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Tributes paid as renowned breeder and buyer Frank Barry dies

Long-time associate of Kevin Prendergast was a respected industry figure

Frank Barry with wife Liz at the ITBA awards of 2012, where he was honoured with the lifetime achievement prize
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Trainer Kevin Prendergast has said he has lost “a great friend” and Irish Thoroughbred Breeders' Association chairman Christy Grassick has paid tribute to “a true gentleman” following the death of renowned horseman Frank Barry on Wednesday.

Barry, who was 83, had a distinguished career as a breeder and agent for 40 years.

In 1978 he and his wife Liz established Manister House Stud in County Limerick and enjoyed many notable successes, not least with La Collina, a homebred daughter of Strategic Prince sold to long-time associate Prendergast as a yearling and subsequently winner of the Phoenix Stakes and Matron Stakes.

Prendergast said on Thursday: “He was a great friend, a very nice man and he'll be sadly missed. He was an excellent judge of value and bought us lots of good horses.”

Among the other high-class horses bred at Manister House Stud were the stakes-winning sisters Gracefully and Lady Grace, the former going on to become the dam of Giofra for Haras de la Perelle; Premier Steps, a smart performer on both sides of the Atlantic; and Entsar, a half-sister to La Collina who scored in the Listed Lyric Fillies' Stakes at York last year.

Barry also had a hand in the careers of many jumps stars, having bred Whiteoak, the inaugural winner of the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle at Cheltenham, as well as Gainsay, an earlier winner at the festival. He also recommended the purchases of future Cheltenham Gold Cup winners Silver Buck and Forgive 'N' Forget.

The formidable buying team of Frank Barry (right) and Kevin Prendergast

Meanwhile from a draft of just three lots at the Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale in 2012, Manister House Stud sold Grand National hero One For Arthur and Punchestown Champion Hurdle winner Wicklow Brave, who was also victorious in the Irish St Leger.

Barry was also famed for sourcing talent without spending the earth and at the Goffs Sportsman's Sale of 2008 he and Prendergast gave €36,000 for a War Chant colt and €34,000 for a Powerscourt filly who a year later as Kingsfort and Termagant were sent out by the trainer to win the National Stakes and Moyglare Stud Stakes within weeks of each other.

Grassick echoed Prendergast's tribute by saying: “He was one of the last of a generation of true gentlemen of the sport; his reputation preceded him.

“He was an expert breeder and buyer of talented horses and would always be prepared to offer advice to younger people in the industry. There will be many people who have learned a lot from him.”

Leading bloodstock agent Peter Doyle added: “He was a great pal of my father Jack and late brother Paul, and myself and son Ross. He provided invaluable help at the sales and I was lucky to buy some nice horses from his stud with Richard Hannon.”

Barry was also closely associated with John Magnier when Coolmore was developed, and his service to the thoroughbred industry was honoured at the ITBA awards in 2012 when he was given the lifetime achievement prize.

He is survived by wife Liz and son Luke, who now runs Manister House Stud.

His funeral will take place on Saturday at St Michael's Church in Croom, County Limerick, after 11am mass.

There will be many people who have learned a lot from him
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