O’Rourke to leave National Stud role
Brian O'Rourke: on the move to Cophall Grove Stud
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) O'Rourke to leave National Stud role
By James Thomas 12:33PM 16 DEC 2016
THE National Stud in Newmarket has announced that Brian O'Rourke is to step down from his post of managing director in March.
O'Rourke, who has been in the position for more than eight years, is to fill the same post at Cophall Grove Stud in North Yorkshire, which is owned by the Guy Reed Trust.
"I'm very proud to have served as managing director of the National Stud and of the achievements we have delivered over the past eight years," he said.
"I feel the stud's reputation has been enhanced and selling a mare for over a million [Eblouissante, a Bernardini half-sister to Zenyatta sold to Summer Wind Farm for 1,100,000gns at this year's renewal of the Tattersalls December Mares Sale] was great.
"It's been great but it's time for me to move on to a new challenge. I'm leaving the National Stud in much better shape than when I started, which is fantastic. I'm sure it's going to be extremely successful in the next eight or nine years and I wish the team all the best for the future."
Stud chairman Ben Sangster paid tribute to the outgoing managing director, saying: "Brian and the team have done a fantastic job over the last few years and the new managing director will be coming in with solid foundations on which to build.
"I have greatly enjoyed working with Brian, who has been first-class in every sense."
Sangster said of the vacancy, which presented an exciting opportunity for those with the requisite levels of experience: "This is an excellent opportunity for a high-calibre stud manager with experience in Britain or overseas."
As well as offering boarding, foaling and sales preparation, the National Stud also has a trio of stallions – Toronado, Marcel and Gregorian – on its roster for next year.
Toronado, whose first crop will be yearlings in 2017, will stand at £12,500, while Marcel, who is being stood on behalf of Paul Makin, begins his first year at stud at a fee of £5,000.
Gregorian's first foals fetched up to 47,000gns, and his fee is £4,500.
The stud is also the educational arm of the Jockey Club and provides tours of the stud as well as offering a range of courses.
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