05 Oct 2022

Offaly’s Stud wins prestigious Breeder of the Year Award

Offaly’s Stud wins  prestigious Breeder of the Year Award

Offaly’s Stud wins prestigious Breeder of the Year Award

An Offaly Stud has won the prestigious Breeder of the Year Award.

Ringfort Stud in Rhode was one of the big winners at this week’s Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association (ITBA) National Breeding & Racing Awards 2020, winning the  Breeders of the Year  award after an outstanding 2020. Their stud farm bred three Group 2-winning two-year-olds - Minzaal, Miss Amulet, and Ubettabelieveit.

The Irish National Stud was this year’s inductee into the ITBA Hall of Fame. The prestigious award is in recognition of the Irish National Stud’s invaluable contribution to the Irish thoroughbred industry over many decades and for the contribution it continues to make; from the stallions it stands, to its world-renowned thoroughbred breeding course and the impact the stud makes as a national tourist attraction. On behalf of the Irish State, Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue accepted this most deserving award.

An Taoiseach Micheál Martin paid tribute to the ITBA and highlighted the positive contribution that the industry provides not only to the economy but to Irish life: “You and your colleagues have ensured the Irish breeding industry remains competitive at a global level, despite other nations having larger populations and economies. It is estimated that the thoroughbred industry has an economic impact of €1.9bn with direct and indirect employment of 29,000 people”.

The Wild Geese Award 2020 went to the richly deserving Gordon Cunningham of Curragmore Stud in New Zealand while the year’s Special Recognition Award went to the much loved and respected Todd Watt, who has served Irish vendors at Tattersalls and Tattersalls Ireland so very well over many years and is seen as “The Go To Man”.

Thanking the ITBA for his invitation, President Michael D. Higgins, paid tribute to the Irish Thoroughbred Industry: “The Irish racing and breeding sector is recognized internationally, and for some time, as one with a proud tradition of excellence. This is an indigenous and mostly rural industry that makes a valuable contribution to the social, economic and cultural fabric of this country”.

Concluding the evening, ITBA chairman John McEnery said: “Despite all the many challenges facing the industry in 2020, Irish breeders and Irish bred horses continued to excel on both the national and international stage. We are indebted to our loyal sponsors without whom we would be unable to stage these awards. We were delighted with the level of participation and engagement by the many viewers, who tuned in from all corners of the bloodstock world via social media to acknowledge the wonderful people and horses who made 2020 such a memorable year for the Irish thoroughbred breeding industry”. Congratulations to all deserving winners!”

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