The Irish Thoroughbred Breeders' Association hosted its annual National Breeding & Racing Awards at The Heritage, Co Laois on Sunday night.

Minister Pippa Hackett was guest of honour on an evening where the outstanding achievements of Irish breeders and Irish-bred horses - both flat and National Hunt - during 2023 was acknowledged.

Dermot Cantillon and Meta Osborne of Tinakill House were inducted into the ITBA Hall of Fame.

Leo Powell, former Editor of The Irish Field, was recognised for his Contribution to the Industry, Willie Austin was the recipient of Smaller Breeder Award, and David Bowe was presented with the Wild Geese Award. The Next Generation Award was presented to Amy Marnane.

Great turn-out

In excess of 330 people were in attendance at the black-tie event.

Ana O’Brien accepted the award for 2YO Filly of the Year Porta Fortuna, on behalf of breeder Whisperview Trading Ltd, and this was presented by Declan Landy of Declan Landy Fencing.

Christy Grassick of Coolmore was on hand to present the Wild Geese Award to David Bowe, who manages Jeff Smith's Littleton Stud.

Coolmore's David O'Loughlin and Mark Byrne accepted the awards for 2YO Colt of the Year Henry Longfellow and 3YO Colt of the Year Auguste Rodin respectively.

Those awards were presented by Eamon Moloney, Nominations Manager with Darley’s Kildangan Stud, and Cormac Breathnach, Director of Sales with Keeneland, respectively.

Eoin Fives of Ballylinch Stud was on hand to present the Small Breeder Award to Tipperary native Willie Austin.

Leo Powell receeived his Contribution to the Industry Award from HRI chief executive Suzanne Eade.

Outstanding achievements

ITBA chairman Cathy Grassick commented: "This is our opportunity to celebrate their outstanding successes in a year which Irish thoroughbred talent was on display to a global audience once more.

"It is also an opportunity to acknowledge those who have made a lifelong contribution to Irish thoroughbred breeding and our people awards are well deserved and a testament to the wonderful people we have working in our industry.

"It is important that we continue to acknowledge the Next Generation award as we are committed to investing in the future industry leaders and provide them with every opportunity to succeed at the highest level. Congratulations to all award winners and many thanks to our sponsors for their continued support."

ITBA National Breeding & Racing Awards 2023 Winners:

Chaser of the Year Award 2023 – Shishkin, Breeder: CJ & EB Bennett

Hurdler of the Year Award 2023 – Marine Nationale, Breeder: JB Bloodstock

National Hunt Race Mare Award 2023 – Marie’s Rock, Breeder: Dan Breen

Young National Hunt Horse Award 2023 – A Dream To Share, Breeder: Brucetown Farms

Small Breeder Award 2023 – Willie Austin

2 Year Old Filly of the Year Award 2023 – Porta Fortuna, Breeder: Whisperview Trading Ltd

2 Year Old Colt of the Year Award 2023 – Henry Longfellow, Breeder: Coolmore

3 Year Old Filly of the Year Award 2023 - Mawj, Breeder: Godolphin

3 Year Old Colt of the Year Award 2023 – Auguste Rodin, Breeder: Coolmore

Older Horse Award 2023 – Mostahdaf, Breeder: Shadwell Estate

Next Generation Award 2023 – Amy Marnane

Wild Geese Award 2023 - David Bowe

Contribution to the Industry 2023 – Leo Powell

Hall of Fame 2023 – Dermot Cantillon and Meta Osborne