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Moyglare Stud manager Cosgrove to retire

07 August 2013

PIONEERING veterinary surgeon Stan Cosgrove is set to retire from his role as manager of Moyglare Stud Farm next week after more than 50 years of building up the world-famous operation for late Swiss billionaire Walter Haefner.

The 85-year-old joined Moyglare Stud as its vet when Haefner bought the County Kildare property, then a dilapidated dairy farm, in 1962.
He became manager nine years later after 20 years of performing ground-breaking equine surgery. Cosgrove also gained recognition as vet to the incomparable Derby winner Shergar, and played a role in the ultimately fruitless negotiations with the kidnappers who stole him from the Aga Khan’ s Ballymany Stud in 1983. Cosgrove forged a friendship with his boss that lasted until Haefner’s death at the age of 101 last year, and together they developed Moyglare Stud into first a commercial farm and then, from the 1980s, one of the finest private studs in the world.

With his 86th birthday looming, Cosgrove feels the time is right to step down, as will Jimmy Feane, head of the team that breaks the stud’s high-class yearlings. Cosgrove said yesterday: “I’ll be 86 next month and I think I’m getting a bit rickety now, so I’m going on Friday, August 16. My great friend and supporter Jimmy Feane is going the same day. “I’ve been here more than 50 years and he’s been here for 29 years. Both of us refused a party.
There would be speeches and things, but I don’t want that, so we’ll just go quietly.” Malachy Ryan, for merly Coolmore’s broodmare manager in Ashford Stud, Kentucky, is set to take over the role and Cosgrove was keen to highlight the 35-year-old’s abilities. He said: “He’s a very nice fellow from Tipperary who has spent the last 15 years at Ashford. He’s a great horseman.”

Of his future, Cosgrove was unsure, saying: “I don’t know what I’m going to do but I’ll still be involved here, as a consultant or something.”
Big-race winners bred by the stud, now owned and run by Haefner’s daughter Eva-Maria Bucher Haefner, include 2,000 Guineas winner Refuse To Bend, French Derby winner Assert and Japan Cup heroine Stanerra. A bold international racing policy with its homebreds led to Go And Go winning the Belmont Stakes in 1990 – still the only European-trained winner of a US Classic – and Media Puzzle plundering the Melbourne Cup in 2002. Both horses were saddled by Dermot Weld, the trainer most associated with Moyglare Stud’s success.

Pat Smullen, Weld’s stable jockey, yesterday heralded Cosgrove for supporting him when he joined Weld, and throughout his career with the Curragh trainer. He said: “He has been very influential for me. He’s very kind and has always been helpful to the younger generation. It’s a testament to him he has retained such a passion for his job.” Cosgrove’s career has stretched further than veterinary surgery and M oy glare as he also co-founded the Racing Academy and Centre for Education, was a founding member of the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders ’ Association and acts as a Turf Club steward.

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