Ah! I had been waiting for this since we signed on for the Road Scholar tour! County Kildare, the heartbeat of Ireland’s thoroughbred industry brought us to this incredible place owned by the Irish government and visited by tourists from all over the world.
A Scotsman, Colonel William Hall Walker, established the farm in 1900. The Colonel perhaps believed that great horses were born, not made. When a foal was born, he had an astological chart drawn up, and if the stars and signs were not in correct alignment, the foal was sold. If the horse’s birthdate promised great ability, the foal was kept to be raised and raced. Although this sounds a bit crazy, horses born here have won some of the greatest races.
Retirement has been provided for great racehorses here. Five champions, Moscow Fkyer, Hardy Eustace, Kicking King, Beef or Salmon, and Rite of Passage reside here. They won races like the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Royal Ascot Gold Cup.
Over 100 foals are born at the stud farm each year. When horsemen come to choose a stud for breeding purposes, they watch the horse move in dront of the stables on a ruberized walk. Our guide told us they look for three things in a stud: the face of a model, the “bum” of a cook, and the walk of a lady of the night!