Sad passing of Kieran Lennon of Springhill

KIERAN Lennon of Springhill Stud in Borris, Co Carlow, passed away on Tuesday in Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital after a short illness. He was 57.

A leading buyer at National Hunt foal sales, he was a successful vendor of stores. He sold recent Aintree Grade 1 winner Banbridge as a yearling and sourced this season’s Grade 2 novice hurdle winner Favori De Champdou in France and sold him as a store. He also sold multiple Grade 2 winner Knappers Hill for €155,000 at Goffs. He is survived by his wife Breda.

Ronnie O’Neill of Whytemount Stud said: “Kieran was a gentleman and a very good judge, who has been taken far too young. Kieran could buy 20 or 30 foals every year and he was a big vendor at both Goffs and Tattersalls. He bought Knappers Hill from me for €20,000 and sold him for €155,000. He was very shrewd.”

Stablestaff AGM

THE Irish Stablestaff Association will stage its annual general meeting at 6.30pm on Wednesday, May 24th in the Horse & Jockey Hotel, Co Tipperary.

O’Connor EBF chairman

JOHN O’Connor is the new chairman of the European Breeders’ Fund. He takes over from Philip Freedman who served two terms as chairman. Ballylinch Stud’s O’Connor has previously been chairman of the Irish EBF and the ITBA.

The British and Irish EBF have recently announced record spends on prize money in 2023 with both funds committing over €2 million each with the focus on two-year-olds and fillies.

O’Connor said: “I am delighted to take on the chairmanship of the EBF in its 40th year. The EBF plays a significant role in supporting the racing industry at many levels. Due to the calibre of stallions that now stand in Europe and through the commitment of stallion farms large and small, the EBF contributes more to prize money than ever at a time when it is of crucial importance, with costs rising rapidly for all participants in racing. I will aim to continue and build on the excellent work of my predecessor Philip Freedman and I look forward to working with Kerry Murphy and the team.”

New CEO named of

The Agricultural Trust

WILLIAM Minchin has been appointed the new chief executive of The Agricultural Trust, owners of The Irish Field and Irish Farmers Journal. Minchin previously held a senior role with MSD Animal Health.

Death of young stallion

SHADWELL Stud stallion Eqtidaar has been put down upon veterinary advice following complications from a recent health condition.

Winner of the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup in 2018 when trained by Sir Michael Stoute, the homebred son of Invincible Spirit is due to have his first runners this year. A filly by Eqtidaar sold for £120,000 at this week’s Goffs UK Breeze Up Sale.

Curragh bumper in June

THE Curragh will stage a National Hunt flat race for the first time in over 10 years on Wednesday evening, June 7th. The €25,000 Sky Bet-sponsored bumper winners’ of two contest will be over two miles.

New Flying Start class

FIVE Irish people are among the latest intake of 12 trainees for the prestigious two-year Godolphin Flying Start thoroughbred industry management and leadership programme. The class will commence their training in Kildangan Stud on Monday, August 14th.

2023-‘25 trainees: Samuel Baker (Ireland), Anna Cahill (Ireland), Sean Cooper (Ireland), George Connolly (Ireland), Gerard Donworth (Ireland), Jake Swinburn (GB), Johnny Marsh (GB), Harrison Everett (Australia), Daisy Fenwick (USA), Harper McVey (USA), Claire Wilson (USA), Mitchell Whelan (New Zealand).

PTP Awards tickets

TICKETS for the annual point-to-point awards are now on sale through the IHRB website or they can be ordered from Susie Doyle in the IHRB on 045-445600. Tickets ar €65 and the event takes place in the Hotel Minella on Saturday, June 10th.

PTP insurance in place

NO further disruptions to the point-to-point fixture list are expected this season as an interim solution has been found to the insurance issue which threatened five meetings scheduled for the coming weeks.

Yesterday the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board confirmed to The Irish Field that it was satisfied that all the remaining fixtures had the required insurance cover.

Last weekend two fixtures were hastily arranged for Friday, April 21st, in order to beat the expiry date of the insurance policy which covers point-to-points outside Cork, Waterford and Northern Ireland. It’s understood that policy has now been extended.

Curragh Monday on TG4

THE bank holiday meeting at the Curragh next Monday will be televised on TG4 and the coverage will also include some races from Down Royal.