Ballymacoll Stud- The end of an era

To many followers of racing, the pale blue and yellow colours of Ballymacoll Stud will be long-remembered for producing winners of The Derby, Oaks, 2000 Guineas, Melbourne Cup, Breeders Cup Turf, Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Turf, Hong Kong Derby and Japan Cup. The immense success enjoyed by the Weinstock and Sobell families since the purchase of the stud in 1960 seems even more incredible when you consider the select band of broodmares which reside there, which today all descend from just two original mares. 

2017 therefore marks the end of a historic era in thoroughbred racing as Ballymacoll, one of the most uniquely successful breeding operations of our time, closes its doors. The famous nursery has been carefully and lovingly managed for over 40 years by Peter Reynolds who is set to retire at the end of this year. The success enjoyed by the stud under Peter’s care is almost unrivalled as he has nurtured over 30 individual Group 1 winners from their foaling boxes in Ballymacoll right through to the Parade Ring.

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It has been an honour and a pleasure as a practice, today as Lisadell and formerly Clarke and Gibbons Veterinary Surgeons, to have worked alongside Peter and his team to see this extraordinary band of horses through the stocks, the foaling unit and onto the pastures that have defined the early years of so many Ballymacoll Champions. We would like to thank them for their business and support and many laughs over the years. 

Earlier this year, the stud itself, adorned with the same blue and yellow colours carried by its racehorses, went under the hammer for €8.15 million. With operations winding down in the birthplace of the great Arkle, all that remains is the small matter of dispersing the prestigious bloodstock which reside there. The dispersal of Ballymacoll has been described by Tattersalls as “The most important sale of its type in a generation” offering a unique opportunity for purchasers to buy into the Weinstock legacy. It is clear that this opportunity will not be overlooked by the industry as the first five yearlings to be offered by the stud amassed an impressive 2,575,000 guineas at Book 1 in Tattersalls earlier this month. 

As the remainder of the Ballymacoll stock enter the ring at the Autumn Horses in Training and December Breeding Stock and Foal sales, we wish their purchasers the very best of luck with these special horses. No doubt the pedigrees they bring with them will offer exciting prospects to many breeders around the globe and we look forward to seeing what the future brings for their progeny.

With equal measures of sadness and fond memories, we wish Peter and his wife Wendy all the best as they move onto the next chapter of their lives. We wish all the staff; Aonghus, Pat, Susan, Anna, Loraine, Jill, Shane, Kevin and Anthony well in their future endeavours. They have, along with those before them dedicated late nights and early mornings to the care of each crop of slippery newborn foals which have grown into the racehorses which give this stud its reputation. Last but not least, to the dogs who have always been at the heart of Ballymacoll; Troy, Con, Freddie, Ben and co., we hope to see your tails wagging on pastures new for many years to come.  

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