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Top News in Tuesday's TDN
Prominent Irish Agent Noel O'Callaghan Dies
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One of the Irish bloodstock industry’s leading lights Noel O'Callaghan died Sunday night, aged 77, at his home in Shankill, County Dublin. A founding member of BBA Ireland alongside the late Tom Cooper in the early 1960s, O’Callaghan served as chairman of that organization, and was instrumental in setting up its transport and insurance departments. Following Cooper’s death in 1990, Noel took on a more prominent role as a bloodstock agent. He made an immediate impact when buying A.P. Indy for $2.9 million at the 1990 Keeneland July Yearling Sale on behalf of the Japanese businessman Tomonori Tsurumaki. Neil Drysdale, the Hall of Fame trainer of A.P. Indy, got to know O’Callaghan during the horse’s career.
   "Noel was a pleasure to work with during A.P. Indy’s campaign, always being very supportive and lots of fun," Drysdale commented. "He was a delightful man, full of life and enthusiasm. Our thoughts are with his family at the moment. He will be sorely missed."
   Bill Harrigan of Miacomet Farm, who broke and pre-trained A.P. Indy as well as fellow O’Callaghan purchases A.P. Jet (Fappiano) and Japanese Champion Lindo Shaver (Alydar) for Tsurumaki, echoed Drysdale’s sentiments.
   "If you were lucky enough to have Noel as your friend, he was a man of very strong character, incredible loyalty and integrity, and he loved life and was a very fun man to be around," Harrigan said. He also praised O’Callaghan’s horsemanship skills: "Noel was probably one of the best judges of racehorses ever," he said. "He not only had an incredibly keen eye for conformation, but Noel also had an instinct for a horse’s personality and class."
   Drysdale recognized O’Callaghan as a "pioneer" in developing relationships with the Japanese. Among his other accomplishments, O’Callaghan developed Green Gates Farm in Lexington, Kentucky for Japanese businessman Mitsuo Haga, and purchased G1 Irish 1,000 Guineas and G1 Eclipse S. winner Kooyonga (Ire) (Persian Bold {Ire}) for Haga. O’Callaghan put Noel Murphy, now manager of Castle Park Farm, in charge of Green Gates at the farm’s inception.
   "Noel O’Callaghan put me into a managerial job at a very young age, and I respected it very much," said Murphy. "I had a great working relationship with him, and learned an awful lot from him."
     O’Callaghan is survived by his wife Yvonne and daughters Elva, Annabelle and Nicola.

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