AS the Christmas glow fades and 2020 gets into gear, there are surely few better ways to kick off the new decade than the ITM Irish Stallion Trail next weekend.

Now in its sixth year, the Trail showcases the abundance of talent we have in the bloodstock industry here in Ireland. During the Trail, over 25 world-leading farms will offer breeders and the general public the chance to go behind the scenes and get up close and personal with some of the greatest stallions on the planet.

Irish-bred and -sired horses consistently hit the heights on the global stage and much of this success is down to Ireland’s top-class stallions and the farms that they call home.

Studs participating in the Trail in 2020 include Ballylinch, Castlehyde, Coolmore, Derrinstown, Gilltown, Irish National Stud, Kildangan, Rathbarry & Glenview, Yeomanstown, and many more.

Some of the world’s foremost stallions of both the flat and National Hunt will be on display, including multiple champion flat sire Galileo, leading National Hunt sire Doyen, multiple Group 1 sire Dark Angel, and Yeats, four-time hero of Ascot’s Gold Cup.

There will also be an exciting group of new stallions to be viewed. These include Royal Ascot record-breaker Blue Point at Kildangan Stud, classic winner Phoenix Of Spain at the Irish National Stud, multiple Group 1 winner Poet’s Word at Boardsmill Stud, proven top-level National Hunt sire Blue Bresil at Glenview Stud, and Arc winner Waldgeist at Ballylinch.

Irish industry

From extensive global operations to small family-run businesses, each farm on the Trail has its own unique story to tell. Breeders will find bloodlines, physical types, and fees to suit all requirements and racing fans will have the opportunity to reconnect with some of the equine athletes they have roared home at the track.

Now more than ever it is vital for the racing industry to open its doors, welcome curiosity, and proudly champion its many qualities.

The ITM Irish Stallion Trail is the perfect opportunity to do so. After all, viewing expertly cared-for stallions in pristine natural settings as part of a significant and successful Irish industry could hardly be more appealing.

The Trail is completely free of charge and visitors are asked simply to register at the website address below.

Please note that it is compulsory to register in order to visit Coolmore Stud. A full list of participating farms, their stallions, opening hours, and a route planner can also be found on the ITM website.

ITM wishes to thank all the farms that are making time in their busy schedules to help promote the industry-leading work they do every day. We encourage as many people as possible to register through the ITM website and support a hugely valuable Irish industry.

Share your experience via social media using the hashtags below. See you on the Trail!