Ballylinch Stud is home to some of the most prestigious stallions in the horse racing world. The magnificent Stud has been housing equine excellence for close to 100 years, ever since Major Dermot McCalmont established it as the home of world-famous unbeaten two year old The Tetrarch in 1914.
The Tetrarch was an amazing racehorse, unbeaten in all seven starts as a two year old in 1913 and a hands-down favourite of the 1914 Derby. Unfortunately, the horse injured himself training and never got to race as a three year old, depriving the racing world of the sight of him fully-formed and in peak physique.
He retired to this glorious patch of land next to the Mount Juliet Estate and despite not being an especially prolific sire, what he lacked in quantity he made up for in quality. His progeny included 2,000 Guineas winner Tetratema and the outstanding Filly Mumtaz Mahal. He also sired three winners of the St Ledger. From that day on, a tradition of top-class winning progeny was established at Ballylinch Stud.
Down through the decades, some of the leading sires and Broodmares have been resident at Ballylinch Stud. Mumtaz Mahal was one of the most important broodmares of the 20th century. Fortino ll bred the world-famous sire Caro who went on to produce winners of races as varied as the Kentucky Derby, the Breeders’ Cup Mile and the Prix Du Jockey Club.
Ballylinch Stud, together with Mount Juliet Estate was purchased from the McCalmont family by Dr Tim Mahony in 1987. Shortly after in 1988, John O’Connor, a qualified veterinary surgeon who graduated from UCD and who previously worked in France and Australia, joined Ballylinch as Stud Manager and resident veterinary surgeon, and later became Managing Director.
The first major success for Ballylinch under its new ownership was that of The Caretaker in the first running of the Cartier Million in 1989. This was followed by the success of Crockadore in the Grade 2 Orchid Handicap in Florida in 1992. Other major successes included the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes which was won by Ballylinch homebred Priory Belle in 1995 and River Keen’s Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup win in 1996.
In 2006 Red Rocks, bred by Ballylinch Stud out of the homebred mare Pharmacist won the Grade 1 Breeders Cup Turf before conquering US horse of the year Curlin in the 2008 Grade 1 Man O’War Stakes. Dr Mahony sadly died in 2008, his daughter Jenny Howes is now the family Director of Ballylinch Stud.
In recent years, one of the most high-profiled residents of Ballylinch Stud was the Champion National Hunt sire King’s Theatre. His Progeny make up a who’s-who of the jumps stars over the past few seasons, including Cheltenham festival winners Riverside Theatre, Captain Chris, Menorah, Cue Card and Brindis Breeze as well as multiple Grade 1 Winners Voler La Vedette and Fingal Bay. King’s Theatre was champion sire for the first time in 2011-12 but the award was sadly a posthumous one as he died in late 2011 after failing to recover from colic.
The future is bright for Ballylinch Stud as well, with the wonderful colt Dream Ahead retiring here. Such was Dream Ahead’s talent that he shared the title of European Champion two-year-old with none other than Frankel, the world greatest racehorse. Alongside Dream Ahead in Ballylinch currently are stallions of the quality of Lawman, Lope De Vega, Intense Focus, Beat Hollow and Soviet Star. Also Standing at Haras Du Mezeray is Whipper the Champion French Miler, Group 1 winner at 2, 3 and 4 years.
The Tetrarch, the unbeaten two year old. unbeaten are