Tony and Anne O'Callaghan Inducted To ITBA Hall Of Fame

ITBA Hall of Fame inductees Tony and Anne O'Callaghan | Tattersalls Ireland

The cream of Irish Thoroughbred breeding was recognised on Sunday night, with the headline act being Tally-Ho Stud's Tony and Anne O'Callaghan, who were inducted into the ITBA Hall of Fame.

Last year's ITBA National Breeding & Racing Awards provided one of the bloodstock social media events of lockdown, but after two years of virtual presentations, the prestigious awards ceremony returned to its rightful home of The Heritage hotel in Co Laois.

The O'Callaghans also took home one of the main Flat awards when being named the joint-winners of 2-year-old colt category with Ben Sangster. This was in recognition for breeding Perfect Power (Ire) (Ardad {Ire}), winner of the 2021 G1 Middle Park S. and G1 Prix Morny and the co-top-rated Irish-bred juvenile colt along with the unbeaten Luxembourg (Ire) (Camelot {GB}), who landed the G1 Vertem Futurity Trophy after winning the G2 Beresford S.

Tally-Ho Stud, based in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, is currently home to seven stallions, among them the much respected Kodiac (GB), as well as Mehmas (Ire) and Cotai Glory (GB), who have been the leading first-season stallions of the last two years. A video produced by the ITBA to commemorate the induction included tributes from the O'Callaghans' two sons, Roger and Henry.

“They've worked hard to get here and everything they've got they've earned,” said Roger. “Mum did the night-watching for 25 years. She did all the foaling–mum did the nights and dad did the days.”

Henry also acknowledged his mother's role is the successful business. He said, “When it's a small operation everyone does everything. My mum was up during the night and when my dad got up she would give him a hand with the feeding. Even now, when we are watching the mares, she has an innate ability to predict when they are going to foal.”

In addition to Perfect Power, who was recognised with an award on the night and is himself by Ardad, a stallion bred by the O'Callaghans, the Tally-Ho team was also responsible last year for breeding the Group 1 winner Ebro River (Ire) by another of their stallions, Galileo Gold (GB). Further success came through the G2 Gimcrack S. and G2 July S. winner Lusail (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}), as well as Campanelle (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}), who won the G1 Commonwealth Cup in addition to her 2020 victories in the G1 Prix Morny and G2 Queen Mary S.

Patrick Burns of Newlands House Stud was recognised with the ITBA Small Breeder Award, with his crowning glory of 2021 being the G1 Nuntorpe S. victory of Winter Power (Ire), a daughter of Bungle Inthejungle (Ire) who stands at Rathasker Stud, owned by Burns's brother Maurice.

“Patrick is the epitome of a successful high-class small breeder,” said ITBA chairman Joe Foley. “From the small number of yearlings that he produces every year he seems to produce a really good horse from every crop. That success rate is really remarkable.”

Burns has never had more than six mares on his farm in Kildare, and recent graduates have included the G2 Lowther S. victrix Living In The Past (Ire), who is also a daughter of Bungle Inthejungle, as well as G2 Lanwades Stud S. winner Devonshire (Ire) (Fast Company {Ire}) and Listed winner Hurryupharriet (Ire) (Camacho {GB}).

Another hugely popular category is the Wild Geese Award, which honours Irishmen and women who have carved out successful careers in the bloodstock industry worldwide. Added to an impressive roll of honour this year are the names of Gabriel and Aisling Duignan. Based in Kentucky for more than 30 years, Gabriel 'Spider' Duignan is a founding partner of Paramount Sales, along with his fellow Irishman Pat Costello. Aisling Duignan, née Cross, is Coolmore's director of bloodstock at Ashford Stud.

Addressing the couple via the ITBA's video tribute, John Magnier said, “Spider, I knew you were clever from the time you were working and did so well for Tony Ryan, but when you got married to Aisling that confirmed how clever you were.”

He continued, “I remember Aisling from the time she was a kid really, leading out the mares in all kinds of weather and dressed up in this rain gear so you could hardly find her, but she always stood out and it's not a surprise to me that she has reached the heights that she has.

“She has been the utmost help to all of us. She keeps everybody on the straight and narrow and keeps everybody's morale up.”

The Special Recognition Award was presented to Julian Lloyd, a former trainer with rock star Eric Clapton among his owners, bloodstock agent, and, until his retirement last year, the manager of Kirsten Rausing's Staffordstown stud in Ireland. 

“I think he is defined by his enthusiasm for all matters racing and breeding, and also his professionalism, attention to detail, and great horsemanship in general,” said Rausing, who met Lloyd when they both worked for Captain Tim Rogers at Airlie Stud. 

“Julian, Paddy Moloney and I were the three that started up Staffordstown in early 1991, so Julian and I have been working and establishing Staffordstown with Paddy for exactly 30 years.”

The Grassick family's Newtown Stud and Tim Pabst received the award for breeding the top-rated Irish 2-year-old filly of 2021 in Flotus (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}), who is now owed by Katsumi Yoshida after selling for a million gns at the Tattersalls December Mares' Sale. 

In the 3-year-old filly division, the award was also shared, this time between the Gaffney family's Churchtown Horse Stud, breeders of Alcohol Free (Ire) (No Nay Never), and Tom Cooke's Thomastown Farm, which bred French-trained sprinter Suesa (Ire) (Night Of Thunder {Ire}). Godolphin received the 3-year-old colt award for their Derby and King George winner Adayar (Ire) (Frankel {GB}).

Brothers Michael and Laurence Gleeson, young pinhookers based at Aughamore Stud in Co Westmeath, were recognised with the Next Generation Award. Among their early successes has been Champers Elysees (Ire) (Elzaam {Aus}), who was bought by the brothers as a foal for €12,500 and sold on for €28,000 to Johnny Murtagh, who trained her to win the G1 Matron S. 

ITBA Award winners for 2021

Small Breeder
Patrick Burns, Newlands House Stud

Special Recognition
Julian Lloyd

Next Generation
Michael and Laurence Gleeson

Novice Hurdler
Appreciate It
Breeder: Barmakin Ltd & South Lodge Stud

Novice Chaser
Breeder: C J & E B Bennett

Leading National Hunt Mare:
Breeder:  Niall Flynn

Flooring Porter
Breeder: Sean Murphy

Minella Indo
Breeder: Mrs R H Lalor

2-Year-Old Filly
Breeder Newtown Stud & T J Pabst

2 -Year-Old ColtJoint award
Breeder: B V Sangster

Perfect Power
Breeder: Tally Ho Stud

3-Year-Old FillyJoint award
Alcohol Free
Breeder: Churchtown House Stud

Breeder: Thomastown Farm Ltd

3-Year-Old Colt
Breeder: Godolphin

Wild Geese
Gabriel and Aisling Duignan

Contribution to the industry
David Minton

Hall of Fame
Tony and Anne O'Callaghan

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