Gareth joined the stud in mid-2018 as their breeding consultant, principally a role focussed on the management of the stud's standing stallions, US Navy Flag, Zacinto and Savile Row, as well as pedigree analysis and matings advice for the stud's broodmare band and clients.
"We have been impressed with Gareth's in-depth knowledge of our business and the natural leadership he brings from his past management roles in both this and other industries," the Hickmans said in a statement.
"We believe Gareth is the right person to help us progress our ultimate aspirations of breeding and racing high quality athletes, as well as leading a team where the culture is an important reflection of our personal values."
Downey was delighted with his appointment and is looking forward to leading the farm into the future.
"I feel privileged to be given this opportunity to lead a stud as progressive as Valachi Downs and its outstanding team of people," he said.
"Working for the Hickmans is an honour and I am confident I can apply my experience both in and outside of this industry, to support Valachi in reaching its goals."