1st Feb 2021
On Saturday night last, 30th January, the Irish National Stud was inducted into the ITBA Hall of Fame. This places the organisation alongside a most illustrious list, a who’s-who of the greatest contributors to Ireland’s bloodstock industry. It is a wonderful honour.
The award is testament to the many hundreds of people who have toiled and worked here, to create something special at Tully, since Colonel William Hall Walker first purchased the lands in 1900. Numerous classic winners and high achieving stallions have called this place their home in that time. To breed and nurture the best racehorses remains central to the purpose of the stud.
Another important role has been the development of young people. Several of the other highly deserving Award recipients on the night are graduates of the Irish National Stud Breeding Course including Clare Manning, Gordon Cunningham and Todd Watt. Our course celebrates 50 years this year. There have been over 1300 graduates who are to be found in equine leadership positions all over the world.
The original ethos of the farm was to support the industry through the provision of stallions. Today, the stud continues this work but it has also evolved and become a vehicle to promote the Irish thoroughbred through education and tourism. We look forward with great anticipation to the opening of the Irish Racehorse Experience. There is so much to promote and so much to be proud of.
We thank the ITBA team, Chairman, Council, and Awards Committee for bestowing upon us this great honour. We thank the many contributors who spoke with such passion and eloquence on our behalf and the production team for their hard work in putting it all together. We are especially grateful to the President of Ireland, for his passionate tribute.
We thank Ministers McConologue and Donohoe, their predecessors and their hard-working officials for their continued support. We thank the legions of graduates who continue to be our greatest achievement. And most of all we thank the staff of the Irish National Stud, both past and present, without whom nothing is possible.
On this St Brigid’s Day, we look forward to Spring, to longer days and a brighter future. We look forward to continue our own evolution and to keep telling the story of these magnificent animals that bring us all together.
We are humbled and honoured to have received this award.
Watch the presentation here