A VISIT to Knockeen, not far from Waterford City, is good for the soul. Home to the de Bromhead family for generations, Henry de Bromhead is the current occupier, taking over from his father Harry who still lives there. “We are a bit like the Waltons – my sister is also here,” he tells us as we drive out to the gallops to see some of the stable stars at work.

The place has been developed in recent years, coinciding with the growing success the yard has enjoyed. Gallops have been added, and stables, generally in clusters of about 10 or a dozen, have been erected. Yet the place is an oasis of calm, something that de Bromhead himself displays on the outside, but admits to feeling quite different beneath the surface at times.