Three-star pinhooking profit for top eventer Murray-Hayden
One-woman operation hits jackpot with €500,000 Dabirsim colt
Edie Murray-Hayden achieved a remarkable pinhooking success with the sole lot she took to this year's Goffs Orby Yearling Sale on Wednesday. Working by herself on Gormanstown Stud, the former Irish international eventer bought one foal last year, a colt by Dabirsim for €56,000 at the Goffs November Foal Sale, and she sold him for €500,000 to agents Sackville Donald.
The colt was bred by Ecurie Normadie Pur Sang and is the third foal out of Chica Loca, a Listed-placed daughter of American Post.
“I knew he would make a lot of money but I didn’t think it would be quite that much,” said Murray-Hayden as the fantastic sale was still sinking in. “When I saw this colt last year he had an outstanding walk and was just a real athlete. He was a very good-looking colt and still quite raw, so I knew I could improve him.”
All the work with the colt was done by Murray-Hayden, who has no staff on her 35-acre farm where she has ten stables.
A member of the first Irish Pony Eventing team, which came fourth in the European Championships, she worked for Coolmore, Godolphin in both Ireland and Dubai, and Segenhoe Stud in Australia before she joined the late Brian Grassick when he purchased Newtown Stud in the late 1990s.
The sale wasn’t the first big result Murray-Hayden has enjoyed in the pinhooking business; with the late Grassick she bought and sold Approve, and since establishing Gormanstown Stud she purchased Sir Prancealot for €52,000 as a foal and sold the future Tally-Ho Stud sire for €142,000 at the 2011 Orby Sale.
Cheltenham winner Black Hercules is another star who spent some of his formative years at Gormanstown Stud, which is located near the Aga Khan’s Gilltown Stud outside Kilcullen in County Kildare.
“I only had two National Hunt horses and Black Hercules was one. They weren’t intended to be National Hunt horses as I'm a one-woman operation, but they turned out that way,” she smiles.
Murray-Hayden's farm is split evenly between thoroughbreds and eventers, usually five of each, and as an adult she competed at three-star level internationally and was the first reserve for the Irish team at the 2002 World Equestrian games. Last year she qualified for the World Breeders’ Federation Sport Horses seven-year-old championship with her horse Caesar’s Gold.
“I usually buy one or two thoroughbred foals a year," he says. "Last year it was just one, and I bring on young horses up to two star competition in eventing and sell them on.
"In January I sold Caesar’s Gold and with my five-year-old eventer came fifth in the Young Event Horse Championship at the Dublin Horse Show in August so it’s been a very lucky, brilliant year."