OVER 200 people attended a breeding seminar in Goffs on Tuesday evening.

Organised by the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association and its Next Generation wing, the event featured a panel consisting of Cathal Beale from the Irish National Stud, commercial breeders Dermot Cantillon and Kevin Blake, Helena Burns of Anglesey Lodge Equine Hospital, bloodstock agent Matt Coleman and Juddmonte’s Barry Mahon.

Cantillon said: “You’d have to be encouraged by the number of people who attended. It was well organised and the panel represented a good cross-section of the industry.

“There were plenty of questions from the audience and it’s great to see that sort of enthusiasm coming through.”

Much of the evening’s discussion centred around the possibilities and pitfalls of buying a broodmare. Cantillon spoke about what he looks for when buying broodmare prospects.

Burns passed on advice about breeding from older mares, while Coleman shared his experiences of purchasing on a budget.

Mahon and Beale discussed how to assess mares and stallion options.

Topics covered included the costs involved with getting a mare in foal and keep fees, how to get the attention of potential buyers of your stock at a sale, the health of the industry now and where it may be in the future.


Questions from the audience ranged from looking at the racecourse ratings of mares, breeding from proven or unproven stallions, breeding from unraced, raced or blacktype mares, and breeding from mares with wind issues.

A recording of the event will be available through the ITBA in the coming weeks.

The ITBA will shortly publish details of its ‘Ask The Expert’ series which will take place online during March, April and May.