BALLYDUFF HORSE BREEDER HONOURED WITH TOP AWARD
A Ballyduff man has captured the ‘Chaser of the Year’ award for the second year running at the ITBA 2011 Breeding & Racing Awards, writes Susan Caplice. Owen Flynn, who turns 76 shortly, was delighted to receive the award for the second year in a row.
Speaking to The Avondhu at the two hundred year old cottage that he shares with his sister Sadie, outside Ballyduff, he said, “I will be going for a hat trick now next.”
The presentation of the awards took place on Saturday, January 29 to a full house of 360 guests at the Heritage Hotel, Killenard, where guest of honour was Minister for Agriculture, Brendan Smith.
The minister has been instrumental in the return of horseracing to the auspices of the Department of Agriculture, a move widely welcomed by the industry.
CHASER OF THE YEAR
In his welcoming speech, chairman Dr Dean Harron thanked the minister for his continued support of the ITBA and pointed out that the awards night celebrated excellence in the field of Irish thoroughbred breeding and racing.
“Two weeks ago the World Thoroughbred Rankings were reported for two-year-olds, three-year-olds and older horses. More than 30% in the top ten in each category were Irish bred,” Dr Harron pointed out.
Imperial Commander landed the Chaser of the Year award and Robert McCarthy made the presentation to Sadie Flynn, Owen’s sister and Elaine Aherne, his niece, on behalf of sponsors, Coolmore.
The 28-year-old mother of Imperial Commander, Ballinlovane, named after the area in which they live, was grazing in a field opposite the house, and Owen and his sister, Sadie told The Avondhu they would be very upset to lose her when her day comes.
ANOTHER BIG DAY
The next big occasion on the Flynn calendar is Gold Cup day, March 18. “It was funny, last year we had over 50 people here at the house to watch the race shouting on Imperial Commander. People were worried when they saw all the parked cars, they thought I had kicked the bucket,” Owen told The Avondhu.
With Sadie’s homemade apple tart and copious cups of tea, the feeling is that Owen will be around for many Gold Cups yet!
Friday 11th February 8:57am