The Irish National Stud – Tully, Co. Kildare – Ireland
DAY 9 – This morning we drove to County Kildare, Ireland’s premier thoroughbred horse region, and had a guided tour of the National Stud. Initially I thought I would find this tour uninteresting as I was not keen in horse racing, however it turned out to be quite educative and enjoyable.
The National Stud owes its existance to Col. William Hall-Walker who in 1900 purchased a farm at Tully, Kildare. Col. Hall-Walker was a wealthy Scotsman from a famous brewery family. Here he started to breed thoroughbred horses and some described his breeding management policies as ‘inspired’ or ‘eccentric’. In 1915 he gave the Stud as a gift to the British Crown and in return, he was bestowed the title Lord Wavertree. Tully continued as the British National Stud until 1943 when it was handed back to the Irish government.
In 1945 the Irish National Stud Company was formed and one of its key objectives is to promote Irish bloodstock nationally and internationally. Our young trainer guide took us around the grounds which were very well kept, beautiful and serene. As he gave us a little insight into the horse breeding business, it was obviously a very expensive businesss. National Stud has produced champion horses and Vintage Crop and Danoli were two of them. Australians will well remember Vintage Crop who won the Melbourne Cup in 1993.
If you do get a chance to visit the National Stud, it’s well worth doing so, even if you’re not a racing enthusiast.