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.
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.
In 2014 Lope de Vega was crowned Champion First Season Sire in Europe and his first crop of 25 individual winners included no less than 4 group winning horses including European Champion 2yo Belardo. Bred by Ballylinch out of our homebred mare Danaskaya Belardo won 3 races including the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes and has been awarded the title of European Champion two year old for 2014. In 2015 this mantle was carried on by his new crop hitting the track for the first time, as well as his classic generation progeny training on.
The future is bright for Ballylinch Stud as well, in December 2014 the stud was purchased by John and Leslie Malone, owners of Bridlewood Farm in Florida, USA. 2015 saw the first crop of runners for Dream Ahead. 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. Dream Ahead made a sensational start to his stud career with no less than seventeen individual winners which were topped by leading Classic hopefuls and Group winners Donjuan Triumphant and Final Frontier respectively. Alongside Lope de Vega and Dream Ahead in Ballylinch currently are stallions of the quality of Lawman, Intense Focus and Beat Hollow. Also Standing at Haras du Mezeray is Whipper the Champion French Miler, Group 1 winner at 2, 3 and 4 years.
In 2016 we welcomed Make Believe to our stallion ranks. One of the best three-year-olds in France last year when he defeated subsequent French Derby star New Bay in the Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains (the French 2000 Guineas) and later added the Group 1 Prix de la Foret, in which he set a new record time. After having had great success with standing stallions with French form in recent years we believe it shall be no different for the classy looking grandson of Dubawi who has let down into an extremely good looking stallion.
In 2017 we have two more new additions to the roster with Fascinating Rock and New Bay. Both are top class Group 1 winners over 10 furlongs (2000m). With the addition of 2 new sires with massive potential, major facility upgrades around the farm and some new extremely well bred broodmares added it all bodes well for a successful 2017 and continuity of growth for Ballyinch Stud for the future.