The Flying Start tour began with a visit to the stallion yard, where we saw Art Connoisseur, Indian Haven, Jeremy, Verglas, and last but definitely not least, Invincible Spirit. Already a champion sire, Invincible Spirit certainly looked the part. He is an incredibly powerful and well-balanced horse, with no apparent flaw to my learning eye.
|Invincible Spirit at Irish National Stud|
After viewing some broodmares and foals, we got a great surprise: the entire Flying Start class was allowed to go into the paddock with Vintage Crop, the 1993 Melbourne Cup winner who now resides at the National Stud. This was a great treat, especially for our three Australian trainees. Vintage Crop was an absolute sweetheart, and between that and the beautiful shining sun, I'm sure we all would have been content to stay with him all day.
|Nick, Leah, and Lindsay with Vintage Crop|
|Australian trainees Adrian, Nick, and Michael with Vintage Crop|
|Yours truly with Vintage Crop|
|Spoiling the Champ|
My visit to the Irish National Stud was very memorable, and I was very impressed by what the Stud is doing to promote horses and racing to the public. I hope to return again soon, and for everyone traveling to Ireland, it is a must see.