STAFF from the racing yards of Jim Bolger, Gordon Elliott, James Fahey, Michael Halford, Eoin McCarthy, Michael O’Callaghan and Robert Tyner’s have been crowned winners in the 2022 Irish Thoroughbred Welfare Council best-turned out league.
The categories are based on the number of runners each yard had during their season. Each yard wins €3,000 to be divided among staff.
On the flat, Jim Bolger’s team based on the Carlow/Kilkenny border won category A for a second time with 72 best-turned-out horses from 279 runners.
Successful in 2021, staff from Michael Halford’s yard in Kildare won 85 best-turned-out competitions from 216 runners to win category B, while Michael O’Callaghan’s staff on the Curragh won category C with 37 best-turned-out horses from 119 runners.
Over jumps, Gordon Elliott’s staff are the category A winners for the second year in a row. The team produced 160 best-turned-out horses from 1,196 runners to top the category.
Staff from Eoin McCarthy’s yard in Athea, Co Limerick won 74 best-turned-out competitions from 193 runners to win category B.
James Fahey’s yard in Stradbally, Co Laois and Robert Tyner’s team in Kinsale in Co Cork share the spoils in category C, dead-heating with a hugely impressive 30 best-turned-out winners from just 64 and 82 runners respectively.
They share the €3,000 prize-money. James Fahey’s team also won their category in 2021.
The Irish Thoroughbred Welfare Council best-turned-out league saw participating racecourses record their best-turned-out winners at each of their fixtures. The best-turned-out winners were aggregated and the yards were categorised by their number of runners in the season.
John Osborne, Equine Welfare & Bloodstock Director at HRI, said: “Once again the best-turned-out (BTO) league has rewarded excellence in horse care while highlighting the high standard across the racing industry. We are delighted to see that over 280 different yards won a BTO prize during the year and the feedback is that it is getting ultra-competitive among yards.
“We have repeat winners from 2021 in the Elliott, Bolger, Halford and James Fahey yards with new category winners from Michael O’Callaghan’s, Eoin McCarthy and Robert Tyner’s. It was especially exciting to see the dead heat between James Fahey and Robert Tyner’s in the last few days of the competition.”
The Irish Thoroughbred Welfare Council best-turned out league was established in 2021 by Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) to recognise and acknowledge the high standards of care and attention racehorses receive, particularly from stable staff.
The Irish Thoroughbred Welfare Council (ITWC) was created in 2020 to help HRI with the formation of initiatives to enhance the care and welfare of horses.