Bullet Train at Woodfield Farm Stud
Image by Amy Lynam, ITM

The 2018 ITM Irish Stallion Trail was declared a tremendous success after large crowds turned out on Friday January 12 and Saturday January 13, visiting a record 29 stud farms, many of whom experienced increased numbers on the 2017 high of over 2,000 visitors, with a particular rise in the number of breeders in attendance.

An additional 12 Group 1 winners joining the Irish stallion ranks in 2018 were undoubtedly a huge draw for the breeders that travelled from all over the country, as well as from France, Germany and the UK. A group of 40 owners and breeders also travelled over from the Czech Republic.

Fans meet dual Derby hero Australia at Coolmore Stud
Image by Amy Lynam, ITM

Gerry Childs is a member of the British-based syndicate Elite Racing Club, who enjoyed unbelievable success with their homebred mare Marsha (IRE) this year, having bred her using an Irish stallion. Gerry commented: “This is my third visit to Ireland for the ITM Irish Stallion Trail. I adore seeing the stars of the past and how they are faring as stallions. Highlights have been Coolmore Stud, seeing Kalanisi (IRE) at Boardsmill Stud and meeting the wonderful people here.”

New recruit Decorated Knight poses at the Irish National Stud
Image by Amy Lynam, ITM

Participating stud farms were similarly positive, with Niamh Woods of Rathbarry Stud commenting: “We’ve had a very busy two days showing our stallions in both Rathbarry and Glenview Studs, with 400 visiting the two farms. We are very thankful to all the people who came to view them and extend a big thank you to ITM for once again organising this excellent event”

Charles O’Neill, CEO of ITM, said: Since its inception in 2015, the Irish Stallion Trail has gone from strength to strength, and this year was no exception. The feedback from a record number of participating stud farms has been extremely positive, but probably more impressive is the number of positive messages from visitors who were blown away by the whole experience.  A massive thank you has to go out to all the farms for their time and hospitality, because that is what helps make the Trail such a success.”