Having spent time with the Marnane family, Anna is hopeful that she can make a name for herself in the pinhooking business.
How did you get interested and involved in bloodstock and pinhooking?
My father always had a couple of National Hunt horses through the years, so I was involved from a young age with ponies and then tried my hand at racehorses, I’d like to thank Mouse Morris for his patience back then! I was very young at the time. My family is very business-oriented. My granddad Sean Barlow set up a successful motor trade business in Clonmel and Kilkenny which has been passed down through the generations. I suppose I followed suit with the trading side of things through pinhooking instead of the cars!
Who helped you along the way or gave you advice?
The Marnane family taught me plenty about breaking yearlings and getting them going, John Crosse and Mike O’Brien do a great job with the yearlings there. Nearly everyone who worked in Con’s at the time I did is now pinhooking themselves. Justin Timmons, Ryan Conran, Stevie Byrne, Colin Bargary, Sarah McCrory, Conor Wixted, Sarah Dempsey. It says a lot about the amount you learn in Bansha!
The Kavanaghs of Kildaragh Stud were excellent to me. I did a yearling preparation with them and learned an endless amount of knowledge. They are top-class operators, hard workers and a very sharp family which you need to be when you have that number of horses under your roof. Paddy Twomey knows fairly quickly with a horse how good they are and always sets a lovely campaign for them, especially the likes of the recent Goffs Million winner One Look, he saw the potential in her very early on when others might have turned a blind eye.
Micky Cleere and Billy Lee were a great help last year too with the breezers, they are both very sound lads and talented at what they do. Also, my friends that are in the industry, we always help each other and get involved in a few pinhooks together which is a bit of craic.
What challenges/problems have you faced so far?
I haven’t faced many challenges so far but I suppose I’m young and I’m sure there’ll be plenty to come. I just keep the head down and get on with things. You learn from your mistakes as they say.
What advice would you give to somebody who wanted to get involved in the industry professionally?
Don’t be afraid to have a go! Hard work pays off. I would say get as much experience from the top people as you can, they’re successful for a reason. There are plenty of opportunities for young people to get involved in the industry whether it’s through college racing syndicates, pinhooking, or breeding, just bite the bullet and go for it if it interests you.
What are your hopes for the next 12 months?
Hopefully, have another successful year on the breeze ups. We have purchased three nice fillies, a Showcasing who is out of a Pivotal mare, she seems to be a very athletic early type, a Mehmas that is showing all the right signs, she’s tough and hardy which I think you need especially in fillies, and a Kameko who is out of a blacktype mare from the family of Zoffany. She’s a lovely filly.
We saw a few Kamekos, I think they will be racehorses and it will be interesting to see how they hit the track in the coming season. He was a very good racehorse and they seem to be good solid correct horses. I have also recently got two broodmares so there are exciting times ahead with them and I hope they will breed nice types!