for over 25 years, invited to tender for the finance facilities to fund construction of the REC Specialist Equine Centre.  

According to BOQ Business Relationship Manager, Ryan King, “Like any loan facility, there were a number of risks in a deal of this nature, but our point of difference in the tender process was our decision to view the transaction as a cash flow lend instead of a property deal. With the support of senior management, we were also able to make a decision quickly and fast-track the loan approval process.”

After taking the time to properly understand the business, its cash flow, financing requirements and associated risks, the opportunity was socialised with BOQ’s senior leadership and credit team who were quick to support the proposal. 

“Our flat management structure allows for a collaborative approach to assessing opportunities and internal pricing discussions – the end result being the best possible outcome for the borrower. In this instance, BOQ believed that the relocation to Horsley Park (close to the M7 and SIEC) made good commercial sense and would allow for improved operational efficiencies in a business that was already commercially and operationally sound,” Ryan said. 

After issuing a credit test in early 2020, BOQ won the tender and issued a series of commercial loans, including the construction loan and equipment finance to purchase the medical equipment required for the new facility. 

With provision for an extra eight stables (34 in total), and an additional surgery, the new hospital has proven to be an instant success - with March figures up 20 per cent on previous years and surgery bookings nearly doubling in the first month of opening. 

“We’ve built a reputation over 70 years and our clients come to us for results, and we look for the same in any partnership or affiliation we enter into. So it was important that our bank not only had the expertise to know what they were doing, but also had a like-minded approach to doing the best job possible,” said Mr Lim.

“With BOQ we’ve had the privilege of working with intelligent people doing smart things for the benefit of their clients. And even though we’ve had a few hiccups along the way, it’s been a mostly seamless process and we wouldn’t have been able to do it without BOQ,” Mr Lim said.