A Brief History Of… The National Stud

The National Stud

A mare and foal at The National Stud

News arrived yesterday that Toronado would miss Saturday’s Champions Day and instead travel to the US for the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

Toronado’s final fling in America will see him then retired from racing and in 2015 taking up new duties at the National Stud. Owned by the Jockey Club since 2008, the arrival of such a high profile stallion is hugely exciting for all concerned.  He will stand along with the stud’s three current Stallions, Pastoral Pursuits, Bahamian Bounty and Dick Turpin.

Based on a 500 acre site just outside Newmarket the National Stud has three main aims. The first is to provide a high quality and relatively affordable service to the Thoroughbred breeding industry. Secondly the facility provides internationally renowned training for people wishing to enter the industry. And finally since the mid 1970’s the National Stud has welcomed the public, with tours that raise awareness of both breeding and horse racing in general.

In 1916, Lord Wavertree donated his stud farm called Tully Stud to the government. The farm stood just on the edge of the Curragh, and the main aim was to breed horses to be used in war campaigns. One of the early major successes came when Blandford was foaled in 1919. He was to become the sire of 11 classic winners. The most famous horse born to the National Stud was undoubtedly Sun Chariot. Foaled in 1939, she went on to win the Triple Crown during the Second World War in 1942.

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During the 1940’s the Republic Of Ireland purchased Tully Stud and created the Irish National Stud. In 1963 the Jockey Club leased land near Newmarket to the newly formed Levy Board and England’s National Stud was born. It mirrored the activities of its Irish counterpart. In 2008 the Jockey Club purchased the National Stud which is now run as a private company.

The organised tours are a great opportunity for the public to learn more about our wonderful sport. They take place from February to October and include visits to the Foaling unit and nursery paddocks. Visitors have the chance to see mares grazing along with their new-born foals. Those famous retired racehorses, including Toronado, can be viewed in the superb Stallion unit. The 2004 Grand National winner Amberleigh House is also stabled at the National Stud. He can also be visited in his paddock.

For further information, including details of the tours, please visit their website www.nationalstud.co.uk

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